Quick and dirty Archlinux installation

By Bill Seremetis, 27 June, 2013

Arch is my distro of choice for several years (since 2006). While it is targeted to advanced users I strongly believe that anybody can use it and he will feel comfortable with it in no time. However, last year Arch developers dropped the curses installation method (AIF) in favor of some installation scripts called from the command line. The new process isn't difficult, it is just different, and everything is very well documented in the wiki which I strongly recommend reading since it is always up to date.

However, if you are like me and you need a quick and dirty guide read on. I simply gathered the commands in order for a simple english installation in one partition. Feel free to follow the procedure and make changes according to your needs. REMEMBER: formatting disks will cause loss of data, you've been warned.

  1. Boot with the usb/cd installation media and run the following commands in this order, answering their questions as they arise
  2. wifi-menu
  3. fdisk /dev/sda (press ? and partition your disk)
  4. mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1 (and the rest of the partitions)
  5. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
  6. Create folders for the mounts points under /mnt and mount the rest of the partitions accordingly. If you opted for a single-partition installation then go on.
  7. pacstrap -i /mnt base
  8. genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
  9. arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
  10. ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/<Zone>/<SubZone> /etc/localtime
  11. hwclock --systohc --utc
  12. pacman -S iw wpa_supplicant wpa_actiond dialog
  13. mkinitcpio -p linux
  14. pacman -S syslinux
  15. syslinux-install_update -i -a -m
  16. vi/nano /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg
    change /dev/sda3 to /dev/sdaX (usually 1) in all occurences.
  17. exit
  18. unmount /mnt/{boot,home,}
  19. reboot

And that's it pretty much. This will drop you to a shell as root in your new system. You need to set locales, hostname and install programs as you like.

To install a graphical user interface (Xorg) do:

  • pacman -S xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit
  • pacman -S xf86-video-intel OR xf86-video-ati OR xf86-video-nouveau

And remember, the wiki is your best friend!