How to install Arch Linux
Today I am going to show you how to install Arch Linux on to your system.
Well, go ahead and download the latest version from the following location.
As of writing this tutorial, the latest version was 2016.02.01.
After downloading the ISO, make the bootable USB or DVD and boot up your system using the installation media.
You’ll be greeted with the following installer screen. You can either choose 32 bit or 64 bit installation depending upon your hardware. I am going to install 64 bit version, so I chose ‘Boot from Arch Linux’ (x86_64) .
Once your system is booting, you’ll be automatically logged in as root user by default.
As I mentioned before, you must need Internet connection in order to install Arch Linux. Check if your Internet connection is working:
Internet is working. Let us go ahead and partition the hard drive.
To check the partition table, run:
As you see above, I have 20GB hdd. Let us go ahead and partition the hard disk. You can either use ‘Fdisk’ or Cfdisk’.
I am going to use cfdisk.
We’re going to create three partitions.
- Root partition, /dev/sda1, as primary bootable with size 10 GB and ext4 formatted.
- Swap partition, /dev/sda2, as primary with size 2xRAM size.
- Logical partition, Home, /dev/sda5, rest of the space and ext4 formatted.
Type cfdisk in the command prompt. You should see the following screen.
Select label type as dos.
1 Create Primary partition
Enter partition size, in our case it is 10GB. You can specify size in MB using letter ‘M’.
Then, we need to choose the type of the partition, primary, logical, swap etc. As I mentioned earlier, we make this partition as primary with bootable and ext4 formatted.
Next select ‘Bootable’ to make this partition as bootable partition.
Then, select ‘Write’ using left/right arrow button to write the partition changes.
Type ‘Yes’ to save the changes.
2. Create Swap partition
Select the free space using up/down arrow and select ‘New’.
Enter Swap partition size, 2XRAM size. I have 1GB RAM, so I assigned 2048M as my swap partition size.
Select partition type as ‘Primary’.
Type ‘Yes’ to save the changes.
3. Create Logical (Extended) partition
Again, select the free space using up/down arrow key. And select ‘New’.
Enter the partition size. Since It’s my last partition, I want to assign the entire free space for this partition.
Hence It’s my logical partition, so I chose ‘Extended’ option.
Then select the free space using down arrow for the Home partition and select ‘New’.
Again partition size for the Home.
Finally save the partition changes by selecting the ‘Write’ option.
Type ‘Yes’ again to confirm the changes.
After creating the necessary partitions, select ‘Quit’ option and exit the partition manager.
You can verify the partition details using command:
4. Format partitions
We have created the necessary partitions, but we didn’t format them yet.
Format the primary partition using command:
Similarly, format the logical partition using ext4 file system.
Then format and activate the Swap partition using the following commands:
5. Installing Arch Linux base system
We have created necessary partitions and formatted them. Now, we need to mount them in order to install Arch Linux base system.
I am going to mount Primary partition (/dev/sda1) in /mnt and Home partition in /mnt/home.
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/home
Now, it is time to install Arch Linux base system.
pacstrap /mnt base base-devel
This will take while depending upon your Internet speed.
After base system installation, create fstab file using command:
genfstab /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
Then verify the fstab entries using command:
6. Arch Linux basic Configuration
Now, let us switch to the newly installed Arch Linux base system using command:
arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
The next step is to configure the system language.
To do that, edit /etc/locale.gen file:
Uncomment en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8, as well as other needed localisations.
Save and close the file.
Then, generate the new locales using command:
Create /etc/locale.conf file,
Add the following line:
Save and close the file.
Then, we need to assign system’s timezone.
List out the available timezones using command:
Since my time region is Asia/Kolkata, I ran the following command:
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Kolkata /etc/localtime
Set the time standard to UTC using command:
hwclock --systohc --utc
Set ‘root’ user password with command:
7. Network configuration
Edit /etc/hostname file,
Set your Arch linux system name:
Save and close the file. Then, edit /etc/hosts file and set the hostname as well. Be mindful that you need to set the same hostname in the both files.
Then make Network connections persistent using commands:
systemctl enable dhcpcd
8. Grub installation
We reached the final stage. Now, we need to install the boot loader for the newly installed Arch system.
To do that, run:
pacman -S grub os-prober
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Finally, exit from the chrrot, unmount the partitions and reboot your Arch Linux. Make sure you have removed the installation media too.
Select Arch Linux from the boot menu.
Log in to your newly installed Arch system as root user and password that you made during installation.
Congratulations! The Arch Linux system is ready to use.
In our upcoming articles, we will see more about Arch Linux.
Refer our next article to know about hat are the basics things to do, after Arch Linux fresh installation.
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Thanks for reading!
If you are a beginner, then Arch Linux installation will be bit bit difficult for you. No worries, there is an another distro, called Arch anywhere, that has a graphical installer script that allows the users to easily install Arch Linux with a simple menu system.