Difference between revisions of "Archboot"

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2012.10 „2k12-R4“
2013.03 „2k13-R1“
* major update/cleanup on all components
* major update/cleanup on all components
* kernel 3.6.2 / LTS kernel 3.0.46
* kernel 3.8.3 / LTS kernel 3.0.69
* pacman 4.0.3 usage
* pacman 4.0.3 usage
* RAM recommendations: 768 MB
* RAM recommendations: 768 MB
====Kernel changes====
====Kernel changes====
* bump to latest 3.6.x series and bump lts to latest 3.0.x series
* bump to latest 3.8.x series and bump lts to latest 3.0.x series
====Environment changes====
====Environment changes====
* changed UEFI booting on USB media to use gummiboot with EFISTUB,
* updated pacman mirrorlist
: for booting LTS kernels in UEFI use efilinux-efi
* replaced netcfg with netctl
* Removal of UEFI CD booting support (only UEFI USB is supported)
* removed ide-legacy hook
* added grub's iso loopback support
* replaced arch_virtio, arch_fw with block hook
: (below for example):
* replaced usbinput with keyboard hook
: iso_loop_dev=UUID=XXXX
* replaced dbus-core with dbus
: iso_loop_path=/blah/archboot.iso
* bump to latest mkinitcpio code
* added memdisk boot support (only in BIOS mode)
* bump syslinux from 4.x to 5.0
* change to zsh as default shell
* removed bind and dnsutils
* change to systemd live environment
* blacklist floppy module during boot
* replace binaries with corresponding symlinks, saves 40MB RAM
* synced with latest mkinitcpio changes
* replaced cpufreq with cpupower
* generate enough entropy for pacman with haveged during boot
* login with agetty autologin
* added arch-install-scripts, arch-wiki-lite, gpg-agent, grub(2), xl2tpd,
: usb_modeswitch, wvdial, amd and intel ucode,
: refind-efi, efilinux-efi and gummiboot-efi to live environment
* updated mirrorlist
* added memdisk support
* removed grub legacy
* removed rtc hook
====setup changes====
====setup changes====
* replaced netcfg network setup with netctl
: new network setup with netcfg
* always install netctl instead of netcfg
:  now supports wifi and lan setup
* replaced gummiboot-efi with gummiboot
* added checkspace before install packages
* removed initscripts compat mode
* use new crypttab syntax
* always install systemd-sysvcompat
* added 1MB gap on autoprepare between partitions,
* updated gummiboot install routine
: to avoid mdadm issues
* updated refind install routine
* added grub loopback and memdisk mount support
* removed persistent soundcard and network hack,
* added refind-efi, gummiboot-efi and efilinux-efi support
: systemd handles everything now.
* fixed unmounting of partitions on deeper locations
* no need to add hostname to /etc/hosts anymore
* fixed check on virtio media
* update to new config file layout
: in order to respect the rc.conf cleanup
* hide kernel messages during mounting
* hide parted errors during checks
* added PARTUUID and PARTLABEL support
* added option to copy pacman entropy to installed system
* added initscripts/systemd switch (default: systemd installation)
* more systemd fixes
* removed grub legacy
* fix permission on /sys and /proc during installation
====quickinst changes====
====quickinst changes====
* remove bootloader information
* removed initscripts compat mode
* added checkspace before install packages
* removed rc.conf hint
* added initscripts/systemd switch (default: systemd installation)
* removed double check on ntfs
* fix permission on /sys and /proc during installation

Revision as of 11:12, 18 March 2013


What is Archboot?

  • Archboot is a set of scripts to generate bootable media for CD/USB/PXE.
  • It is designed for installation or rescue operation.
  • It only runs in RAM, without any special filesystems like squashfs, thus it is limited to the RAM which is installed in your system.
pacman -S archboot

Archboot ISO Releases

Burning Release

Hybrid image file is a standard CD-burnable image and also a raw disk image.

  • Can be burned to CD(RW) media using most CD-burning utilities.
  • Can be raw-written to a drive using 'dd' or similar utilities. This method is intended for use with USB thumb drives.
'dd if=<imagefile> of=/dev/<yourdevice> bs=1M'

Supported boot modes of Archboot media

  • It supports BIOS booting with syslinux.
  • It supports UEFI booting with gummiboot and EFISTUB,
for booting LTS kernels with efilinux-efi .
(only UEFI USB is supported, UEFI CD booting is not supported!)
  • It supports grub's iso loopback support.
variables used (below for example):
  • It supports booting using syslinux's memdisk (only in BIOS mode).

