Beginners' guide (正體中文)

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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

Arch Linux, pacman, documentation, and scripts are copyright ©2002-2007 by Judd Vinet, ©2007-2010 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

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.

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.



第一步: 獲取最新的安裝光碟

您可以在這裡獲取 Arch 最新的安裝映像檔。最新的版本是 2010.05。

  • 無論是 Core 和 Netinstall,都只有提供建立一套 Arch Linux 基本系統所需的必要套件。請留意,所謂「基本系統」並不包括圖形使用者介面 (GUI)。套件包括了 GNU 工具鏈 (編譯器、彙編器、連結器、函式庫、shell 以及工具程式)、Linux 核心以及額外的函式庫和模組。
  • Core 映像檔可以選擇從 CD 或是從網路安裝。
  • Netinstall 映像檔比 Core 小,本身沒有包括任何套件。整套系統都從網路上下載。
  • Arch64 常見問題集可幫助您選擇 32、64 位元或是包含雙重架構的版本。
  • 在選擇 ISO 時別忘了下載檢驗碼檔案 (checksum)。


進入終端機介面,切換至下載檔案(ISO 檔案與檢驗值檔案)所在的目錄,並使用以下指令:

$ sha1sum --check name_of_checksum_file.txt name_of_selected_iso_file.iso

程式將會嘗試檢查 name_of_checksum_file.txt 中列出的所有文件。所給檔案檢驗通過的話會在後面出現「OK」(請略過其他非下載檔案的訊息。) 若沒有任何「OK」出現,請重新下載檔案。 md5sum 也是以同樣的方式檢查。

從已經存在的 GNU/Linux 發行版本安裝 Arch

Arch 有足夠的靈活性,可以從已存在的發行版本或是 Live CD 中安裝到另外一個磁碟分區。要查閱詳細的步驟可參閱這份文章。若是您打算要透過 vnc 或是 ssh 遠端安裝 Arch 的話,這麼做會十分的適合。

使用 CD 安裝

Burn the .iso image file to a CD or DVD media with your preferred CD/DVD burner drive and software, and continue with Step 2: Boot Arch Linux Installer

Note: The quality of optical drives, as well as the CD media itself, vary greatly. Generally, using a slow burn speed is recommended for reliable burns; Some users recommend speeds as low as 4x or 2x. If you are experiencing unexpected behavior from the CD, try burning at the minimum speed supported by your system.

使用快閃記憶體或 USB 隨身碟安裝

See Install from a USB flash drive for more detailed instructions.

This method will work for any type of flash media from which your BIOS will let you boot, be it a card reader or USB port.

Warning: This procedure will irrevocably destroy all data on your media! Also, be very careful where you send the image iso, as dd will obediently write to any target you point to, even if that is your hard disk.

*nix Method:

Insert an empty or expendable flash device, determine its path, and write the .iso to the device with the /bin/dd program:

# dd if=archlinux-2010.05-{core|netinstall}-{i686|x86_64|dual}.iso of=/dev/sdx

where if= is the path to the img file and of= is your flash device. Make sure to use Template:Filename and not Template:Filename. You will need a flash memory device large enough to accomodate the image.

Check md5sum:

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 status=noxfer | md5sum

The md5sum returned should match the md5sum of the downloaded archlinux image file; they both should match the md5sum of the image as listed in the md5sums file in the mirror distribution site. A typical run will look like this: Template:Command


Continue with Step 2: Boot Arch Linux Installer

Microsoft Windows Method:

Download Disk Imager from Insert flash media. Start the Disk Imager and select the image file (Disk Imager accepts only *.IMG files, so you'll have to put "*.iso" in file open dialog to select Arch snapshot). Select the drive letter associated with the flash drive. Click "write".

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.

Continue with Step 2: Boot Arch Linux Installer

第二步:使用 Arch Linux 的安裝光碟啟動

Tip: 基本安裝所需要的記憶體容量至少要有 64 MB。
Tip: During the process, the automatic screen blanker may come on. If so, one can press the Alt key to safely obtain the normal display.


插入所準備的 CD 或是隨身碟,並由此進行開機。 You may have to change the boot order in your computer BIOS or press a key (usually DEL, F1, F2, F11 or F12) during the BIOS 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 Enter. Menus vary slightly among the different isos.


The system will now load and present a login prompt. Login as 'root', without the quotes.

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. A possible workaround may be achieved by rebooting and pressing <Tab> at the GRUB menu to enter kernel options. At the end of the kernel line, add a space and then:


Alternatively, add:


which (if it works) will not disable kernel mode setting.

When done making any changes to any menu command, simply press "Enter" to boot with that setup.

See the Intel article for more information.


If you have a non-US keyboard layout you can interactively choose your keymap/console font with the command:

# km

or use the loadkeys command:

# loadkeys layout

(replace layout with your keyboard layout such as "fr" or "be-latin1")


The official install guide is conveniently available right on the live system! To access it, change to tty2 (virtual console #2) with <ALT>+F2, log in as "root" and then invoke /usr/bin/less by typing in the following at the # prompt:

# less /usr/share/aif/docs/official_installation_guide_en

less will allow you to page through the document.

Change back to tty1 with <ALT>+F1 to follow the rest of the install process. (Change back to tty2 at any time if you need to reference the Official Guide as you progress through the installation process.)

Tip: Please note that the official guide only covers installation and configuration of the base system. Once that is installed, it is strongly recommended that you come back here to the wiki to find out more about post-installation considerations and other related issues.


