Talk:Installation guide

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Read this first before adding new suggestions

  • The point of this page is to be a concise checklist of things to be done. Detailed instructions, if they are not specific to the installation process only, belong in wiki articles or upstream documentation describing the respective topics.
  • Should you have more complex changes for this guide in mind, create a copy on your user page, and link it here for review; e.g. User:Example/Installation guide.
  • systemd tools such as hostnamectl, timedatectl and localectl do not work in the installation chroot environment, so please do not propose to use them in the guide unless you can prove that they have been made to work also in that case. See [1], [2], [3] and [4] for some past discussions about this issue.
  • localectl list-keymaps does not work due to bug FS#46725. For the chosen replacement command, see [5].

-- The ArchWiki Administrators 22:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

"See foo" vs "See the foo article"

[Moved from Talk:Beginners' guide. -- Alad (talk) 20:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)]

This revision [6] added a new mention of "See the foo article", rather than the more common "See foo". I'd argue former is the better form, and when the guide is viewed from a .txt (if the BG/IG merge completes), the longer wording makes sense as well. Are there opinions against using the longer form throughout the BG? -- Alad (talk) 00:13, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm neutral, so that doesn't count as an opinion against ^^ That said, the long form can only be used with links to entire articles, but more difficultly with links to specific sections such as "See also Pacman#pacman crashes the official installation media", since in those cases a more natural-sounding long form should be something like "See also the 'pacman crashes the official installation media' section of the Pacman article", I think, which is clearly ugly to see and use, so consistency is a bit hard to reach. — Kynikos (talk) 16:13, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I guess the proper solution would be to incorporate links in the article text where possible. "See X" gets repetitive fast, anyway. -- Alad (talk) 14:44, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm actually here because when viewing the text format I was trying to figure out what the heck packages.both was I thought it might have been a meta package or something. -- Y2kbugger (talk) 17:36, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Ideally packages.both would be a file path, but I'm not sure it's present in the live environment. -- Alad (talk) 18:13, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

pacman-key --populate

[Moved from Talk:Beginners' guide. -- Alad (talk) 20:38, 12 July 2016 (UTC)]

Reference: I tried to install Archlinux on my new computer and got stuck. Only using the pacman-key --populate archlinux helped me. I think I am not the only one having this problem. But why did you undo it? —This unsigned comment is by Sandstorm (talk) 20:38, 12 December 2015‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

This command is already run for the new system (by installation of archlinux-keyring), so running it by hand shouldn't be required for most users. Of course, things can go wrong (how old was the ISO you used to install the system?), but that belongs in Troubleshooting sections of the respective articles, which are linked at the beginning of the guide. -- Alad (talk) 19:52, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I had downloaded the ISO just yesterday, minutes before the install. Only that command installed the keys. Probably I should open a bug if you can confirm the issue?
Did you have to run pacman-key after, or before pacstrap? And do you recall what the error messages said exactly? (See also FS#31286) -- Alad (talk) 20:15, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I had to run after pacstrap. As far as I remember, pacstrap stopped after trying to download the keys. The error message was something like shown in this forum post:
Well then, as you suggested, I'd open a bug report. -- Alad (talk) 20:34, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Done. Could you check if the description is good. I could not find an appropriate category, so I though Packages:Core might be the closest one. --Sandstorm (talk) 20:48, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, the description looks OK. If the category e.a is not right, User:Scimmia should fix it. :P -- Alad (talk) 13:59, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, looks like it was closed with "Works for me" ... not very enlightening. All I can suggest is to further improve on Pacman/Package signing and related articles, and recheck if they're accessible enough from the Beginners' guide. -- Alad (talk) 21:59, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

timesyncd: add manual date

[Moved from Talk:Beginners' guide. -- Alad (talk) 20:44, 12 July 2016 (UTC)]

While the right time isn't as important in the live system as in the installed one, it may still be unexpected to users [7]. We could instead instruct to specify a date explicitly to timedatectl. -- Alad (talk) 11:25, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Is the issue setting the time manually or just setting the time zone? The change you linked to just had setting the time zone. -- Rdeckard (talk) 01:29, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, with setting it manually you'd kill two birds with one stone. The time would be what users expect, but without adding an extra step of little consequence. -- Alad (talk) 18:35, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Switch to systemd-networkd

Next ISOs may use systemd-networkd instead of dhcpcd, see [8] -- Alad (talk) 10:26, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

The Great Merge

[Moved from Talk:Beginners' guide. — Kynikos (talk) 11:11, 24 August 2016 (UTC)]

#Plan reaches closure, and the Beginners' guide is now comparable in size to the Installation guide. "Cleanup day" [9] would be a good time to start the merge of both guides, and replace the Beginners' guide, together with translations on this domain, to redirections to the Installation guide.

