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
Burn or write the latest installation medium
This guide pertains to the current release (2013.02.01), which can be obtained from the Download page. Note that a single ISO image supports both 32 and 64-bit architectures.
- Burn the ISO image on a CD or DVD with your preferred software.
- Note: The quality of optical drives and the discs themselves varies greatly. Generally, using a slow burn speed is recommended for reliable burns. If you are experiencing unexpected behaviour from the disc, try burning at the lowest speed supported by your burner.
- Or you can write the ISO image on a USB stick. For detailed instructions, see USB Installation Media.
Installing over the network
Instead of writing the boot media to a disc or USB stick, 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 the installation medium.
Installing 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 storage drive. It will also let you keep this Beginners' Guide open in your browser throughout the installation. Some users may find it beneficial 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 the installation medium.
The following articles may be helpful:
- Arch Linux as VirtualBox guest
- Arch Linux as VirtualBox guest on a physical drive
- Arch Linux as VMware guest
- Moving an existing install into (or out of) a virtual machine
- Installing Arch Linux from VirtualBox (outdated)
Boot the installation medium
First, 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. Then, select "Boot Arch Linux" from the menu and press Template:Keypress in order to begin with the installation.
Testing if you are booted into UEFI mode
In case you have a UEFI motherboard and UEFI Boot mode is enabled (and is preferred over BIOS/Legacy mode), the CD/USB will automatically launch Arch Linux kernel (EFISTUB via Gummiboot Boot Manager). To check whether you have booted into UEFI mode, load the
efivars kernel module (before chrooting) and then check whether there are files in
# modprobe efivars # before chrooting # ls -1 /sys/firmware/efi/vars/
efivarsdetects and populates the UEFI Runtime Variables at
/sys/firmware/efi/vars. This module is not loaded automatically during the boot process, and until this module is loaded, and the kernel booted in UEFI mode, without
noefiparameter, no files will exist in
/sys/firmware/efi/vars. These variables are later modified by
efibootmgrto add bootloader entry to UEFI boot menu. In BIOS mode, modprobe will not give any error about efivars module. The correct way to detect UEFI boot is to check for files in
Troubleshooting boot problems
- If you're 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 over the entry that you're trying to boot (i686 or x86_64). At the end of the string type
nomodesetand press Template:Keypress. Alternatively, try
video=SVIDEO-1:dwhich, 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 the kernel, press Template:Keypress while hovering over the menu entry, type
acpi=offat the end of the string and press Template:Keypress.