As root, run the installer script from tty1:

# /arch/setup

You should next see the displayed Arch Linux Installation Framework screen.

A: 選擇安裝來源

After a welcome screen, you will be prompted for an installation source. Choose the appropriate source for the installer you are using. If using a Netinstall image, relative speed and update status of source repository mirrors may be checked here.

  • If you chose the CORE installer, continue below with B: Set Clock.
  • Netinstall only: You shall be prompted to load ethernet drivers manually, if desired. Udev is quite effective at loading the required modules, so you may assume it has already done so. You may verify this by invoking ifconfig -a from tty3. (Select OK to continue.)

設定網路 (Netinstall)

Available Interfaces will be presented. If an interface and HWaddr (HardWare address) is listed, then your module has already been loaded. If your interface is not listed, you may probe it from the installer, or manually do so from another virtual console.

The following screen will prompt you to Select the interface, Probe, or Cancel. Choose the appropriate interface and continue.

The installer will then ask if you wish to use DHCP. Choosing Yes will run dhcpcd to discover an available gateway and request an IP address; Choosing No will prompt you for your static IP, netmask, broadcast, gateway DNS IP, HTTP proxy, and FTP proxy. Lastly, you will be presented with an overview to ensure your entries are correct.

(A)DSL Quickstart for the Live Environment

(If you have a modem or router in bridge mode to connect to your ISP)

Switch to another virtual console (<Alt> + F2), login as root and invoke

# pppoe-setup

If everything is well configured in the end you can connect to your ISP with

# pppoe-start

Return to first virtual console with <ALT>+F1. Continue with B: Set Clock

Wireless Quickstart For the Live Environment

(If you need wireless connectivity during the installation process)

The wireless drivers and utilities are now available to you in the live environment of the installation media. A good knowledge of your wireless hardware will be of key importance to successful configuration. Note that the following quickstart procedure executed at this point in the installation will initialize your wireless hardware for use in the live environment of the installation media. These steps (or some other form of wireless management) must be repeated from the actual installed system after booting into it.

Also note that these steps are optional if wireless connectivity is unnecessary at this point in the installation; wireless functionality may always be established later.

Does the Wireless Chipset require Firmware?

A small percentage of wireless chipsets also require firmware, in addition to a corresponding driver. If the wireless chipset requires firmware, you are likely to receive this error:


If unsure, invoke /usr/bin/dmesg to query the kernel log for a firmware request from the wireless chipset.

Example output from an Intel chipset which requires and has requested firmware from the kernel at boot:


If there is no output, it may be concluded that the system's wireless chipset does not require firmware.

Note: Wireless chipset firmware packages (for cards which require them) are pre-installed under /lib/firmware in the live environment, (on CD/USB stick) but must be explicitly installed to your actual system to provide wireless functionality after you reboot into it! Package selection and installation is covered below. Ensure installation of both your wireless module and firmware during the package selection step! See Wireless Setup if you are unsure about the requirement of corresponding firmware installation for your particular chipset. This is a very common error.

After the initial Arch installation is complete, you may wish to refer to Wireless Setup to ensure a permanent configuration solution for your installed system.

The basic procedure will be:

  • Switch to a free virtual console, e.g.: <ALT>+F3
  • Login as root
  • (Optional) Identify the wireless interface:
# lspci | grep -i net
  • Ensure udev has loaded the driver, and that the driver has created a usable wireless kernel interface with /usr/sbin/iwconfig:

Example: Template:Command wlan0 is the available wireless interface in the example.

  • Bring the interface up with /sbin/ifconfig <interface> up.

An example using the wlan0 interface:

# ifconfig wlan0 up

(Remember, your interface may be named something else, depending on your module (driver) and chipset: wlan0, eth1, etc.)

  • If the essid has been forgotten or is unknown, use /sbin/iwlist <interface> scan to scan for nearby networks.
# iwlist wlan0 scan
  • Associate your wireless device with the access point you want to use. Depending on the encryption (none, WEP, or WPA), the procedure may differ. You need to know the name of the chosen wireless network (ESSID), e.g. 'linksys' in the following examples:
  • An example using a non-encrypted network:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys"
  • An example using WEP and a hexadecimal key:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys" key 0241baf34c
  • An example using WEP and an ASCII passphrase:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys" key s:pass1
  • Using WPA requires extra steps:

Step 1: The default /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf is rather obtuse. For the purpose of simplifying, rename the default wpa_supplicant.conf file:

# mv /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.original

Step 2: Using wpa_passphrase, provide your wireless network name and wpa key to be encrypted and written to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

The following example encrypts the key 'my_secret_passkey' of the 'linksys' wireless network, generates a new configuration file (/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf), and subsequently redirects the encrypted key, writing it to the file:

# wpa_passphrase linksys "my_secret_passkey" > /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

(Substitute the actual SSID and passkey)

Step 3: Using the wpa_supplicant command, attempt to associate to the wireless network specified in /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf and the now encrypted key contained therein:

# wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Check WPA supplicant for more information and troubleshooting.

Note: The network connection process may be automated later by using the default Arch network daemon, netcfg, wicd, or another network manager of your choice.

Verify Association and IP routing

  • After utilizing the appropriate association method outlined above, wait a few moments and confirm you have successfully associated to the access point before continuing. e.g.:
# iwconfig wlan0

Output should indicate the wireless network is associated with the interface. Again, your interface may be named something besides wlan0.

