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 belong in wiki articles or upstream documentation which describe 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.
  • 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 12:16, 25 July 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)

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)

BG merge

Progress on Talk:Beginners'_guide#The_Great_Merge is below. Note that content is not copied literally from the BG, but kept in the style and spirit of the IG. This keeps a clear overview of the various steps; if more detailed instructions are required, these belong in dedicated articles. -- Alad (talk) 23:32, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

The merge is done. -- Alad (talk) 11:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, I thought this was too big of a change not to take this chance to thank you and all those who contributed to discussing and implementing this task during the past years!! — Kynikos (talk) 11:05, 24 August 2016 (UTC)


Introduction [✔]
  1. Preparation
    1. UEFI mode [✔]
    2. Set the keyboard layout [✔]
    3. Connect to the internet [✔]
    4. Update the system clock [✔]
  2. Prepare the storage devices
    1. Identify the devices [✔]
    2. Partition the devices [✔]
    3. Format the partitions [✔]
    4. Mount the partitions [✔]
  3. Installation
    1. Select the mirrors [✔]
    2. Install the base packages [✔]
  4. Configuration
    1. fstab [✔]
    2. Change root [✔]
    3. Locale [✔]
    4. Time [✔]
    5. Initramfs [✔]
    6. Boot loader [✔]
    7. Network configuration [✔]
      1. Hostname [✔]
      2. Wired [✔]
      3. Wireless [✔]
    8. Root password [✔]
  5. Unmount the partitions and reboot [✔]
  6. Post-installation [✔]

Switch to systemd-networkd

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

Dual-boot with windows

In the Beginners' guide, this is mentioned in Beginners'_guide#Format_the_partitions, but perhaps this should be linked earlier, e.g. in Installation guide#Pre-installation. -- Alad (talk) 12:08, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

What about Installation_guide#Partition_the_disks? — Kynikos (talk) 09:51, 26 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)

Main page link

Before redirecting we have to decide at least how to rebalance the links in the Main page: what about also removing the Arch Linux press coverage link from the left colum? That article is pretty much unmaintained anyway, we can give it more backlinks from somewhere else. — Kynikos (talk) 11:04, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

+1 from me -- Alad (talk) 11:30, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Let's not forget that we must also patch the main home page. — Kynikos (talk) 10:14, 13 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)



From /u/youguess:

  • Verify the boot mode tells you to check efivars but doesn't give the expected output (if none, no UEFI)
  • Connect to the internet, maybe direct link to wireless?
  • Mount the partion was easier to follow in the beginners guide, what I kind of miss is the explicit command example of first creating and then mounting a subdir of root (yes I know that it should be clear how to do that, but it wasn't for me at first before I read about what chrooting does)
  • Initramfs, maybe add some examples like "eg encrypting/btrfs hook" so that beginners know what it is for?

-- Alad (talk) 11:38, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

I would also say the biggest pain points are the partitioning, filesystem and mount sections
Connect to the Internet
"For other network configuration, ..." is badly worded
There is no mention of wireless networks
Partition the disks
A section on how to identify the devices is completely missing
The old page provided a very succinct introduction to partitioning, clear examples as well as appropriate warnings that data loss will incur if used incorrectly
The new page provides none of that, rather linking to many separate pages not as extra information or for less common use cases as is common in the Beginners' guide but rather as the only way to accomplish the task, it never actually answers the question "What do I need to do?"
Format the partitions
Similar story again, the new guide fails to answer the question "What do I need to do?", it abstracts away to the page on filesystem article that bombards a new user with 16 different filesystems instead of the common case the beginners guide provided: it mentioned explicitly it's recommended to use ext4
Mount the partitions
Instead of providing two short examples the user is asked to read the manpage for mount, for a beginner this is pretty unnecessary. They're then told to create directories but not told how
Minor but I would think it's generally preferable to use -U as in the Beginners' guide since new users probably won't alter the command themselves
Time Zone
"other operating systems should be configured accordingly." - Why/How?
If a user doesn't know what they are yet, they may not know which are needed
Again needing to read manpages instead of a short example
Network Configuration
Network configuration covers setting the hostname in better detail than the Hostname section, perhaps it can be just covered there instead of in the install guide also.
It's not mentioned that most users don't need to worry about this section
--Alexendoo (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
w:Virtual console usage is probably too basic/essential to keep as a Tip on the elinks page. It should be mentioned in the introduction instead. -- Alad (talk) 19:10, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Small suggestion

