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Luke Smith 9f194cbb43
Merge pull request #132 from JohnGebbie/master
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testing LANG fix in autoinstall 8 months ago
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Luke’s Auto-Rice Bootstraping Scripts (LARBS)


On an Arch based distribution as root, run the following:

curl -LO

That’s it.

What is LARBS?

LARBS is a script that autoinstalls and autoconfigures a fully-functioning and minimal terminal-and-vim-based Arch Linux environment.

LARBS was originally intended to be run on a fresh install of Arch Linux, and provides you with a fully configured diving-board for work or more customization. But LARBS also works on already configured systems and other Arch-based distros such as Manjaro, Antergos and Parabola (although Parabola, which uses slightly different repositories might miss one or two minor programs).

Here are some of the things LARBS sets up:

  • Installs i3-gaps, a tiling window manager, with my fully featured configuration along with dozens of lightweight and vim-centric terminal applications that replace the more over-encumbering programs on most machines.
  • Massive documentation making use even for novices seamless. A help document with all bindings for the window manager accessible with Super+F1 at all times, as well as commands such as getkeys which print the default bindings of terminal applications. You can even stream instructional videos on topics with Super+Shift+E.
  • Installs my dotfiles giving as popularized on my YouTube channel.
  • Sets up system requirements such as users, permissions, networking, audio and an AUR manager.
  • All done behind a dialog based user interface.

Changes since first release

  • More documentation in the getkeys program and mod+shift-e.
  • Luke’s build of st is now the default terminal, instead of urxvt. This includes:
    • Full unicode compatibility
    • vim-like bindings
    • Scrollback with keys and mouse, clipboard use and other add ons to the default st build
    • Xresources colors, allowing the use of wal/pywal
  • i3status is the status bar instead of Polybar, which was bloated and failed to build on many machines. The new i3status includes the modules below, all of which are constructed to be as minimal and light on system resources as possible:
    • Weather forecasts using, with highs, lows and rain chance.
    • Current song information from mpd
    • Unread mail from Luke’s mutt-wizard
    • Possible pacman updates
    • Status of torrents in transmission-daemon
    • Expected date, time, battery, internet and volume modules
  • Switch from mocp to mpd/ncmpcpp for music.
  • System is more minimalist/suckless.
  • dmenu is used instead of rofi for simplicity’s sake.
  • Deployment of my new mutt-wizard for secure offline email configuration instead of config files for the user to manually edit.
  • Firefox instead of qutebrowser for default browser (qutebrowser configs remain for qutebrowser afeccionados)
  • A default profile of Firefox including some privacy features, an ad-blocker and VimVixen, for vim-based keyboard shortcuts.
  • Extensive implementation of dmenu, including for mounting/unmounting drives, display selection, confirmation for shutdown and other crucial commands, link handling and screen/audio recording.
  • Updates to config files can be pulled with git now.
  • i3 window resize now intuitive directions
  • Removal of a lot of brainlethood in the original design, where I relocated configs for alleged extensibility’s sake. That’s all been fixed now.
  • Configs for the new versions of qutebrowser, newsboat/newsbeuter, neomutt, etc.
  • Link handling scripts for mutt, newsboat and vim
  • vi mode is now default in bash (with retention of emacs-mode ctrl-l)
  • Caps lock functions both as a super key and escape key with xcape.
  • Use of the much better, newer version of my shortcut-sync.
  • And the repository is significantly smaller than it was before, meaning a faster download.
  • A million and one other tweaks and bug fixes.


By default, LARBS uses the programs here in progs.csv and installs my dotfiles repo (voidrice) here, but you can easily change this by either modifying the default variables at the beginning of the script or giving the script one of these options:

  • -r: custom dotfiles repository (URL)
  • -p: custom programs list/dependencies (local file or URL)
  • -a: a custom AUR helper (must be able to install with -S unless you change the relevant line in the script

The progs.csv list

LARBS will parse the given programs list and install all given programs. Note that the programs file must be a three column .csv.

The first column is a “tag” that determines how the program is installed, “” (blank) for the main repository, A for via the AUR or G if the program is a git repository that is meant to be make && sudo make installed.

The second column is the name of the program in the repository, or the link to the git repository, and the third comment is a description (should be a verb phrase) that describes the program. During installation, LARBS will print out this information in a grammatical sentence. It also doubles as documentation for people who read the csv or who want to install my dotfiles manually.

Depending on your own build, you may want to tactically order the programs in your programs file. LARBS will install from the top to the bottom.

If you include commas in your program descriptions, be sure to include double quotes around the whole description to ensure correct parsing.

The script itself

The script is broken up extensively into functions for easier readability and trouble-shooting. Most everything should be self-explanatory.

The main work is done by the installationloop function, which iterates through the programs file and determines based on the tag of each program, which commands to run to install it. You can easily add new methods of installations and tags as well.

Note that programs from the AUR can only be built by a non-root user. What LARBS does to bypass this by default is to temporarily allow the newly created user to use sudo without a password (so the user won’t be prompted for a password multiple times in installation). This is done ad-hocly, but effectively with the newperms function. At the end of installation, newperms removes those settings, giving the user the ability to run only several basic sudo commands without a password (shutdown, reboot, pacman -Syu).

To-do list

  • Provide documentation on how to update dotfiles from remote repository.
  • Enable tap to click.
  • Keyboard luminosity script.
  • Add notification icons?