  • Request an IP address with /sbin/dhcpcd <interface> . e.g.:
# dhcpcd wlan0
  • Lastly, ensure you can route using /bin/ping:
# ping -c 3

You should have a working network connection. For troubleshooting, check the detailed Wireless Setup page.

Return to tty1 with <ALT>+F1. Continue with B: Set Clock

B: 設定時鐘

  • UTC - Choose UTC if running only UNIX-like operating system(s).
  • localtime - Choose local if multi-booting with a Microsoft Windows OS.

C: 準備硬碟

Warning: Partitioning hard drives can destroy data. You are strongly cautioned and advised to backup your critical data if applicable.
Note: Partitioning may be performed before initiating the Arch installation if desired, by utilizing GParted or other available tools. If the installation drive has already been partitioned to the required specifications, continue with Set Filesystem Mountpoints

Verify current disk identities and layout by invoking /sbin/fdisk with the -l (lower-case L) switch.

Open another virtual console (<ALT>+F3) and enter:

# fdisk -l

Take note of the disk(s)/partition(s) to utilize for the Arch installation.

Switch back to the installation script with <ALT>+F1

Select the first menu entry "Prepare Hard Drive".

  • 選擇 1: Auto-Prepare (Erases an ENTIRE hard drive and sets up partitions)

Auto-Prepare divides the disk into the following configuration:

  • ext2 /boot partition, default size 32MB. You will be prompted to modify the size to your requirement.
  • swap partition, default size 256MB. You will be prompted to modify the size to your requirement.
  • A Separate / and /home partition, (sizes can also be specified). Available filesystems include ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs and jfs, but note that both / and /home shall share the same fs type if choosing the Auto Prepare option.

Be warned that Auto-prepare will completely erase the chosen hard drive. Read the warning presented by the installer very carefully, and make sure the correct device is about to be partitioned.

  • 選擇 2: Manually Partition Hard Drives (with cfdisk)- recommended.

This option will allow for the most robust and customized partitioning solution for your personal needs.

  • 選擇 3: Manually Configure block devices, filesystems and mountpoints

If this is selected, the system will list what filesystems and mountpoints it has found and ask you if you wish to use these. If selecting "Yes", you will be given a choice to select the desired method of identification, ie. by dev, label or uuid.

  • 選擇 4: Rollback last filesystem changes

At this point, more advanced GNU/Linux users who are familiar and comfortable with manually partitioning may wish to skip down to D: Select Packages below.

Note: If you are installing to a USB flash key, see "Installing Arch Linux on a USB key".

Partition Hard Drives

Partition Info

Partitioning a hard disk drive defines specific areas (the partitions) within the disk, that will each appear and behave as a separate disk and upon which a filesystem may be created (formatted).

  • There are 3 types of disk partitions:
  1. Primary
  2. Extended
  3. Logical

Primary partitions can be bootable, and are limited to 4 partitions per disk or raid volume. If a partitioning scheme requires more than 4 partitions, an extended partition which will contain logical partitions will be required.

Extended partitions are not usable by themselves; they are merely a "container" for logical partitions. If required, a hard disk shall contain only one extended partition; which shall then be sub-divided into logical partitions.

When partitioning a disk, one can observe this numbering scheme by creating primary partitions sda1 through sda3 followed by creating an extended partition, sda4, and subsequently creating logical partition(s) within the extended partition; sda5, sda6, and so on.

Swap Partition

A swap partition is a place on the drive where virtual ram resides, allowing the kernel to easily use disk storage for data that does not fit into physical RAM.

Historically, the general rule for swap partition size was 2x the amount of physical RAM. Over time, as computers have gained ever larger memory capacities, this rule has become increasingly deprecated. Generally, on machines with up to 512MB RAM, the 2x rule is usually quite sufficient. If the installation machine provides gratuitous amounts of RAM (more than 1024 MB) it may be possible to completely forget a swap partition altogether, since the option to create a swap file is always available later. A 1 GB swap partition will be used in this example.

Note: If using suspend-to-disk, (hibernate) a swap partition at least equal in size to the amount of physical RAM is required. Some Arch users even recommend oversizing it beyond the amount of physical RAM by 10-15%, to allow for possible bad sectors.
Partition Scheme

A disk partitioning scheme is a very personalized preference. Each user's choices will be unique to their own computing habits and requirements. If you would like to dual boot Arch Linux and a Windows operating system please see Windows and Arch Dual Boot.

Filesystem candidates for separate partitions include:

/ (root) The root filesystem is the primary filesystem from which all other filesystems stem; the top of the hierarchy. All files and directories appear under the root directory "/", even if they are stored on different physical devices. The contents of the root filesystem must be adequate to boot, restore, recover, and/or repair the system. Therefore, certain directories under / are not themselves candidates for separate partitions. (See warning below).

/boot This directory contains the kernel and ramdisk images as well as the bootloader configuration file, and bootloader stages. /boot also stores data that is used before the kernel begins executing userspace programs. This may include saved master boot sectors and sector map files. /boot is essential for booting, but is unique in that it may still be kept on its own separate partition (if required).

/home Provides subdirectories, each named for a system user, for miscellaneous personal data storage as well as user-specific configuration files for applications.

/usr While root is the primary filesystem, /usr is the secondary hierarchy for all system users' data, including the majority of multi-user utilities and applications. /usr is shareable, read-only data. This means that /usr shall be shareable between various hosts and must not be written to, except in the case of system update/upgrade. Any information that is host-specific or varies with time is stored elsewhere.

/tmp directory for programs that require temporary files such as '.lck' files, which can be used to prevent multiple instances of their respective program until a task is completed, at which point the '.lck' file will be removed. Programs must not assume that any files or directories in /tmp are preserved between invocations of the program and files and directories located under /tmp will typically be deleted whenever the system is booted.

/var contains variable data; spool directories and files, administrative and logging data, pacman's cache, the ABS tree, etc. /var exists in order to make it possible to mount /usr as read-only. Everything that historically went into /usr that is written to during system operation (as opposed to installation and software maintenance) must reside under /var.

Warning: Besides /boot, directories essential for booting are: '/bin', '/etc', '/lib', and '/sbin'. Therefore, they must not reside on a separate partition from /.

There are several advantages for using discrete filesystems, rather than combining all into one partition:

  • Security: Each filesystem may be configured in /etc/fstab as 'nosuid', 'nodev', 'noexec', 'readonly', etc.
  • Stability: A user, or malfunctioning program can completely fill a filesystem with garbage if they have write permissions for it. Critical programs, which reside on a different filesystem remain unaffected.
  • Speed: A filesystem which gets written to frequently may become somewhat fragmented. (An effective method of avoiding fragmentation is to ensure that each filesystem is never in danger of filling up completely.) Separate filesystems remain unaffected, and each can be defragmented separately as well.
  • Integrity: If one filesystem becomes corrupted, separate filesystems remain unaffected.
  • Versatility: Sharing data across several systems becomes more expedient when independent filesystems are used. Separate filesystem types may also be chosen based upon the nature of data and usage.

In this example, we shall use separate partitions for /, /var, /home, and a swap partition.

Note: /var contains many small files. This should be taken into consideration when choosing a filesystem type for it, (if creating its own separate partition).
How big should my partitions be?

This question is best answered based upon individual needs. You may wish to simply create one partition for root and one partition for swap or only one root partition without swap or refer to the following examples and consider these guidelines to provide a frame of reference:

  • The root filesystem (/) in the example will contain the /usr directory, which can become moderately large, depending upon how much software is installed. 15-20 GB should be sufficient for most users.
  • The /var filesystem will contain, among other data, the ABS tree and the pacman cache. Keeping cached packages is useful and versatile; it provides the ability to downgrade packages if needed. /var tends to grow in size; the pacman cache can grow large over long periods of time, but can be safely cleared if needed. If you are using an SSD, you may wish to locate your /var on an HDD and keep the / and /home partitions on your SSD to avoid needless read/writes to the SSD. 8-12 Gigs on a desktop system should be sufficient for /var, depending largely upon how much software you intend to install. Servers tend to have relatively larger /var filesystems.
  • The /home filesystem is typically where user data, downloads, and multimedia reside. On a desktop system, /home is typically the largest filesystem on the drive by a large margin. Remember that if you chose to reinstall Arch, all the data on your /home partition will be untouched (so long as you have a separate /home partition).
  • An extra 25% of space added to each filesystem will provide a cushion for unforeseen occurrence, expansion, and serve as a preventive against fragmentation.

From the guidelines above, the example system shall contain a ~15GB root (/) partition, ~10GB /var, 1GB swap, and a /home containing the remaining disk space.

Create Partitions with cfdisk

Start by creating the primary partition that will contain the root, (/) filesystem.

Choose New -> Primary and enter the desired size for root (/). Put the partition at the beginning of the disk.

Also choose the Type by designating it as '83 Linux'. The created / partition shall appear as sda1 in our example.

Now create a primary partition for /var, designating it as Type 83 Linux. The created /var partition shall appear as sda2

Next, create a partition for swap. Select an appropriate size and specify the Type as 82 (Linux swap / Solaris). The created swap partition shall appear as sda3.

Lastly, create a partition for your /home directory. Choose another primary partition and set the desired size.

Likewise, select the Type as 83 Linux. The created /home partition shall appear as sda4.


Name    Flags     Part Type    FS Type           [Label]         Size (MB)
sda1               Primary     Linux                             15440 #root
sda2               Primary     Linux                             10256 #/var
sda3               Primary     Linux swap / Solaris              1024  #swap
sda4               Primary     Linux                             140480 #/home

Choose Write and type 'yes'. Beware that this operation may destroy data on your disk. Choose Quit to leave the partitioner. Choose Done to leave this menu and continue with "Set Filesystem Mountpoints".

Note: Since the latest developments of the Linux kernel which include the libata and PATA modules, all IDE, SATA and SCSI drives have adopted the sdx naming scheme. This is perfectly normal and should not be a concern.

Set Filesystem Mountpoints

Specify each partition and corresponding mountpoint to your requirements. (Recall that partitions end in a number. Therefore, sda is not itself a partition, but rather, signifies an entire drive)

Filesystem Types

Again, a filesystem type is a very subjective matter which comes down to personal preference. Each has its own advantages, disadvantages, and unique idiosyncrasies. Here is a very brief overview of supported filesystems:

1. ext2 Second Extended Filesystem- Old, reliable GNU/Linux filesystem. Very stable, but without journaling support. May be inconvenient for root (/) and /home, due to very long fsck's. An ext2 filesystem can easily be converted to ext3. Generally regarded as a good choice for /boot/.

2. ext3 Third Extended Filesystem- Essentially the ext2 system, but with journaling support. ext3 is backward compatible with ext2. Extremely stable, mature, and by far the most widely used, supported and developed GNU/Linux FS.

3. ext4 Fourth Extended Filesystem- Backward compatible with ext2 and ext3. Introduces support for volumes with sizes up to 1 exabyte and files with sizes up to 16 terabytes. Increases the 32,000 subdirectory limit in ext3 to 64,000. Offers online defragmentation ability.

4. ReiserFS (V3)- Hans Reiser's high-performance journaling FS uses a very interesting method of data throughput based on an unconventional and creative algorithm. ReiserFS is touted as very fast, especially when dealing with many small files. ReiserFS is fast at formatting, yet comparatively slow at mounting. Quite mature and stable. ReiserFS is not actively developed at this time (Reiser4 is the new Reiser filesystem). Generally regarded as a good choice for /var/.

5. JFS - IBM's Journaled FileSystem- The first filesystem to offer journaling. JFS had many years of use in the IBM AIX® OS before being ported to GNU/Linux. JFS currently uses the least CPU resources of any GNU/Linux filesystem. Very fast at formatting, mounting and fsck's, and very good all-around performance, especially in conjunction with the deadline I/O scheduler. (See JFS.) Not as widely supported as ext or ReiserFS, but very mature and stable.

6. XFS - Another early journaling filesystem originally developed by Silicon Graphics for the IRIX OS and ported to GNU/Linux. XFS offers very fast throughput on large files and large filesystems. Very fast at formatting and mounting. Generally benchmarked as slower with many small files, in comparison to other filesystems. XFS is very mature and offers online defragmentation ability.

  • JFS and XFS filesystems cannot be shrunk by disk utilities (such as gparted or parted magic)
A note on Journaling

All above filesystems, except ext2, utilize journaling. Journaling file systems are fault-resilient file systems that use a journal to log changes before they are committed to the file system to avoid metadata corruption in the event of a crash. Note that not all journaling techniques are alike; specifically, only ext3 and ext4 offer data-mode journaling, (though, not by default), which journals both data and meta-data (but with a significant speed penalty). The others only offer ordered-mode journaling, which journals meta-data only. While all will return your filesystem to a valid state after recovering from a crash, data-mode journaling offers the greatest protection against file system corruption and data loss but can suffer from performance degradation, as all data is written twice (first to the journal, then to the disk). Depending upon how important your data is, this may be a consideration in choosing your filesystem type.

Moving on...

Choose and create the filesystem (format the partition) for / by selecting yes. You will now be prompted to add any additional partitions. In our example, sda2 and sda4 remain. For sda2, choose a filesystem type and mount it as /var. Finally, choose the filesystem type for sda4, and mount it as /home. Template:Box Note Return to the main menu.

D: Select Packages

  • Core ISO: Choose CD as source and select the appropriate CD drive if more than one exist on the installation machine.
  • Netinstall: Select an FTP/HTTP mirror. Note that is throttled to 50KB/s.
  • All packages during installation are from the [core] repository. They are further divided into Base, and Base-devel.
  • Package information and brief descriptions are available here.

Package selection is split into two stages. First, select the package category:

Note: For expedience, all packages in base are selected by default. Use the space-bar to select and de-select packages.
  • Base: Packages from the [core] repo to provide the minimal base environment. Always select it and only remove packages that will not be used.
  • Base-devel: Extra tools from [core] such as make, and automake. Most beginners should choose to install it, and will probably need it later.

After category selection, you will be presented with the full lists of packages, allowing you to fine-tune your selections. Use the space bar to select and unselect.

Note: If connection to a wireless network is required, remember to select and install the wireless_tools package. Some wireless interfaces also need ndiswrapper and/or a specific firmware. If you plan to use WPA encryption, you will need wpa_supplicant. The Wireless Setup page will help you choose the correct packages for your wireless device. Also strongly consider installing netcfg, which will help you set up your network connection and profiles.

After selecting the needed packages, leave the selection screen and continue to the next step, Install Packages.

E: Install Packages

Next, choose 'Install Packages'.

  • Netinstall: The Pacman package manager will now download and install your selected packages. (See tty5 for output, tty1 to return to the installer)
  • Core image: The packages will be installed from the CD/USB stick.

In some installers, you will be asked if you wish to keep the packages in the pacman cache. If you choose 'yes', you will have the flexibility to downgrade to previous package versions in the future, so this is recommended (you can always clear the cache in the future). The installer script will now install the selected packages, as well as the default Arch 2.6 kernel, to your system.

After the packages have been downloaded, the installer will check their integrity. Next it will create the kernel from the packages downloaded.

F: Configure the System

Closely following and understanding these steps is of key importance to ensure a properly configured system.

  • At this stage of the installation, you will configure the primary configuration files of your Arch Linux base system.
  • Previous versions of the installer included hwdetect to gather information for your configuration. This has been deprecated, and udev should handle most module loading automatically at boot.

Now you will be asked which text editor you want to use; choose nano, joe or vi, (nano is generally considered easiest of the 3). You will be presented with a menu including the main configuration files for your system.

Note: It is very important at this point to edit, or at least verify by opening, every configuration file. The installer script relies on your input to create these files on your installation. A common error is to skip over these critical steps of configuration.
Can the installer handle this more automatically?

Hiding the process of system configuration is in direct opposition to The Arch Way. While it is true that recent versions of the kernel and hardware probing tools offer excellent hardware support and auto-configuration, Arch presents the user all pertinent configuration files during installation for the purposes of transparency and system resource control. By the time you have finished modifying these files to your specifications, you will have learned the simple method of manual Arch Linux system configuration and become more familiar with the base structure, leaving you better prepared to use and maintain your new installation productively.

Moving on...


Arch Linux uses the file Template:Filename as the principal location for system configuration. This one file contains a wide range of configuration information, principally used at system startup. As its name directly implies, it also contains settings for and invokes the /etc/rc* files, and is, of course, sourced by these files.

  • LOCALE=: This sets your system locale, which will be used by all i18n-aware applications and utilities. You can get a list of the available locales by running locale -a from the command line. This setting's default is fine for US English users.
  • HARDWARECLOCK=: Specifies whether the hardware clock, which is synchronized on boot and on shutdown, stores UTC time, or localtime. UTC makes sense because it greatly simplifies changing timezones and daylight savings time. localtime is necessary if you dual boot with an operating system such as Windows, that only stores localtime to the hardware clock.
  • USEDIRECTISA=: Use direct I/O request instead of Template:Filename for hwclock
  • TIMEZONE=: Specify your TIMEZONE. (All available zones are under Template:Filename).
  • KEYMAP=: The available keymaps are in Template:Filename. Please note that this setting is only valid for your TTYs, not any graphical window managers or X.
  • CONSOLEFONT=: Available console fonts reside under Template:Filename if you must change. The default (blank) is safe.
  • CONSOLEMAP=: Defines the console map to load with the setfont program at boot. Possible maps are found in Template:Filename, if needed. The default (blank) is safe.
  • USECOLOR=: Select "yes" if you have a color monitor and wish to have colors in your consoles.
  • MOD_AUTOLOAD=: Setting this to "yes" will use udev to automatically probe hardware and load the appropriate modules during boot, (convenient with the default modular kernel). Setting this to "no" will rely on the user's ability to specify this information manually, or compile their own custom kernel and modules, etc.
  • MOD_BLACKLIST=: This has become deprecated in favor of adding blacklisted modules directly to the MODULES= line below.
  • MODULES=: Specify additional MODULES if you know that an important module is missing. If your system has any floppy drives, add "floppy". If you will be using loopback filesystems, add "loop". Also specify any blacklisted modules by prefixing them with a bang (!). Udev will be forced NOT to load blacklisted modules. In the example, the IPv6 module as well as the annoying pcspeaker are blacklisted.
# Scan hardware and load required modules at boot
# Module Blacklist - Deprecated
MODULES=(!net-pf-10 !snd_pcsp !pcspkr loop)
  • HOSTNAME=:Set your HOSTNAME to your liking. This is the name of your computer. Whatever you put here, also put it in Template:Filename
  • eth0=: 'Ethernet, card 0'. If you are using static IP, adjust the interface IP address, netmask and broadcast address. Set eth0="dhcp" if you want to use DHCP for dynamic/automatic configuration.
  • INTERFACES=: Specify all interfaces here. Multiple interfaces should be separated with a space as in:
(eth0 wlan0)
  • gateway=: If you are using static IP, set the gateway address. If using DHCP, you can usually ignore this variable, though some users have reported the need to define it.
  • ROUTES=: If you are using static IP, remove the ! in front of 'gateway'. If using DHCP, you can usually leave this variable commented out with the bang (!), but again, some users require the gateway and ROUTES defined. If you experience networking issues with pacman, for instance, you may want to return to these variables.

Example, using a dynamically assigned IP address (DHCP):

#eth0="eth0 netmask broadcast"
gateway="default gw"

Example, using a static IP address:

eth0="eth0 netmask broadcast"
gateway="default gw"

Modify Template:Filename to specify the DNS servers of choice. Example:


Various processes can overwrite the contents of Template:Filename. For example, by default Arch Linux uses the dhcpcd DHCP client, which will overwrite the file when it starts. Various methods may be used to preserve the nameserver settings in Template:Filename. For example, dhcpcd's configurations file may be edited to prevent the dhcpcd daemon from overwriting the file. To do this, you will need to append this to the end of Template:Filename:

nohook resolv.conf
Tip: If using a non-standard MTU size (a.k.a. jumbo frames) is desired AND the installation machine hardware supports them, see the Jumbo Frames wiki article for further configuration.

This array simply lists the names of those scripts contained in /etc/rc.d/ which are to be started during the boot process, and the order in which they start. Asynchronous initialization by backgrounding is also supported and useful for speeding up boot.

DAEMONS=(network @syslog-ng netfs @crond)
  • If a script name is prefixed with a bang (!), it is not executed.
  • If a script is prefixed with an "at" symbol (@), it shall be executed in the background; the startup sequence will not wait for successful completion of each daemon before continuing to the next. (Useful for speeding up system boot). Do not background daemons that are needed by other daemons. For example "mpd" depends on "network", therefore backgrounding network may cause mpd to break.
  • Edit this array whenever new system services are installed, if starting them automatically during boot is desired.
Note: This 'BSD-style' init, is the Arch way of handling what other distributions handle with various symlinks to an /etc/init.d directory.

The daemons line need not be changed at this time, but it is useful to explain what daemons are, as they will be addressed later in this guide.

A daemon is a program that runs in the background, waiting for events to occur and offering services. A good example is a web server that waits for a request to deliver a page (e.g.:httpd) or an SSH server waiting for a user login (e.g.:sshd). While these are full-featured applications, there are also daemons whose work is not that visible. Examples are a daemon which writes messages into a log file (e.g. syslog, metalog), and a daemon which provides a graphical login (e.g.: gdm, kdm). All these programs can be added to the daemons line and will be started when the system boots. Useful daemons will be presented during this guide.