PXE booting / Rescue system

Download 2012.10 „2k12-R4“ needed files from the directory.

  • vmlinuz_i686 + initramfs_i686.img (i686)
  • vmlinuz_x86_64 + initramfs_x86_64.img(x86_64)
  • vmlinuz_i686_lts + initramfs_i686.img (i686 LTS kernel)
  • vmlinuz_x86_64_lts + initramfs_x86_64.img (x86_64 LTS kernel)
  • For PXE booting add the kernel and initrd to your tftp setup and you will get a running installation/rescue system.
  • For Rescue booting add an entry to your bootloader pointing to the kernel and initrd.


2013.03 „2k13-R1“

  • major update/cleanup on all components


  • kernel 3.8.3 / LTS kernel 3.0.69
  • pacman 4.0.3 usage
  • RAM recommendations: 768 MB

Kernel changes

  • bump to latest 3.8.x series and bump lts to latest 3.0.x series

Environment changes

  • updated pacman mirrorlist
  • replaced netcfg with netctl
  • removed ide-legacy hook
  • replaced arch_virtio, arch_fw with block hook
  • replaced usbinput with keyboard hook
  • replaced dbus-core with dbus
  • bump to latest mkinitcpio code
  • bump syslinux from 4.x to 5.0
  • removed bind and dnsutils
  • blacklist floppy module during boot

setup changes

  • replaced netcfg network setup with netctl
  • always install netctl instead of netcfg
  • replaced gummiboot-efi with gummiboot
  • removed initscripts compat mode
  • always install systemd-sysvcompat
  • updated gummiboot install routine
  • updated refind install routine
  • removed persistent soundcard and network hack,
systemd handles everything now.
  • no need to add hostname to /etc/hosts anymore

quickinst changes

  • removed initscripts compat mode
  • removed rc.conf hint
  • removed double check on ntfs


History of old releases can be found here.

The difference to the archiso install media

  • It provides an additional interactive setup and quickinst script.
  • It contains [core] repository on media.
  • It provides the long time support kernel as boot and installation option.
  • It runs a modified Arch Linux system in initramfs.
  • It is restricted to RAM usage, everything which is not necessary like
man or info pages etc. is not provided.
  • It doesn't mount anything during boot process.

Interactive setup features

  • Media and Network installation mode
  • Changing keymap and consolefont
  • Changing time and date
  • Setup network with netcfg
  • Preparing storage disk, like auto-prepare, partitioning, GUID (gpt) support, 4k sector drive support etc.
  • Creation of software raid/raid partitions, lvm2 devices and luks encrypted devices
  • Supports standard linux,raid/raid_partitions,dmraid,lvm2 and encrypted devices
  • Filesystem support: ext2/3/4, btrfs, nilfs2, reiserfs,xfs,jfs,ntfs-3g,vfat
  • Mount support of grub loopback and memdisk installation media
  • Package selection support
  • Signed package installation
  • hwdetect script is used for preconfiguration
  • Auto/Preconfiguration of framebuffer, uvesafb, kms mode, fstab, mkinitcpio.conf, rc.conf, systemd, crypttab and mdadm.conf
  • Configuration of basic system files
  • Setting root password
  • grub-bios, grub-efi-x86_64, grub-efi-i386, refind-efi-x86_64, gummiboot, efilinux-efi, lilo, extlinux/syslinux, bootloader support


General boot parameters

  • earlymodules
load modules before hooks are executed
  • disablehooks
disable a hook which is run during bootup
  • root
Using this option will boot you into your specified existing system.
  • rootflags
Using this option will pass special mount options for your root device
  • lvmwait=
Using parameter followed by a comma-separated list of device names can be given on the command line.
It will cause the hook to wait until all given devices exist before trying to scan and activate any volume groups.
  • advanced
This will override advanced hooks running order for your system.
Default order is arch_mdadm,arch_lvm2,arch_encrypt
Advanced hooks are: arch_mdadm,arch_lvm2,arch_encrypt
  • ide-legacy
This will turn on the old IDE subsystem. This is only needed, if your system does not support the new PATA subsystem.
only valid parameter on LTS kernel images
  • arch-addons
You want to load external addon packages or configs into the install environment.
Place external addon packages in /packages directory of your external device.
Place external configs in /config directory of your external device.

