Today I’m going to instruct you through the steps of installing your own Arch Linux system.
Download the ISO
You can find the downloads for Arch Linux by clicking here.
1. Partition the drive
Determine your drive name by running
lsblk. Run the following command to start the partitioning (with
/dev/sda replaced by your drive):
# fdisk /dev/sda
nto create a new partition.
- Press Enter on the following prompts to accept the defaults.
wto write your changes to the disk.
2. Create the File System and mount it
Next, you need to create a filesystem on the partition that you’ve made. After you’ve created the filesystem, you can mount it.
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1 # mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /mnt
3. Install Arch Linux system
This is maybe the most important step in the progress. This is the step where you are actually installing the system. For that, you need to run
pacstrap followed by the packages you want to install. In this case, we’ll install
grub for the bootloader.
# pacstrap -i /mnt base grub
4. Generate File System Tab
fstab contains descriptive information about the filesystems the system can mount.
# genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
5. Enter the system via
Now, we’re ready to set up the system by going inside it. For this, we’ll be running
arch-chroot. Do NOT reboot at this stage!
# arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
6. Setting up locales
Locales are basically the language files your system will be using.
# nano /etc/locale.gen Uncomment line en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 Uncomment line en_US ISO-8859-1 (uncomment by removing the `#` in front)
After that, you have to generate the locale files.
And then put them into effect on the system.
# echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf # export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
7. Setting the timezone
All timezone files can be found in
/usr/share/zoneinfo/. You need to create a link to
/etc/localtime with the timezone you want.
# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/LOCATION/CITY /etc/localtime
8. Set the hardware clock
This command sets the hardware clock from system time.
--utc implies that your hardware clock is in the UTC timezone. More information here
# hwclock --systohc --utc
9. Set your system’s hostname
This can be anything you want.
# echo "my-computer" > /etc/hostname
10. Set up simple networking
Before you do the following, please run
ip a to determine your interface. It’s generally called
eth0, but it may be different on some machines.
- Copy the example
# cp /etc/netctl/examples/ethernet-dhcp /etc/netctl/my_network
- Modify the interface name
# nano /etc/netctl/my_network Replace the "Interface=eth0" line with the one shown by the "ip a" command.
- Enable the network
# netctl enable my_network
Setting a password on your root user is highly recommended. You can do that now by running
You can find information on how to install GRUB on various systems on the Arch Linux Wiki. The following is a simple installation on a system with a BIOS (not UEFI). You can find more boot loaders here.
# grub-install --recheck /dev/sda # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
13. Reboot the machine
You are now ready to boot into your new system.
# exit # umount /mnt # shutdown
After shutting down, remove the disk image and boot the system again. You can now use your newly installed system!
More things to do
Creating an user account
The first user you create should also be added to the
wheel group. This will be kind of like an administrator.
# useradd -m -G wheel -s /bin/bash usernamehere # passwd usernamehere
For creating other users, you should omit the
-G wheel part unless you want them to be able to use
- Install sudo -
# pacman -S sudo
- Create a file in
/etc/sudoers.d/99-wheelwith the following lines:
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
If you want the
wheel group to be able to use sudo without password, you can replace the last
Installing a Desktop Environment
Firstly, you should install
# pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-server-utils mesa xterm
You can find packages for various desktop environments here.
Some desktop environments don’t have a system to log you in to a session. This is where
lightdm comes to play.
# pacman -S lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter # systemctl enable lightdm.service
You can find lightdm configuration at
After you’ve installed what you want, you can reboot the system and it should either load up the desktop environment or the
lightdm-gtk-greeter, which will allow you to select a desktop environment to log in to.
Keeping your system up-to-date
You should keep your system up-to-date to get the latest packages and security patches. Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, meaning that you don’t have to reinstall the entire system and package updates are rolled separately instead of in bundles.
# pacman -Syu
This command synchronizes your system with the latest repositories and installs all available updates.
This should be your basic Arch Linux system ready to go! Always remember that the Arch Linux Wiki is a great place to find help for all things Linux, not just Arch!