It would be preferable if before then, a TU or dev also brings this up on arch-dev-public for input from the developers, also regarding #Page protection. -- Alad (talk) 14:25, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree with extending the redirection to the translations, with the exception of 4 which are actively maintained or have been retranslated recently, so I've flagged them to see if their maintainers want to deal with the merge on their own: Beginners' guide (العربية), Beginners' guide (Español), Beginners' guide (Русский) and Beginners' guide (简体中文). — Kynikos (talk) 10:58, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I will take care of Beginners' guide (简体中文). --Fengchao (talk) 06:21, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Note that typically content is rewritten in the Installation guide, rather than taken literally from the Beginners' guide (see Talk:Installation_guide#BG_merge), so my suggestion is to focus translation efforts on the Installation guide, rather than the Beginners' guide. -- Alad (talk) 17:44, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I've redirected all translations apart from the above. -- Alad (talk) 18:50, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
There are still some pages left: [10] -- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I've just handled those, but there's more to do at [11]. — Kynikos (talk) 10:38, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
What's the point of redirecting templates to regular pages? [12] Lahwaacz (talk) 07:59, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
We were discussing that in ArchWiki_talk:Administrators#How_to_archive_templates, we had a half-baked solution, maybe we should just put it to the vote. — Kynikos (talk) 14:28, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Oops, 154 days and still no reply from me, sorry about that... Thanks for your patience and strong nerves for the future, because unfortunately it's far from being the worst case of my this-year-maybe discussions :P
In this case, I'd say that the templates can be simply deleted: it's fairly trivial transclusion of one <div> and a couple of links, without any MediaWiki hacks, which can be recreated any time if needed. There is also pretty low probability that beginners' guides will be allowed in the near (less than 10 years) future in general, let alone split across multiple pages requiring navigational template. And if it's needed sometime in the next century, they will most likely have something better than MediaWiki's obscure template syntax.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:13, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
These redirected templates are a very marginal problem IMO, I don't mind if they stay as redirects or are deleted, but only because the fact that ArchWiki_talk:Administrators#How_to_archive_templates is still open justifies deciding case by case for the moment. Note that as redirects they don't pollute Special:UnusedTemplates. I wouldn't like to promote deletion as the official default template archiving method though, but I agree with delaying the resolution of that discussion, there are other priorities right now. — Kynikos (talk) 13:57, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
So I've taken the chance and deleted the BG navigation templates. Let's wait for ArchWiki_talk:Administrators#How_to_archive_templates with the general decision, hopefully this year... -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:06, 25 July 2016 (UTC)


The translations of the Main page should be updated along with the English page. Also the backlinks of the BG translations should be cleaned as much as possible, as that might be somewhat confusing for future translators. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:45, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Oh jolly... can we automate this with a bot somehow? -- Alad (talk) 18:12, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I haven't been doing any natural language processing yet, but if you feel like teaching my bot Chinese, please help yourself :)
Just kidding, I could probably make some semi-automatic assistant to at least quickly find and mark the links and open vimdiff for manual editing.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:23, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I've fixed most of the backlinks to the english article, as well as the translated Main page articles. For the backlinks to translations I could definitely use the help of an assistant. :P -- Alad (talk) 00:35, 27 August 2016 (UTC)



Initramfs, maybe add some examples like "eg encrypting/btrfs hook" so that beginners know what it is for? -- /u/youguess

I'm not sure how to best word this. Installation_guide#Partition_the_disks mentions:
If wanting to create any stacked block devices for LVM, disk encryption or RAID, do it now.
and each of those articles mention you need to edit mkinitcpio.conf already. "When" may be an unfortunate wording, however - since this step is indeed optional. See also #Initramfs. -- Alad (talk) 18:34, 26 August 2016 (UTC)


I've left some notes in User:Alad/Sandbox#Installation guide, if anyone is interested in making suggestions. -- Alad (talk) 09:49, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

edit: moved notes to here. -- Alad (talk) 12:05, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Style undefined, see Help_talk:Reading#Mention_tab_completion.3F
(The goal is to kill all running instances of dhcpcd to avoid conflicts; interface names are tangential)

systemd-firstboot for locale, timezone, and hostname?

systemd-firstboot works in a arch-chroot environment. I've tested it on a new installation. There are a couple of ways that it can be used. I think the simplest is:

# systemd-firstboot --prompt

There the program prompts a user to select a locale from a list of generate locales, the timezone (again from a list of available), and set the hostname. The program outputs what changes are made when performed. For example, when setting the timezone it states /etc/localtime written.

