The community-maintained ArchWiki is the primary resource that should be consulted if issues arise. The IRC channel (irc://irc.freenode.net/#archlinux) and the forums are also excellent resources if an answer cannot be found elsewhere. In accordance with the Arch Way, you are encouraged to type
man command to read the man page of any command you are unfamiliar with.
- 1 Preparation
- 2 Boot the installation medium
- 3 Prepare the storage devices
- 4 Installation
- 5 Configuration
- 6 Unmount the partitions and reboot
- 7 Post-installation
Arch Linux should run on any i686 compatible machine with a minimum of 256 MB RAM. A basic installation with all packages from the group should take less than 800 MB of disk space.
See Category:Getting and installing Arch for instructions on downloading the installation medium, and methods for booting it to the target machine(s). This guide assumes you use the latest available version.
Boot the installation medium
Point the current boot device to the drive containing the Arch installation media. This 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.
You will be logged in as the root user and presented with a Zsh shell prompt. Zsh provides advanced tab completion and other features as part of the grml config. For modifying or creating configuration files, typically in
/etc, nano and vim are suggested.
To verify you are booted in UEFI mode, check that the following directory is populated:
# ls /sys/firmware/efi/efivars
See UEFI#UEFI Variables for details.
Set the keyboard layout
For example, to change the layout to
# loadkeys de-latin1
If certain characters appear as white squares or other symbols, change the console font. For example:
# setfont lat9w-16
Connect to the Internet
Verify a connection was established, for example with ping. If none is available, proceed to configure the network; the examples below use netctl to this purpose. To prevent conflicts, stop the dhcpcd service (replacing
enp0s25 with the correct wired interface):
# systemctl stop email@example.com
Interfaces can be listed using
ip link, or
iw dev for wireless devices. They are prefixed with
wl (WLAN), or
List available networks, and make a connection for a specified interface:
# wifi-menu -o wlp2s0
The resulting configuration file is stored in
/etc/netctl. For networks which require both a username and password, see WPA2 Enterprise#netctl.
Several example profiles, such as for configuring a static IP address, are available. Copy the required one to
/etc/netctl, for example
# cp /etc/netctl/examples/ethernet-static /etc/netctl
Adjust the copy as needed, and enable it:
# netctl start ethernet-static
Update the system clock
Use systemd-timesyncd to ensure that your system clock is accurate. To start it:
# timedatectl set-ntp true
To check the service status, use
Prepare the storage devices
- In general, partitioning or formatting will make existing data inaccessible and subject to being overwritten, i.e. destroyed, by subsequent operations. For this reason, all data that needs to be preserved must be backed up before proceeding.
- If dual-booting with an existing installation of Windows on a UEFI/GPT system, avoid reformatting the UEFI partition, as this includes the Windows .efi file required to boot it. Furthermore, Arch must follow the same firmware boot mode and partitioning combination as Windows. See Dual boot with Windows#Important information.
In this step, the storage devices that will be used by the new system will be prepared. Read Partitioning for a more general overview.
Users intending to create stacked block devices for LVM, disk encryption or RAID, should keep those instructions into consideration when preparing the partitions. If intending to install to a USB flash key, see Installing Arch Linux on a USB key.
Identify the devices
The first step is to identify the devices where the new system will be installed. The following command will show all the available devices:
This will list all devices connected to your system along with their partition schemes, including that used to host and boot live Arch installation media (e.g. a USB drive). Not all devices listed will therefore be viable or appropriate mediums for installation. Results ending in
airoot can be ignored.
Devices (e.g. hard disks) will be listed as
x is a lower-case letter starting from
a for the first device (
b for the second device (
sdb), and so on. Existing partitions on those devices will be listed as
Y is a number starting from
1 for the first partition,
2 for the second, and so on. In the example below, only one device is available (
sda), and that device uses only one partition (
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT sda 8:0 0 80G 0 disk └─sda1 8:1 0 80G 0 part
sdxY convention will be used in the examples provided below for partition tables, partitions, and file systems. As they are just examples, it is important to ensure that any necessary changes to device names, partition numbers, and/or partition sizes (etc.) are made. Do not just blindly copy and paste the commands.
If the existing partition scheme does not need to be changed, skip to #File systems and swap, otherwise continue reading the following section.
Partition table types
If you are installing alongside an existing installation (i.e. dual-booting), a partition table will already be in use. If the devices are not partitioned, or the current partitions table or scheme needs to be changed, you will first have to determine the partition tables (one for each device) in use or to be used.
There are two types of partition table:
Any existing partition table can be identified with the following command for each device:
# parted /dev/sdx print
For each device to be partitioned, a proper tool must be chosen according to the partition table to be used. Several partitioning tools are provided by the Arch installation medium, including:
Using parted in interactive mode
All the examples provided below make use of parted, as it can be used for both UEFI/GPT and BIOS/MBR. It will be launched in interactive mode, which simplifies the partitioning process and reduces unnecessary repetition by automatically applying all partitioning commands to the specified device.
In order to start operating on a device, execute:
# parted /dev/sdx
You will notice that the command-line prompt changes from a hash (
(parted): this also means that the new prompt is not a command to be manually entered when running the commands in the examples.
To see a list of the available commands, enter:
When finished, or if wishing to implement a partition table or scheme for another device, exit from parted with:
After exiting, the command-line prompt will change back to
Create new partition table
You need to (re)create the partition table of a device when it has never been partitioned before, or when you want to change the type of its partition table. Recreating the partition table of a device is also useful when the partition scheme needs to be restructured from scratch.
Open each device whose partition table must be (re)created with:
# parted /dev/sdx
To then create a new GPT partition table for UEFI systems, use the following command:
(parted) mklabel gpt
To create a new MBR/msdos partition table for BIOS systems instead, use:
(parted) mklabel msdos
You can decide the number and size of the partitions the devices should be split into, and which directories will be used to mount the partitions in the installed system (also known as mount points). The mapping from partitions to directories is the partition scheme, which must comply with the following requirements:
- At least a partition for the
/(root) directory must be created.
- When using a UEFI motherboard, one EFI System Partition must be created.
In the examples below it is assumed that a new and contiguous partitioning scheme is applied to a single device. Some optional partitions will also be created for the
/home directories: see also Arch filesystem hierarchy for an explanation of the purpose of the various directories; if separate partitions for directories like
/home are not created, these will simply be contained in the
/ partition. Also the creation of an optional partiton for swap space will be illustrated.
If not already open in a parted interactive session, open each device to be partitioned with:
# parted /dev/sdx
The following command will be used to create partitions:
(parted) mkpart part-type fs-type start end
part-typeis one of
logical, and is meaningful only for MBR partition tables.
fs-typeis an identifier chosen among those listed by entering
help mkpartas the closest match to the file system that you will use in #File systems and swap. The mkpart command does not actually create the file system: the
fs-typeparameter will simply be used by parted to set a 1-byte code that is used by boot loaders to "preview" what kind of data is found in the partition, and act accordingly if necessary. See also Wikipedia:Disk partitioning#PC partition types.
startis the beginning of the partition from the start of the device. It consists of a number followed by a unit, for example
1Mmeans start at 1MiB.
endis the end of the partition from the start of the device (not from the
startvalue). It has the same syntax as
start, for example
100%means end at the end of the device (use all the remaining space).
Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for best performance. Ignore/Cancel?In this case, read Partitioning#Partition alignment and follow GNU Parted#Alignment to fix it.
The following command will be used to flag the partition that contains the
/boot directory as bootable:
(parted) set partition boot on
partitionis the number of the partition to be flagged (see the output of the
In every instance, a special bootable EFI System Partition is required.
If creating a new EFI System Partition, use the following commands (a size of 512MiB is suggested):
(parted) mkpart ESP fat32 1MiB 513MiB (parted) set 1 boot on
The remaining partition scheme is entirely up to you. For one other partition using 100% of remaining space:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 513MiB 100%
/ (20GiB) and
/home (all remaining space) partitions:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 513MiB 20.5GiB (parted) mkpart primary ext4 20.5GiB 100%
And for separate
/ (20GiB), swap (4GiB), and
/home (all remaining space) partitions:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 513MiB 20.5GiB (parted) mkpart primary linux-swap 20.5GiB 24.5GiB (parted) mkpart primary ext4 24.5GiB 100%
For a minimum single primary partition using all available disk space, the following command would be used:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 1MiB 100% (parted) set 1 boot on
In the following instance, a 20GiB
/ partition will be created, followed by a
/home partition using all the remaining space:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 1MiB 20GiB (parted) set 1 boot on (parted) mkpart primary ext4 20GiB 100%
In the final example below, separate
/ (20GiB), swap (4GiB), and
/home (all remaining space) partitions will be created:
(parted) mkpart primary ext4 1MiB 100MiB (parted) set 1 boot on (parted) mkpart primary ext4 100MiB 20GiB (parted) mkpart primary linux-swap 20GiB 24GiB (parted) mkpart primary ext4 24GiB 100%
Format file systems and enable swap
Once the partitions have been created, each must be formatted with an appropriate file system, except for swap partitions. All available partitions on the intended installation device can be listed with the following command:
# lsblk /dev/sdx
With the exceptions noted below, it is recommended to use the
ext4 file system:
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdxY
If a new UEFI system partition has been created on a UEFI/GPT system, it must be formatted with a
fat32 file system:
# mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sdxY
If a swap partition has been created, it must be set up and activated with:
# mkswap /dev/sdxY # swapon /dev/sdxY
Mount the root partition to the
/mnt directory of the live system:
# mount /dev/sdxY /mnt
Remaining partitions (except swap) may be mounted in any order, after creating the respective mount points. For example, when using a
# mkdir -p /mnt/boot # mount /dev/sdxZ /mnt/boot
/boot is also recommended for mounting the EFI System Partition on a UEFI/GPT system. See EFISTUB and related articles for alternatives.
