How To Install Arch Linux Latest Version [Step by Step Guide]

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Arch Linux is a general-purpose Linux distribution for x86-64 computers and is very popular among the intermediate and advanced Linux users. Arch Linux project is purely driven by the community and the core development circle.

The design of Arch Linux’s follows KISS principle (“keep it short and simple”) as the general guidelines which mean you will only get a minimal base system from the OS installation and have to configure the system further to use it.

Arch Linux offers new packages/updates on the rolling release model, i.e., packages are provided throughout the day. Pacman (Arch Linux’s package manager) allows users to keep systems updated easily, daily.

Arch Linux has dropped support for 32bit OS from Feb 2017 and now supports only x86_64 installation.

Requirements

  • An x86_64 (64 bit) machine
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • At least 1GB of free disk space
  • An Internet Connectivity
  • USB flash drive or Blank CD for burning the installation image.

Install Arch Linux

Here, we will see how to install Arch Linux latest version (v 2018.04.1) from USB / CD.

Arch Linux installation process requires an internet connection to retrieve packages from a remote repository.

Step 1: Download Arch Linux

Download the latest version of Arch Linux from the official website.

Download Arch Linux Latest Version

Step 2: Create a Live USB / Write a Bootable CD

We will now create a live USB / write a bootable CD from the downloaded ISO image.

Create a live USB:

Replace /path/to/archlinux.iso with the path to the downloaded ISO file and /dev/sdx with your USB drive name.

dd bs=4M if=/path/to/archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx status=progress oflag=sync

Write a bootable CD:

Replace /path/to/archlinux.iso with the path to the downloaded ISO file.

growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/sr0=/home/user_name/Downloads/LinuxMint.iso

Step 3: Boot from Live USB or CD

Power on your system and press F2, F10 or F12 to change/select the boot order.

To boot from Live USB, you need to select boot from USB or removable drive. To boot from CD, you need to select boot from CD/DVD ROM drive.

Once system boots from Live USB or CD, you will get an installer screen, like below.

Choose Boot Arch Linux (x86_64) and then press Enter.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Installation Menu
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Installation Menu

Finally, after various checks, you will get a root prompt.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Arch Linux Root Prompt
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Arch Linux Root Prompt

Step 4: Setup Network

As I said earlier, the system needs an internet connection. If your environment has a DHCP server, then the system will get IP Address automatically.

Check the internet connectivity.

ifconfig
ping google.com -c 2
Install Arch Linux 2018 - Internet Conectivity Check
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Internet Connectivity Check

If your system does not get a reply, then configure static IP address on your system so that your system can connect to the internet to download packages.

ip addr flush dev enp0s3

ifconfig enp0s3 192.168.1.100 netmask 255.255.255.0

route add default gw 192.168.1.1

echo "nameserver 192.168.1.1" >> /etc/resolv.conf

echo "nameserver 8.8.8.8" >> /etc/resolv.conf

Replace network card and IP address according to your environment.

Screenshot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Assign Static IP to Arch Linux for OS installation
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Assign Static IP to Arch Linux for OS installation

Step 5: Partition Disk

We will now create the partitions on the hard disk for the OS installation. First, list the available disks using the fdisk command.

fdisk -l
Install Arch Linux 2018 - List Hard Drives
Install Arch Linux 2018 – List Hard Drives

The system has a 40GB disk (/dev/sda) and will use that disk for OS installation. The name of the disk varies depending upon the system. The disks can have other names such as vda, hda, etc.

Now, we will use fdisk command to create partitions as per the requirement.

Partition details are shown below.

/boot – 500M

swap – 4GB (Double the RAM)

/ – ~ 35 GB (Remaining Space)

fdisk /dev/sda

/boot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Create Boot Partition
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Create Boot Partition

SWAP:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Create SWAP Partition
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Create SWAP Partition

/ (root):

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Create Root Partition
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Create Root Partition

Once you have created partitions, use p to confirm the creation of partitions and then, w to save the changes.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Save Partition Layout
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Save Partition Layout

Verify parttions using the fdisk -l command. We now have three partitions.

/dev/sda1 – /boot

/dev/sda2 – SWAP

/dev/sda3  – / (root)

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Verify Partitions
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Verify Partitions

Step 5: Create Filesystem

Now, its time format the created partitions with the required file systems. You can format /boot (/dev/sda1) as EXT2 or EXT3, SWAP (/dev/sda2) as SWAP and / (/dev/sda3) as EXT4 filesystem.

mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda1

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3

mkswp /dev/sda2

Screenshot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Create Filesystems
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Create Filesystems

Step 6: Mount Partitions

Once you have formatted the partitions, use the mount command to mount it. / (root) partition must be mounted on /mnt directory. Also, you would need to initialize the swap partition.

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

swapon /dev/sda2

If you have additional partitions, then those need to be mounted on the respective directories on /mnt. For Ex: /home partition needs to be mounted on /mnt/home.

Step 7: Install Arch Linux Base System

Now, its time to install Arch Linux base system.

pacstrap /mnt/ base base-devel
Install Arch Linux 2018 - Install Arch Linux Base System
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Install Arch Linux Base System

The installation will take at least 15 to 30 minutes to complete depending upon your internet speed.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Arch Linux Installation in Progress
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Arch Linux Installation in Progress

The below message confirms you that the Arch Linux Installation has been completed successfully.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Arch Linux Installation Completed
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Arch Linux Installation Completed

Step 8: Create fstab

After the base installation, generate the fstab file for the system using the genfstab command.

genfstab /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Verify the fstab entries using the below command.

cat /mnt/etc/fstab

Screenshot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Generate fstab Entries
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Generate fstab Entries

Step 9: Arch Linux System Configuration

To configure Arch Linux further, you must chroot to the new system. The chroot changes the root directory for the current running process and their children

arch-chroot /mnt

Step 10: Set System Language

You can configure the system language by uncommenting the required languages from /etc/locale.gen file.

vi /etc/locale.gen

Uncomment en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 for American-English.

Install Arch Linux 2018 - System Language Selection
Install Arch Linux 2018 – System Language Selection

Generate the locale.

locale-gen
Install Arch Linux 2018 - Generate Locale
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Generate Locale

Set the system locale by placing the LANG variable in /etc/locale.conf file.

echo "LANG=en_US.UTF-8"  > /etc/locale.conf

Step 11: Set Timezone

Now, configure the system time zone by creating a symlink of your timezone to /etc/localtime file.

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Central /etc/localtime

You can find the available timezones under /usr/share/zoneinfo directory.

ls /usr/share/zoneinfo
Install Arch Linux 2018 - Timezone Details
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Timezone Details

Also, set the hardware clock to UTC.

hwclock --systohc --utc

Step 12: Set Hostname

Place the system hostname in /etc/hostname file.

echo "archlinux.itzgeek.local" > /etc/hostname

Step 13: Set root password

Use the passwd command in the terminal to set the root password.

passwd

Step 14: Install GRUB Boot Loader

Arch Linux requires boot loader to boot the system. You can install grub boot loader using the below commands.

pacman -S grub

grub-install /dev/sda

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Screenshot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Install GRUB Boot Loader
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Install GRUB Boot Loader

Step 15: Reboot

Exit from chroot system and then reboot.

exit
reboot

Screenshot:

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Reboot
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Reboot

Once the reboot is complete, you would get the Arch Linux login prompt. Log in as the root user and the password you set during the os installation (step 13).

Install Arch Linux 2018 - Arch Linux Login
Install Arch Linux 2018 – Arch Linux Login

That’s All.

Further Reading

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