Historically, the term daemon was coined by the programmers of MIT's Project MAC. They took the name from Maxwell's demon, an imaginary being from a famous thought experiment that constantly works in the background, sorting molecules. *nix systems inherited this terminology and created the backronym disk and execution monitor.

Tip: All Arch daemons reside under /etc/rc.d/


The fstab (for file systems table) is part of the system configuration listing all available disks and disk partitions, and indicating how they are to be initialized or otherwise integrated into the overall system's filesystem. The /etc/fstab file is most commonly used by the mount command. The mount command takes a filesystem on a device, and adds it to the main system hierarchy that you see when you use your system. mount -a is called from /etc/rc.sysinit, about 3/4 of the way through the boot process, and reads /etc/fstab to determine which options should be used when mounting the specified devices therein. If noauto is appended to a filesystem in /etc/fstab, mount -a will not mount it at boot.

An example /etc/fstab
# <file system>        <dir>        <type>        <options>                 <dump>    <pass>
none                   /dev/pts     devpts        defaults                       0         0
none                   /dev/shm     tmpfs         defaults                       0         0
/dev/sda1                   /          jfs        defaults,noatime               0         1
/dev/sda2                   /var     reiserfs     defaults,noatime,notail        0         2
/dev/sda3                    swap     swap        defaults                       0         0
/dev/sda4                   /home      jfs        defaults,noatime               0         2
Note: The 'noatime' option disables writing read access times to the metadata of files and may safely be appended to / and /home regardless of your specified filesystem type for increased speed, performance, and power efficiency (see here for more). 'notail' disables the ReiserFS tailpacking feature, for added performance at the cost of slightly less efficient disk usage.
  • <file system>: describes the block device or remote filesystem to be mounted. For regular mounts, this field will contain a link to a block device node (as created by mknod which is called by udev at boot) for the device to be mounted; for instance, '/dev/cdrom' or '/dev/sda1'.
Note: If your system has more than one hard drive, the installer will default to using UUID rather than the sdx naming scheme, for consistent device mapping. Utilizing UUID has several advantages and may also be preferred to avoid issues if hard disks are added to the system in the future. Due to active developments in the kernel and also udev, the ordering in which drivers for storage controllers are loaded may change randomly, yielding an unbootable system/kernel panic. Nearly every motherboard has several controllers (onboard SATA, onboard IDE), and due to the aforementioned development updates, /dev/sda may become /dev/sdb on the next reboot. (See this wiki article for more information on persistent block device naming. )
  • <dir>: describes the mount point for the filesystem. For swap partitions, this field should be specified as 'swap'; (Swap partitions are not actually mounted.)
  • <type>: describes the type of the filesystem. The Linux kernel supports many filesystem types. (For the filesystems currently supported by the running kernel, see /proc/filesystems). An entry 'swap' denotes a file or partition to be used for swapping. An entry 'ignore' causes the line to be ignored. This is useful to show disk partitions which are currently unused.
  • <options>: describes the mount options associated with the filesystem. It is formatted as a comma-separated list of options with no intervening spaces. It contains at least the type of mount plus any additional options appropriate to the filesystem type. For documentation on the available options for non-nfs file systems, see mount(8).
  • <dump>: used by the dump(8) command to determine which filesystems are to be dumped. dump is a backup utility. If the fifth field is not present, a value of zero is returned and dump will assume that the filesystem does not need to be backed up. Note that dump is not installed by default.
  • <pass>: used by the fsck(8) program to determine the order in which filesystem checks are done at boot time. The root filesystem should be specified with a <pass> of 1, and other filesystems should have a <pass> of 2 or 0. Filesystems within a drive will be checked sequentially, but filesystems on different drives will be checked at the same time to utilize parallelism available in the hardware. If the sixth field is not present or zero, a value of zero is returned and fsck will assume that the filesystem does not need to be checked.

Expanded information available in the Fstab wiki entry.


Most users will not need to modify this file at this time, but please read the following explanatory information.

This file allows further fine-tuning of the initial ram filesystem, or initramfs, (also historically referred to as the initial ramdisk or "initrd") for your system. The initramfs is a gzipped image that is read by the kernel during boot. The purpose of the initramfs is to bootstrap the system to the point where it can access the root filesystem. This means it has to load any modules that are required for devices like IDE, SCSI, or SATA drives (or USB/FW, if you are booting from a USB/FW drive). Once the initrramfs loads the proper modules, either manually or through udev, it passes control to the kernel and your boot continues. For this reason, the initramfs only needs to contain the modules necessary to access the root filesystem. It does not need to contain every module you would ever want to use. The majority of common kernel modules will be loaded later on by udev, during the init process.

mkinitcpio is the next generation of initramfs creation. It has many advantages over the old mkinitrd and mkinitramfs scripts.

  • It uses glibc and busybox to provide a small and lightweight base for early userspace.
  • It can use udev for hardware autodetection at runtime, thus preventing numerous unnecessary modules from being loaded.
  • Its hook-based init script is easily extendable with custom hooks, which can easily be included in pacman packages without having to modifiy mkinitcpio itself.
  • It already supports lvm2, dm-crypt for both legacy and luks volumes, raid, swsusp and suspend2 resuming and booting from usb mass storage devices.
  • Many features can be configured from the kernel command line without having to rebuild the image.
  • The mkinitcpio script makes it possible to include the image in a kernel, thus making a self-contained kernel image is possible.
  • Its flexibility makes recompiling a kernel unnecessary in many cases.