A section that used this method might look like this User:Rdeckard/Firstboot, replacing the current locale, timezone, and hostname sections. Rdeckard (talk) 16:16, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

I see two downsides to this:
  • The steps are no longer logically separated, i.e. you set the hostname as part of systemd-firstboot and /etc/hosts manually, similar for /etc/locale.gen
  • If systemd-firstboot breaks - which isn't unreasonable to expect, since localectl is broken since a year - we have to undo the change again.
I also had some concern about it abstracting away too much, but that should be covered by the "output changes that are made" part. -- Alad (talk) 23:20, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, those are good points. I'm in agreement it's probably best not to use systemd-firstboot in the guide for now. -- Rdeckard (talk) 13:58, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Wireless Configuration

The advice for wireless network setup to refer to the wireless networking page in the Wiki could present a new user with a significant hurdle to overcome. The ARCH ISO contains wifi-menu, which should be sufficient for most purposes to establish a wireless network conneciton. I propose that informaton be added to the networking section at the start of the page stating:

For wireless connections, iw(8), wpa_supplicant(8) and netctl are available. See Wireless network configuration. The ARCH ISO makes wifi-menu available. The wifi-menu programme should be sufficiently powerful for most users to establish a connection to a known WiFi network. —This unsigned comment is by Deggy (talk) 11:49, 18 October 2016‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

My eventual plan is to propose a man page for wifi_menu, then we can just link to that one instead of netctl. -- Alad (talk) 10:32, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
That would be great, I'd try to help; welcome to drop me a note about it. In the meantime I'd be +1 to Deggy's suggestion. Simplest way for new Archers, most of them will be used to a distro automatically enabling a network tool. Likewise, a simple sentence above it ala "see dhcpcd#Running for a quick start and Network configuration for free choice." would make it simpler for those wired users. --Indigo (talk) 10:33, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Though I disagree on another link to dhcpcd in Installation_guide#Network_configuration; attentive users will have noticed that it is the method used in the installation environment, and Installation_guide#Configure_the_system specifically avoids recommending particular software choices for the new system (due to endless bickering in our user base on what's "best" or "recommended").
Regarding wifi-menu, its usage is poorly covered even in the netctl article (Netctl#Wireless_.28WPA-PSK.29 doesn't even mention how to select an interface) so that, or said man page, should be fixed first in my view. -- Alad (talk) 22:38, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
[13] Well, in this case "The dhcpcd daemon is enabled on boot for wired devices,.." should be changed to "On the installation image the dhcpcd daemon is enabled on boot for wired devices,...", because the crosslink helps a new user more than the udev rule and it currently suggests a non-existent default. Likewise, Installation guide#Network configuration should clarify it again with "The newly installed environment has no network connection activated per default. See Network configuration to configure one." --Indigo (talk) 00:00, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable and would also strike off one point in #Notes. :) I think the link to the udev rule is still useful though, perhaps suitable for the wired word. -- Alad (talk) 02:13, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
[14] @Deggy: Your suggestion not fully picked up yet, but for now wifi-menu is directly mentioned behind the netctl link. --Indigo (talk) 18:01, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

UEFI Fstab

Quote: Check the resulting file in /mnt/etc/fstab afterwards, and edit it in case of errors.

Addition: For UEFI booted system, you might want to change the last column from 2 to 0 to disable EFI (vat) file system checking. Mkinitcpio's initramfs by default does not include fsck.vfat, rendering your Arch Linux installation unable to boot after the first unclean shutdown.

Even after changing /etc/mkinitcpio.conf its BINARIES= line to include fsck.vfat you might not want a server to prompt for clearing the Dirty bit after an unclean shutdown.

File a bug to arch-install-scripts. The installation guide is not the place for these workarounds. -- Alad (talk) 00:17, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

The "initramfs" section should mention the prerequisites for booting from an encrypted root partition

Encrypting partitions is commonplace with many Linux distributions, and certainly advisable for basically everyone to do. Therefore, I would like to suggest adding at least one sentence to the "initramfs" section regarding the prerequisites for booting from such a partition - when I installed Arch, I did not find such instructions:

If you opted to install Arch on an encrypted root partition, you need to edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf to add hooks for decrypting the root partition at boot time:


HOOKS="base udev autodetect modconf block keymap encrypt filesystems keyboard fsck shutdown"

BTW: I wonder whether it is required to include modules like dm_crypt manually to the mkinitcpio.conf

In the "boot loader" section, the required addition for booting from encrypted partitions should also be mentioned:

If you opted to install Arch on an encrypted root partition, you need to tell the boot loader to use kernel cmdline that mentions the relevant encrypted partition. For GRUB, this would look like:



--Lvml (talk) 16:52, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

These instructions are covered on the dm-crypt page and its subpages. This page covers only the basic installation procedure, for various other methods see Category:Getting and installing Arch. Closing. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:53, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes.. hmmm... since I had looked for that information and did not find it during the installation, I now looked once again, and I think I know now why I did not spot it at first: The link to "Dm-crypt/System_configuration" looks so similar to the section "Dm-crypt#System_configuration" that I had quite simply assumed to already be in the right place. Ok, now I know there are both sections and sub-pages sharing the same name... :-) --Lvml (talk) 18:51, 18 March 2017 (UTC)