I think in Partition the disks section should be also mentioned cfdisk as its much easier for beginners and in Install the base packages section should be also mentioned base-devel package group. --Conder (talk) 15:44, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Whether cfdisk is easier for beginners depends on the person using it; for instance, someone on IRC was installing Arch for the first time and found the menu-based approach of gdisk more straightforward than the "GUI" of cgdisk. That said, we might as well link to the man page.
For base-devel, see #Let.27s_mention_filesystem_tools_in_pacstrap_step. -- Alad (talk) 17:17, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
We might as well link to the fdisk page instead, which covers all 6 tools; cf. [13]. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, though the article mentions "This article covers fdisk and its related sfdisk and cfdisk utilities, as well as the analogous gdisk, sgdisk and cgdisk utilities" but misses the promised cfdisk/cgdisk sections. I guess there's not that much to explain anyway, cf. cfdisk(8) "Note that cfdisk provides basic partitioning functionality with a user-friendly interface. If you need advanced features, use fdisk(8) instead."
Updated links with [14] -- Alad (talk) 18:05, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
This said, one benefit of using man templates is that the format remains useful for install.txt, contrary to wiki links which are converted to plain text. -- Alad (talk) 20:07, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

A note for Xen users

For Xen PV VMs, the hwclock --systohc --utc command does not need to be run. Please update the article. RudyValencia (talk) 12:07, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

This guide isn't meant to account for every special use case a user might have. Add something to the Time article if you think this is relevant. -- Alad (talk) 13:09, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
On second thought, I assume this applies to other virtual machines as well? -- Alad (talk) 13:35, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
To be honest, running hwclock --systohc --utc is hardly required if you plan to run a desktop enviroment, since most DEs can automatically set up your clock. But I agree that this should better be stated in the Time article Jujstme (talk) 14:38, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
It's something that could fit General recommendations, yeah. That said, I'd say people should at least know on the UTC/localtime difference. -- Alad (talk) 16:47, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

LVM and partitioning clarification

I guess that it's worth mentioning that now (as on 23th of August, 2016) lvm2 package automatically installs and it needs to be removed/skipped if not utilized since it would make grub-mkconfig operate incorrectly and lead to unbootable OS. Also, beginners' guide had a small example how to do partitioning using parted, now there's none, not in this guide nor in beginners' one.

—This unsigned comment is by ThePanda (talk) 04:38, 23 August 2016. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

The lvm2 package has been part of the base group since at least 2008 so the problem is hardly at its side. The description of using parted is on the parted page, which is linked from both guides. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:13, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

"Other partitions may be needed" - needs expanding

I suggest adding a short list of the situations where one might need to add a special partition to the disk. Knowing the pitfalls can save a lot of time.

For example, I recently installed Arch on a BTRFS RAID 1 array. I had planned to use Syslinux (my normal choice) but didn't find out until after installing that Syslinux doesn't support BTRFS multi-device. So I tried switching to GRUB, but of course I hadn't put a 1MB partition at the beginning of the drive. I had to wipe everything and start over. So just a short paragraph or (better still) a table here would be helpful - it could show the system configurations that different bootloaders support, and the various partitioning schemes that they require.

At the very least, it would be helpful to see "Check to make sure your system configuration is supported by your intended bootloader, and find out whether it will require additional partitions before you partition your disk."

afontenot (talk) 02:49, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

It seems this issue is hidden away as a Troubleshooting item in Syslinux#Btrfs_multi-device. First, it should be made more prominent in Btrfs#Multi-device_file_system and possibly RAID.
For the table, we could expand on the existing one in Category:Boot loaders. Establishing a relation between file systems and boot loaders as you propose sounds good though. -- Alad (talk) 06:05, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
It would have been enough to read the first sentence of the syslinux page. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 06:39, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Good point; I've fixed the link to not only point to the ext4 section of the syslinux wiki: [15]. I also think it doesn't hurt repeating, see: [16], [17] -- Alad (talk) 10:18, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Glad to see it's been added to the syslinux page - it wasn't when I did the install a month and a half ago. afontenot (talk) 07:07, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

"Boot loader" - clarification

I suggest to briefly expand the Boot Loader section. Since GRUB is probably the easiest boot loader to configure for a beginner, just a simple sentence that clarifies that could be enough. Jujstme (talk) 15:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

"Connect to the Internet" is not properly explained

It says: "check the connection using a tool such as ping(8)." But ping's man page is huge with lots of options of the ping command detailed. But nowhere does it have a simple example such as "ping" which is exactly what someone trying to check the internet connection would need. The above line should be replaced with how it was in the Beginner's Guide: "Verify a connection was established, for example with ping".

Basic wired and wireless connection scenarios should be on the installation page itself like it was in the Beginner's Guide.

"When using either service, stop dhcpcd@interface.service:" What is an interface? It's not explained here. Should be explained like it was in the Beginner's Guide: "Interfaces can be listed using ip link, or iw dev for wireless devices. They are prefixed with en (ethernet), wl (WLAN), or ww (WWAN)." And the command should also come with a concrete example like the Beginner's Guide was: "# systemctl stop dhcpcd@enp0s25.service". H0x0d (talk) 19:58, 24 August 2016 (UTC)