Video and framebuffer options

  • uvesafb
enables uvesafb mode during boot and activates setup routine to use it later on installed system.
you need to specify your supported resolution eg.:
  • fbmodule
Loads the fb module you specify durin boot process and activates setup routine to use it later on installed system.
Use it like this fbmodule=<yourmodule>, e.g. fbmodule=cirrusfb

FAQ, Known Issues and limitations

  • Release specific known issues and workarounds are posted in changelog files.
  • Check also the forum threads for posted fixes and workarounds.
  • Why screen stays blank or other weird screen issues happen?
Some hardware doesn't like the KMS activation, use radeon.modeset=0 or i915.modeset=0 on boot prompt.
  • Why are /etc/modprobe.d/sound_persistent.conf and /etc/udev/rules.d/network_persistent.rules created?
These 2 files ensure persistent ordering of network and soundcards, else it might happen that the order changes during every boot.
  • dmraid might be broken on some boards, support is not perfect here.
The reason is there are so many different hardware components out there. At the moment 1.0.0rc16 is included, with latest fedora patchset.
  • grub2 cannot detect correct bios boot order:
It may happen that hd(x,x) entries are not correct, thus first reboot may not work.
Reason: grub cannot detect bios boot order.
Fix: Either change bios boot order or change menu.lst to correct entries after successful boot. This cannot be fixed it is a restriction in grub/grub2!
  • Why is parted used in setup routine, instead of cfdisk in msdos partitiontable mode?
parted is the only linux partition program that can handle all type of things the setup routine offers.
cfdisk cannot handle GPT/GUID nor it can allign partitions correct with 1MB spaces for 4k sector disks.
cfdisk is a nice tool but is too limited to be the standard partitioner anymore.
cfdisk is still included but has to be run in an other terminal.

UEFI hints


Arch Linux Bugtracker


Restore Usbstick

Take care about which device actually is your USB stick. The next command will render all data on /dev/sdX inaccessible.

  • First, wipe the bootsector of the USB stick:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=1
  • Then, create a new FAT32 partition on the stick and write a FAT32 filesystem on it (vfat or type b in fdisk terminology):
fdisk /dev/sdX <<EOF


mkdosfs -F32 /dev/sdX1

Create image files

Archboot Allinone ISO Howto

(Quick regeneration of installation media with latest available core packages)


  • x86_64 architecture
  • archboot ISO
  • ~ 3GB free space on disk

Create archboot chroots

# install archboot
pacman -S archboot
mkdir <x86_64_chroot>
pacman --root "<x86_64_chroot>" -Sg base --noconfirm --noprogressbar
mkdir <i686_chroot>
linux32 pacman --root "i686_chroot>" -Sg base --noconfirm --noprogressbar
  • Mount and copy the following files to each chroot:
mount -o bind /dev <chrootpath>/dev
mount -o bind /tmp <chrootpath>/tmp
mount -o bind /sys <chrootpath>/sys
mount -o bind /proc <chrootpath>/proc
cp -a /etc/mtab <chrootpath>/etc/mtab
cp /etc/resolv.conf  <chrootpath>/etc/resolv.conf
  • Enter archboot x86_64 chroot:
chroot <chrootpath>
  • Enter archboot i686 chroot:
linux32 chroot <chrootpath>

Install archboot and update to latest packages

# install in both chroots archboot:
pacman -S archboot
# update in both chroots to latest available packages
pacman -Syu

Generate images

# run in both chroots (needs quite some time ...)
archboot-allinone.sh -t
# put the generated tarballs in one directory and run (needs quite some time ...)
archboot-allinone.sh -g
  • Finished you get a burnable iso image, a rawwrite usb image and a hybrid image which is both in one.
  • Do not forget to unmount for each chroot after leaving:
umount <chrootpath>/dev
umount <chrootpath>/tmp
umount <chrootpath>/sys
umount <chrootpath>/proc

Have fun! tpowa (Archboot Developer)