Beginners' Guide/Preface

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Preface

Introduction

Welcome. This document will guide you through the process of installing and configuring 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.

Arch Linux Distribution Highlights:

  • Simple design and philosophy
  • All packages compiled for i686 and x86_64 architectures
  • BSD style init scripts, featuring one centralized configuration file
  • mkinitcpio: A simple and dynamic initramfs creator
  • 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: offering 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, ©2007-2011 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 should not be multiplied unnecessarily." -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 wiki is an excellent resource and should be consulted for issues first. The IRC room (at freenode #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 4 main components: