- 1 Preparation
- 1.1 Obtain the latest installation media
- 1.2 Boot Arch Linux Installation Media
Obtain the latest installation media
You can obtain Arch's official installation media from here. The latest version is 2012.08.04 and this guide pertains to the current release.
Pre-release images are also available and can be downloaded here. These are not official releases and so are not officially supported.
Check the integrity of the downloaded file
cd to the directory where the downloaded files have been placed, and invoke
$ sha1sum --check name_of_checksum_file.txt
This should give you an "OK" for the one you have (simply ignore other lines). If not, download it again.
The md5sum check works the same way.
Burn the .iso image file to a CD or DVD media with your preferred CD/DVD burner drive and software, and continue with Boot Arch Linux installer.
Flash memory device or USB stick
See USB Installation Media for more detailed instructions. You can use any type of flash media from which your BIOS will let you boot, be it a card reader or USB port.
Insert an empty or expendable flash device, determine its path, and write the .iso to the device with the
# dd if=archlinux-2012.08.04-dual.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=4M
if= is the path to the .iso file and
of= is your flash device. Make sure to use
/dev/sdx and not
/dev/sdx1. You will need a flash memory device large enough to accommodate the image.
To verify that the image was successfully written to the flash device, make a note of the number of records (blocks) read in and written out, then perform the following check:
# dd if=/dev/sdx count=<number of records> bs=4M status=noxfer | sha1sum
The sha1sum returned should match the original sha1sum of the downloaded archlinux image file from the mirror distribution site (2012.08.04). A typical run will look like this:
Write .iso to drive:
# dd if=archlinux-2012.08.04-dual.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=4M
96+0 records in 96+0 records out 402653184 bytes (403 MB) copied, 105,791 s, 3,8 MB/s
# dd if=/dev/sdc count=96 bs=4M status=noxfer | sha1sum
96+0 records in 96+0 records out d5fb2364f9967e458984b8050724c749213152b2 -
Continue with Boot Arch Linux Installation Media.
Microsoft Windows method
Download Disk Imager from here. Insert flash media. Start the Disk Imager and select the image file (Disk Imager accepts only
*.img files, so you will have to put
*.iso in file open dialog to select Arch snapshot). Select the drive letter associated with the flash drive. Click
There are also other solutions to writing bootable ISO images to USB sticks. If you have problems with USB sticks disconnecting, try using different USB port and/or cable.
Afterwards continue with Boot Arch Linux Installation Media.
Install over the network
Instead of writing the boot media to a disc or USB drive, you may alternatively boot the .iso image over the network. This works well when you already have a server set up. Please see this article for more information, and then continue to Boot Arch Linux Installation Media.
Install on a virtual machine
Installing on a virtual machine is a good way to become familiar with Arch Linux and its installation procedure without leaving your current operating system and repartitioning the hard drive. It will also let you keep this Beginners' Guide open in your browser throughout the installation. Some users may find it advantageous to have an independent Arch Linux system on a virtual drive for testing purposes.
The exact procedure for preparing a virtual machine depends on the software, but will generally follow these steps:
- Create the virtual disk image that will host the operating system.
- Properly configure the virtual machine parameters.
- Boot the downloaded .iso image with a virtual CD drive.
- Continue with Boot Arch Linux Installation Media.
The following articles may be helpful:
- Arch Linux VirtualBox Guest
- Installing Arch Linux from VirtualBox
- VirtualBox Arch Linux Guest On Physical Drive
- Installing Arch Linux in VMware
Boot Arch Linux Installation Media
Boot from the media
Insert the CD or flash media you prepared and boot from it. You may have to change the boot order in your computer's BIOS. To do this, you have to press a key (usually Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress or Template:Keypress) during the POST (Power On Self-Test) phase.
Main Menu: The main menu should be displayed at this point. Select the preferred choice by using the arrow keys to highlight your choice, and then by pressing Template:Keypress. Menus vary slightly among the different ISO images.
Select "Boot Arch Linux" from the Main Menu and press Template:Keypress in order to begin with the installation. The system will now load and present a shell prompt. You will be automatically logged in as root.
Troubleshooting boot problems
If using an Intel video chipset and the screen goes blank during the boot process, the problem is likely an issue with Kernel Mode Setting (KMS). A possible workaround may be achieved by rebooting and pressing Template:Keypress at the GRUB Legacy menu to enter kernel options. At the end of the
kernel line, append the following:
which (if it works) will not disable kernel mode setting. See the Intel article for more information.
If the screen does not go blank and the boot process gets stuck while trying to load kernel, press Template:Keypress to edit the kernel line and append the following: