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Revision as of 15:03, 1 October 2012

Tip: This is part of a multi-page article for The Beginners' Guide. Click here if you would rather read the guide in its entirety.

Preface

Introduction

Welcome. This document will guide you through the process of installing Arch Linux: a simple, lightweight GNU/Linux distribution targeted at competent users. This guide is aimed at new Arch users, but strives to serve as a strong reference and informative base for all.

Before installing, you are advised to skim over the FAQ.

Arch Linux Distribution Highlights:

  • Simple design and philosophy.
  • All packages compiled for the i686 and x86_64 architectures.
  • Rolling-release model, allowing a one-time installation and seamless upgrades to the latest stable versions of the installed software.
  • BSD style init scripts.
  • mkinitcpio is a simple and dynamic initramfs creator.
  • The pacman package manager is lightweight and agile, with a very modest memory footprint.
  • The Arch Build System: a ports-like package building system, providing a simple framework to create installable Arch packages from source.
  • The Arch User Repository: offers many thousands of user contributed build scripts and the opportunity to share your own.

License

Arch Linux, pacman, documentation, and scripts are Copyright © 2002-2007 by Judd Vinet, Copyright © 2007-2012 by Aaron Griffin and are licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 2.

The Arch Way

The design principles behind Arch are aimed at keeping it simple.

'Simple', in this context, shall mean 'without unnecessary additions, modifications, or complications'. In short: an elegant, minimalist approach.

Some thoughts to keep in mind as you consider simplicity:

  • " 'Simple' is defined from a technical standpoint, not a usability standpoint. It is better to be technically elegant with a higher learning curve, than to be easy to use and technically [inferior]."Aaron Griffin
  • Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem or "Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" — Occam's razor. The term razor refers to the act of shaving away unnecessary complications to arrive at the simplest explanation, method or theory.
  • "The extraordinary part [of my method] lies in its simplicity. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity."Bruce Lee

About this guide

The Arch Install Scripts are a set of scripts that simplify Arch installation. This guide summarizes a basic install process using these scripts.

The community-maintained Arch wiki is an excellent resource and should be consulted for issues first. The IRC channel (irc://irc.freenode.net/#archlinux), and the forums are also available if the answer cannot be found elsewhere. Also, be sure to check out the man pages for any command you are unfamiliar with; this can usually be invoked with man command.

Note: Following this guide closely is essential in order to successfully install a properly configured Arch Linux system, so please read it thoroughly. It is strongly recommended you read each section completely before carrying out the tasks contained.

The guide is divided into four main components:

Template:Beginners' Guide navigation