The release of R2-D2 or ArchLabs 5.0 is sheduled for beginning July 2017

We are working hard for the next release of ArchLabs 5.0 or R2-D2 we are calling her.

You may have heard the big news, an interview with Destination Linux.

R2-D2 will include an tiling desktop environment, i3wm next gaps.  ArchLabs will continue to use openbox as main desktop environment but now you have a fallback or an alternative environment to watch your movies, surf net or do your work. It is an awesome tool for workflow management. You will get 10 desktops with each their own specialty like browsers, editors, multimedia, music, …

Many tutorials will follow about ArchLabs and i3wm. But actually they are already created. Because i3 is a desktop (tiling) environment that you can install on any distro and use the same configuration file to style it. Here you can find all articles about i3. It does not matter which distro, you are using it on. So you can now already follow some tutorials.


We are in the process of including and selecting the most awesome conky’s out there with the help of the designers of these conky’s. We are grateful we are allowed to include them in our release. As usual it will require one click to activate them.

If you know any super conky’s you can always share them on our Google+ community and ask for them to be included. 

Just one example from

Many more will be added. I reserve these for the release note.


Our installer, Calamares has been updated and  has received more recent desktop screenshots of ArchLabs because we are evolving.

ArchLabs is finding her own look, her own appeal.

These will be the images used when you install ArchLabs – they are all 100% ArchLabs. Everything you see will be included in R2-D2.


Many rofi themes, tint2 themes and openbox themes have been added thanks to @Smoke King and @Duncan Pringle. Our personal artists of design. Some will follow the Arc theme design and others are completely different.

This means you will be able to tweak your system even more, out of the box. As you know we are a rolling release. These elements will receive more variations and additions and you will get them via updating the AUR.

Sounds promising, right?

Take a look at this Numix themed desktop.

R2-D2 takes pimping to the next level.
Numix Circle icons
Numix Arc Theme
Numix Rofi Theme
Numix Tint2 Theme
Numix Openbox Theme
Numix conky colours




Great new wallpapers have been added – 4k resolution! You will have to see them on your system. Putting them here will cost us 10MB or more… 😉


78 termite theming configuration have been added. Termite is the standard terminal for ArchLabs.

You can now pimp your terminal with a simple copy/paste. This one is the dracula theme.

All this to tell you we  aim to excel and give you the ultimate user experience.

The release of Yoda or ArchLabs 4.1



Brett, Matt, Hari and I (Erik) are super excited to present ArchLabs 4.1 or Yoda.  While developing the idea had formed to name our releases. We are all Star Wars fans. So there you go. In the months that have passed we have seen what creative people can do with ArchLabs and I must say that makes us proud.

They (aka you) transform ArchLabs to a work of art and they (aka you) are our ambassadors and spokesmen.

Release schedule and downloads

  • 01/01/2017 Start ArchLabs – there was Brett and Matt and an idea
  • 24/02/2017 ArchLabs Alpha
  • 03/03/2017 ArchLabs 1.0
  • 07/03/2017 ArchLabs 3.0
  • 07/04/2017 ArchLabs 3.4
  • 30/04/2017 ArchLabs 4.0 – number of downloads : 3.235
  • 04/06/2017 ArchLabs 4.1 – Yoda
  • Beginning of July 2017 ArchLabs 5.0 – R2-D2
  • xx/xx/2017 ArchLabs 6.0 – Obi-Wan-Kenobi

Changes since 4.0

We started working on the topics of our roadmap.

  • Decreasing initial boot times for live session
  • Decreasing wait times for first use of sudo/root
  • More wallpapers
  • Additional custom conky configs
  • Make the parts of ArchLabs a rolling release
  • Trim down ISO size
  • Implement a Welcome Screen

I am happy to inform they have all been taken care of.

  • Boot time from iso went from 1:45 seconds to 15 seconds
  • No wait time anymore if running applications with sudo or gksudo
  • Installation time went down from 7:14 to 2:45
  • More wallpapers have been added. Even started with 4k collection and Duncan Pringle collection
  • Added more than a few conky’s even with LUA
  • ArchLabs is now a rolling release with the aid of AUR packages
  • Iso size went from 2GB to 1.8GB without losing the “spirit” of ArchLabs
  • ArchLabs has its own Welcome Screen named Hello.

