Arch Linux on Medion Crawler E10

Published on January 18, 2022.
Last updated on February 16, 2022.

Together with a friend of mine we installed Arch Linux on her Medion Crawler E10 gaming laptop. Some quick googling and we found out this seems to be a re-branded Clevo model notebook. Installation was very straight forward, everything seems to work fine pretty much out-of-the-box.

These are the basic steps we had to take, maybe it helps someone else. Some parts have been kept short, so always consider the current Arch Installation Guide as well!

Prepare the storage (SSD as cache for HDD, as described here / here), with full disk encryption and format the filesystems.

Update: Even though it sounds good in theory, the real-world performance of the encrypted and cached LVM setup was very bad. For this reason we backed-up the root, re-formatted both the SSD and HDD to simple ext4 filesystems, put the data back on the SSD and modified the fstab and bootloader to boot from the now unencrypted root (mounting the HDD for data storage, if required in future). Performance is much better now!

So leave out the LVM related steps below and create a normal root partition.

# set disk mode in UEFI to AHCI

fdisk
# /dev/sda1 128GB swap
# /dev/sda2 800GB data
# /dev/nvme0n1p1 300MB EFI
# /dev/nvme0n1p2 475GB data

pvcreate /dev/sda2 /dev/nvme0n1p2
vgcreate RootVG /dev/sda2 /dev/nvme0n1p2
lvcreate -l 100%PVS -n cryptroot RootVG /dev/sda2
lvcreate --type cache-pool -l 100%PVS -n cryptroot_cache RootVG /dev/nvme0n1p2
lvconvert --type cache --cachepool RootVG/cryptroot_cache RootVG/cryptroot

cryptsetup luksFormat --type luks2 /dev/RootVG/cryptroot
cryptsetup open /dev/RootVG/cryptroot root

mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/root
mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/nvme0n1p1
mkswap /dev/sda1

mount /dev/mapper/root /mnt
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/boot
swapon /dev/sda1

Install everything that's needed.

reflector --verbose --latest 40 --number 15 --sort rate --protocol https --country "Germany" --save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

pacstrap /mnt base base-devel linux linux-firmware

genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

arch-chroot /mnt

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Berlin /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc

pacman -Syu vim git sudo intel-ucode

vim /etc/locale.gen
locale-gen
vim /etc/locale.conf
vim /etc/vconsole.conf
vim /etc/hostname

pacman -Syu networkmanager
systemctl enable NetworkManager

pacman -Syu lvm2
vim /etc/mkinitcpio.conf
mkinitcpio -P

passwd

bootctl install
vim /etc/pacman.d/hooks/100-systemd-boot.hook
vim /boot/loader/loader.conf
vim /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf

useradd -m username_here
passwd username_here
gpasswd -a username_here wheel
visudo

# enable multilib repos & ILoveCandy
vim /etc/pacman.conf

pacman -Syu xorg-server nvidia nvidia-utils nvidia-settings lib32-nvidia-utils \
sddm pipewire pipewire-alsa pipewire-pulse pipewire-jack lib32-pipewire \
lib32-pipewire-jack helvum wireplumber sddm-kcm plasma-meta vlc dolphin \
dolphin-plugins kdialog kfind ark yakuake libreoffice-fresh openssh breeze-gtk \
kde-gtk-config ttf-droid ttf-inconsolata ttf-liberation ttf-roboto ttf-dejavu \
ttf-bitstream-vera terminus-font wine steam gvim firefox firefox-i18n-de \
firefox-ublock-origin cups cups-pdf print-manager system-config-printer \
pacman-contrib bluez-utils

systemctl enable sddm
systemctl enable sshd
fc-cache
systemctl enable cups
systemctl enable paccache.timer

echo btusb > /etc/modules-load.d/bluetooth.conf
systemctl enable bluetooth.service

# enable DRM kernel mode settings
# in mkinitcpio and bootloader config

pacman -Syu nvidia-prime
# use prime-run for PRIME render offloading

# install AUR helper, we used bauerbill

Setup LED keyboard backlight control. As described here at NovaCustom.

# install dmidecode
sudo dmidecode | grep "Product Name"
# --> CRAWLER E10

# clone pkgbuild from dkms driver
# https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/clevo-xsm-wmi-dkms/
# adjust included patch, replace model name with "CRAWLER E10"

pacman -Syu dkms linux-headers
makepkg
pacman -U pkgname
modprobe clevo-xsm-wmi kb_color=white,white,white, kb_brightness=1
sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/clevo-xsm-wmi.conf <<< clevo-xsm-wmi

# https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/clevo-xsm-wmi-util/
# for graphical control

Afterwards, install required user applications (Gimp, Okular, ...) and configure the KDE desktop to personal preferences. Also check out the General Recommendations in the Arch Wiki.