Select the mirrors
Packages to be installed must be downloaded from mirror servers, which are defined in
/etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist. On the live system, all mirrors are enabled, and sorted by their synchronization status and speed at the time the installation image was created.
The higher a mirror is placed in the list, the more priority it is given when downloading a package. You may want to edit the file accordingly, and move the geographically closest mirrors to the top of the list, although other criteria should be taken into account. See Mirrors for details.
pacstrap will also install a copy of this file to the new system, so it is worth getting right.
Install the base packages
# pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel
-i switch ensures prompting before package installation.
# genfstab -U /mnt > /mnt/etc/fstab
Check the resulting file in
/mnt/etc/fstab afterwards, and edit it in case of errors.
Copy any other configuration files to the new system in
/mnt (such as netctl profiles in
/etc/netctl), then chroot to it:
# arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
The Locale defines which language the system uses, and other regional considerations such as currency denomination, numerology, and character sets.
Possible values are listed in
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8, as well as other needed localisations. Save the file, and generate the new locales:
LANG refers to the first column of an uncommented entry in
If you set the keyboard layout, make the changes persistent in
/etc/vconsole.conf. For example, if
de-latin1 was set with loadkeys, and
lat9w-16 with setfont, assign the
FONT variables accordingly:
Select a time zone:
Create the symbolic link
Zone/Subzone is the
TZ value from tzselect:
# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Zone/SubZone /etc/localtime
It is recommended to adjust the time skew, and set the time standard to UTC:
# hwclock --systohc --utc
If other operating systems are installed on the machine, they must be configured accordingly. See Time for details.
As mkinitcpio was run on installation of with pacstrap, most users can use the defaults provided in
# mkinitcpio -p linux
Install a boot loader
Here, the installation drive is assumed to be GPT-partioned, and have the EFI System Partition (gdisk type
EF00, formatted with FAT32) mounted at
Install systemd-boot to the EFI system partition:
# bootctl install
When successful, create a boot entry as described in systemd-boot#Configuration (replacing
/boot), or adapt the examples in
Install thepackage. To search for other operating systems, also install :
# pacman -S grub os-prober
Install the bootloader to the drive Arch was installed to:
# grub-install --recheck /dev/sda
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
See GRUB for more information.
Configure the network
The procedure is similar to #Connect to the Internet, except made persistent for subsequent boots. Select one daemon to handle the network.
Set the hostname to your liking:
It is recommended to append the same hostname to
localhost entries in
/etc/hosts. See Network configuration#Local network hostname resolution.
When only requiring a single wired connection, enable the dhcpcd service:
# systemctl enable firstname.lastname@example.org
interface is an ethernet device name.
See Network configuration#Configure the IP address for other available methods.
Install, , and (for wifi-menu) :
# pacman -S iw wpa_supplicant dialog
Additional firmware packages may also be required.
If you used wifi-menu priorly, repeat the steps after finishing the rest of this installation and rebooting, to prevent conflicts with the existing processes.
Unmount the partitions and reboot
Set the root password with:
Exit from the chroot environment by running
exit or pressing
Partitions will be unmounted automatically by systemd on shutdown. You may however unmount manually as a safety measure:
# umount -R /mnt
If the partition is "busy", you can find the cause with fuser. Reboot the computer.
Remove the installation media, or you may boot back into it. You can log into your new installation as root, using the password you specified with passwd.
Your new Arch Linux base system is now a functional GNU/Linux environment ready to be built into whatever you wish or require for your purposes. You are now strongly advised to read the General recommendations article, especially the first two sections. Its other sections provide links to post-installation tutorials like setting up a graphical user interface, sound or a touchpad.
For a list of applications that may be of interest, see List of applications.