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)

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)

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)
Installation guide#Partition the disks now links to Partitioning#Partition scheme, which in turn links to Dual_boot_with_Windows. I suppose we could link to Dual_boot_with_Windows directly and add a summary: "When dual-booting with Windows, special precautions must be taken such as leaving an existing EFI System Partition intact, and avoiding UEFI with MBR partitioning or BIOS with GPT partitioning.", but I'm not sure if that's strictly needed. -- Alad (talk) 12:21, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Why not be more generic with "If dual-booting with Windows, leave an existing EFI System Partition intact; see Dual boot with Windows for more caveats."? — Kynikos (talk) 14:56, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Or you could kill all the flies with one shot by linking to Category:Getting and installing Arch for the extra schemes. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:47, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Great idea, added an entry with [9]. Not sure what to put in the "Conditions" column; patches welcome. :) -- Alad (talk) 18:04, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
If the column entry should be extended, we can discuss it in the category talk. Thanks for the input, closing -- Alad (talk) 09:45, 22 September 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" [10] 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: [11] -- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I've just handled those, but there's more to do at [12]. — Kynikos (talk) 10:38, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
What's the point of redirecting templates to regular pages? [13] 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) -- Alad (talk) 05:46, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, the links on reddit were fixed, as well as phrik factoids in the IRC channel. Let's hope the main page patch gets merged before next year. :P -- Alad (talk) 22:31, 2 September 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)


For reference, see [14] for the last revision of the Beginners' guide before the redirect. -- Alad (talk) 10:00, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Partition the disks

A section on how to identify the devices is completely missing

[15], [16] - it made no sense to have this hidden away in Core utilities#lsblk. -- Alad (talk) 21:25, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

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?"

--Alexendoo (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

It doesn't tell you what you need to do, it assumes that you know that and it therefore provides the steps in the correct order. This is consistent with documentation for competent users. Jasonwryan (talk) 06:04, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Is [17] acceptable for both parties? -- Alad (talk) 21:44, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
No response so I can assume it is. Closing -- Alad (talk) 09:49, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

In my opinion it is worth mentioning that this is at this stage that the user will decide between a swap partition and a swap file, and link to the Swap page. Also, we should maintain consistency for naming the swap space: Swap talks about a swap space whereas the Installation guide mentions swap area or swap device. Finally, it could be mentioned that the Partitioning page contains partition scheme suggestions. zeb (talk) 11:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Good points. For the swap terms, see [18] and [19] -- Alad (talk) 14:44, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Swap partition vs. swap file is mentioned with [20] -- Alad (talk) 23:10, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

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

--Alexendoo (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

It tells you you need to format the partitions that you just created. How you do that is up to you. Again, a level of competency is assumed. Jasonwryan (talk) 06:08, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
One short example, similar to the one added to Installation_guide#Mount_the_file_systems, could not do any harm though. (zeb (talk) 09:31, 3 September 2016 (UTC))
Via [21]. I've also extended the File systems article. [22] Closing -- Alad (talk) 14:46, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

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

--Alexendoo (talk) 12:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Beginners, like everyone else, are expected to read man pages; that isn't "unnecessary". Jasonwryan (talk) 06:10, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Regarding "mount" I think we should link to Mount from the installation guide and then we can link to the manpage from there. -- Rdeckard (talk) 12:31, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Ok, though we should make some edits to the mount article. It's structured oddly, e.g the first section is a convoluted zgrep line.
For the examples, the main reason I've left them out is because the Beginners' guide used a horrid "/dev/sdxy, where x is ... and y ..." scheme. Though if you're following along, it should be pretty clear what a command like mount /dev/sda1 /mnt means. -- Alad (talk) 13:32, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I've proposed to merge the Mount article to File systems, see Talk:Mount#Merge to file systems. -- Alad (talk) 14:49, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

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) -- /u/youguess

I also wonder on the sentence "If you want them to be detected by genfstab". /boot will have to be mounted either way to write the kernel to the boot partition, for example. -- Alad (talk) 18:52, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

We could link "create directories" to the man page for mkdir mkdir(1). (zeb (talk) 09:31, 3 September 2016 (UTC))

I wonder if it would make more sense to expand Help:Reading to mention mkdir. We already rely on it implicitely ("edit", "uncomment", "create", etc.) -- Alad (talk) 15:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
mkdir is a command; "edit", "uncomment", "create" etc., are actions that can be accomplished with a variety of different commands. If we are to create entries for every basic command, we may as well rename this the GNU/Linux wiki. Jasonwryan (talk) 03:22, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I've linked "Create directories" to Core_utilities#mkdir; it's not straightforward to use man templates as wiki links (see Template_talk:Man). For Help:Reading, it's not a far stretch to go from "Create a file" to "Create a directory", so I've opened an item in Help_talk:Reading#Creating_directories. -- Alad (talk) 12:07, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


It's not mentioned that most users don't need to worry about this section

--Alexendoo (talk) 12:28, 24 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)

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)

Relation between /boot filesystem and boot loader

As suggested in #Other partitions may be needed" - needs expanding, it could be helpful to indicate the relation between /boot file system and Category:Boot loaders early in the article, e.g.:

File systems are created using mkfs(8), or mkswap(8) in case of the swap area. The /boot file system must be supported by the chosen #Boot loader.

-- Alad (talk) 22:25, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Mentioned in File systems with [23], the hint is given by "formatted with an appropriate file system". Closing -- Alad (talk) 14:48, 17 September 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)


In Hostname section is mistake on 4th line. The localhost IP is, not --Conder (talk) 15:43, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

It's not an entry for localhost, but for myhostname. See Network_configuration#Local_network_hostname_resolution. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:14, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter since the full range (i.e. 127.*.*.*) is reserved for loopback: see w:Localhost#Name_resolution. The choice of is in line with Debian, see [24] and [25] for some discussion on the issue. -- Alad (talk) 13:51, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Is creation of /etc/adjtime needed?

Under Installation_guide#Time_zone we have an hwclock command that generates /etc/adjtime, setting the hardware clock to UTC. Is this necessary since systemd already assumes the hardware clock is UTC (Time#Time_standard)?

Also, is --utc supposed to be italicized in the command? There's no indication to the user on what other option would be placed there. The only other option I think is --localtime. If neither flag is given, then the default is UTC. Rdeckard (talk) 15:56, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm using LOCAL. There's a good reason to not use it, IOW to not explain how to use it by the installation guide.
$ timedatectl status | tail -6
Warning: The system is configured to read the RTC time in the local time zone.
         This mode can not be fully supported. It will create various problems
         with time zone changes and daylight saving time adjustments. The RTC
         time is never updated, it relies on external facilities to maintain it.
         If at all possible, use RTC in UTC by calling
         'timedatectl set-local-rtc 0'.
Ralf mardorf (talk) 17:47, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Right. My point was, does hwclock even need to be called since UTC is the default? Also I think --utc being italicized is a typo, since that indicates a pseudovariable. Rdeckard (talk) 18:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

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)