User:Larivact/old-drafts/Getting and installing Arch

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Comment: New draft for Getting and installing Arch, see Talk:Getting and installing Arch#Merge and rewrite.

Download the installation medium

The installation medium and its GnuPG signature can be acquired through the links on the Download page.

Depending on the desired installation environment download either the ISO image for the live environment or the bootstrap image for installing from an existing Linux system.

Verify signature

It is recommended to verify the image signature before use, especially when downloading from an HTTP mirror, because mirrors could be malicious and HTTP is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks (unless you use HTTPS).

On a system with GnuPG installed, do this by downloading the PGP signature directly from the Download page (under Checksums) to the ISO directory, and verifying it with:

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --keyserver-options auto-key-retrieve --verify archlinux-<version>-x86_64.iso.sig

Alternatively, run pacman-key -v archlinux-<version>-x86_64.iso.sig from an existing Arch Linux installation as root.

Keep in mind:

  • The signature itself could be manipulated if it is downloaded from a mirror site, instead of from archlinux.org as above. In this case, ensure that the public key, which is used to decode the signature, is signed by another, trustworthy key. The gpg command will output the fingerprint of the public key.
  • Another method to verify the authenticity of the signature is to ensure that the public key's fingerprint is identical to the key fingerprint of the Arch Linux developer who signed the ISO-file. See Wikipedia:Public-key cryptography for more information on the public-key process to authenticate keys.

Installation environments

Arch Linux can be installed from two environments:

Live environment
The live environment can be booted from a USB flash drive, an optical disc or a network with PXE.
  • Pointing the current boot device to a drive containing the Arch installation media is typically achieved by pressing a key during the POST phase, as indicated on the splash screen. Refer to your motherboard's manual for details.
  • When the Arch menu appears, select Boot Arch Linux and press Enter to enter the installation environment.
  • See README.bootparams for a list of boot parameters, and packages.x86_64 for a list of included packages.
Existing Linux system
Instead of using the live environment, Arch Linux can also be installed from an existing Linux system.

Special installation methods

If you intend to install Arch Linux as the sole operating system on the computer, on bare-metal, with physical access and an internet connection, you can skip this section.

Multi-booting
Arch Linux can be installed alongside other operating systems like Windows or OS X.
Virtual machine
Arch Linux can be installed in a virtual machine, ideal for learning and testing. See also Moving an existing install into (or out of) a virtual machine and Arch Linux VPS.
Via SSH
Once the live environment is booted and SSH is started and enabled for root, the installation can be completed via SSH.
Offline
The pacstrap script used in Installation guide#Install the base packages requires an internet connection. When none is available, see Offline installation.