Our github commits were at the release of 4.0 at 107. Now we are at 346 commits. Just to show that there must be some significant changes between 4.0 and 4.1. It might even merit an upgrade to 5.0.

Here is an attempt to summarize our actions.

  • new theme and icons as standard look
  • new slim lock themes
  • new welcome application : ArchLabs-Hello
  • new config files for applications in ArchLabs styling
  • new shortcut to restart X – CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE
  • bluetooth support out of the box – headphones etc
  • network support for shared folders
  • more printer support e.g. gutenprint
  • obmenu3 replaces obmenu
  • touchpad support
  • extra software : rofi, obmenu3, font-manager, glances, temps, inxi,gpick, thumbnailer applications, glxinfo, redshift, mintstick, vivaldi, hardinfo, peek, gnome-disk-utility, aurvote, downgrade, google-talkplugin, …

We have added a folder scripts to your openbox folder for your convenience.

  • Installing the latest kernel
  • removing virtualbox applications if on SSD
  • changing hard-coded icons
  • and a NEW one – getting the latest ArchLabs conky’s from github

All of these changes and enhancements have contributed to an awesome release.  If you are interested in viewing all the changes, you can view the change-log here:

ArchLabs Releases @ GitHub

Design Tip

We have created our own personal slimlock themes. You can install them with

packer archlabs-slimlock-themes-git


How to install ArchLabs

Nothing has changed between the installation of ArchLabs if you compare 4.0 with 4.1. I leave this text in for your convenience.

We have two options to install ArchLabs :

  1. Calamares (starts straight away) – graphical installer 6 screens
  2. Architect installer for the more advanced linux user

Option 1 :

Our installer (Calamares) starts straight away in the live session now, if you want to play around in the live session just minimise the Calamares window.  When you are ready to install, just maximise the window and start off from where you left.


If you happen to close the Calamares window with the top right close button, you are going to have to do one of two things. This is an issue with Openbox not ArchLabs.

Solution one:

Open a terminal and kill Calamares with:

“sudo killall clamares” and restart Calamares

Solution two:

Reboot the live session altogether.

Option 2 :

If you would prefer to use the Architect Installer, open a terminal use the following:

sudo /abif-master/abif

Once installed on your HDD or SSD and you wish to remove the Virtual Kernel Modules, open your terminal and execute the following

sudo pacman -Rns virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-modules-arch
sudo rm /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf

or you can use the scripts in your folder


If you used the Architect installer, the installer icon will need to be removed from tint2, which you can do in tint2conf or by editing the tint2 with tint2zen or your favourite editor.

If, for any reason you have any issues, please post in the forum. One post per issue/bug please.

ArchLabs Linux Forum


Soon we will start working on ArchLabs 4.2 or R2-D2. Some of the things on the to-do list are:

  • Laptop compatibility e.g. fn-keys
  • Rofi themes
  • More wallpapers

Our roadmap is here.  We will soon be adding more of our plans and intentions.  Check back in a few weeks to see what we have in store.


Check out our gallery section.  There are some very creative people working with ArchLabs. We check google+ on a regular basis and the posts with the most likes are likely to be posted on this gallery. Be creative and see how intuitive and flexible ArchLabs can be. Check out how different each desktop can be.


Any issues, contact either  Erik, Brett or Matt on google+ or ask away in the forum. ArchLabs is a work in progress. Help us make it better by getting in touch with us, all feedback is welcome, good or bad.  If you feel you can contribute and would like to join the team, contact us either via the webpage, Google+ or at the forum.

Get in touch with us.


As usual you can download ArchLabs from our Sourceforge page:

Get your ArchLabs here!

Thank you

Of course, a mighty “Thank you” to our users and our betatesters!  ArchLabs has always been putting out something that we would use ourselves and to see the positive reception and the support makes it all worth while!

See you all around at Google+ or the forum, we all look forward to seeing your screenshots and reading your feedback.

#archlabs, what did you expect?


Erik, Matt, Brett and Hari.