If using RAID or LVM on the root filesystem, the appropriate HOOKS must be configured. See the wiki pages for RAID and /etc/mkinitcpio for more info. If using a non-US keyboard. add the "keymap" hook to load your local keymap during boot. Add the "usbinput" hook if using a USB keyboard. Don't forget to add the "usb" hook when installing arch on an external hard drive which is connected via usb, e.g.:

HOOKS="base udev autodetect pata scsi sata usb filesystems keymap usbinput"

(Otherwise, if boot fails for some reason you will be asked to enter root's password for system maintenance but will be unable to do so.)

If you need support for booting from USB devices, FireWire devices, PCMCIA devices, NFS shares, software RAID arrays, LVM2 volumes, encrypted volumes, or DSDT support, configure your HOOKS accordingly.

If doing a CF or SD card install, you may need to add the usb HOOK for your system to boot properly.

If you are using a US keyboard, and have no need for any of the above HOOKS, editing this configuration should be unnecessary at this point.

mkinitcpio is an Arch innovation developed by Aaron Griffin and Tobias Powalowski with some help from the community.


This file can be used to set special configuration options for the kernel modules. It is unnecessary to configure this file in the example.

/etc/resolv.conf (for Static IP)

The resolver is a set of routines in the C library that provide access to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). One of the main functions of DNS is to translate domain names into IP addresses, to make the Web a friendlier place. The resolver configuration file, or /etc/resolv.conf, contains information that is read by the resolver routines the first time they are invoked by a process.

  • If you are using DHCP, you may safely ignore this file, as by default, it will be dynamically created and destroyed by the dhcpcd daemon. You may change this default behavior if you wish. (See Network#For DHCP IP).

If you use a static IP, set your DNS servers in /etc/resolv.conf (nameserver <ip-address>). You may have as many as you wish. An example, using OpenDNS:


If you are using a router, you will probably want to specify your DNS servers in the router itself, and merely point to it from your /etc/resolv.conf, using your router's IP (which is also your gateway from /etc/rc.conf), e.g.:


If using DHCP, you may also specify your DNS servers in the router, or allow automatic assignment from your ISP, if your ISP is so equipped.


This file associates IP addresses with hostnames and aliases, one line per IP address. For each host a single line should be present with the following information:

<IP-address> <hostname> [aliases...]

Add your hostname, coinciding with the one specified in /etc/rc.conf, as an alias, so that it looks like this:   localhost.localdomain   localhost yourhostname
Note: This format, including the 'localhost' and your actual host name, is required for program compatibility! So, if you have named your computer "arch", then that line above should look like this:   localhost.localdomain   localhost arch
Errors in this entry may cause poor network performance and/or certain programs to open very slowly, or not work at all. This is a very common error for beginners.

If you use a static IP, add another line using the syntax: <static-IP> <> <hostname> e.g.:  yourhostname
Tip: For convenience, you may also use /etc/hosts aliases for hosts on your network, and/or on the Web, e.g.:   g   media   data
The above example would allow you to access google simply by typing 'g' into your browser, and access to a media and data server on your network by name and without the need for typing out their respective IP addresses.

/etc/hosts.deny 與 /etc/hosts.allow

Modify these configurations according to your needs if you plan on using the ssh daemon. The default configuration will reject all incoming connections, not only ssh connections. Edit your /etc/hosts.allow file and add the appropriate parameters:

  • let everyone connect to you
sshd: ALL
  • restrict it to a certain ip
  • restrict it to your local LAN network (range to
sshd: 192.168.0.
  • OR restrict for an IP range

If you do not plan on using the ssh daemon, leave this file at the default, (empty), for added security.


The /usr/sbin/locale-gen command reads from /etc/locale.gen to generate specific locales. They can then be used by glibc and any other locale-aware program or library for rendering text, correctly displaying regional monetary values, time and date formats, alphabetic idiosyncrasies, and other locale-specific standards.

By default /etc/locale.gen is an empty file with commented documentation. Once edited, the file remains untouched. locale-gen runs on every glibc upgrade, generating all the locales specified in /etc/locale.gen.

Choose the locale(s) you need (remove the # in front of the lines you want), e.g.:

en_US ISO-8859-1

The installer will now run the locale-gen script, which will generate the locales you specified. You may change your locale in the future by editing /etc/locale.gen and subsequently running 'locale-gen' as root.

Note: If you fail to choose your locale, this will lead to a "The current locale is invalid..." error. This is perhaps the most common mistake by new Arch users, and also leads to the most commonly asked questions on the forum.

Pacman-Mirror (Pacman 鏡像)

Choose a mirror repository for pacman.

  • is throttled, limiting downloads to 50KB/s

Root password (root 密碼)

Finally, set a root password and make sure that you remember it later. Return to the main menu and continue with installing bootloader.

Done (完成)

When you select "Done", the system will rebuild the images and put you back to the Main Menu. This may take some time.

G: 安裝開機程式

Because we have no secondary operating system in our example, we will need a bootloader. GNU GRUB is the recommended bootloader. Alternatively, you may choose LILO or Syslinux.


The provided GRUB configuration (/boot/grub/menu.lst) should be sufficient, but verify its contents to ensure accuracy (specifically, ensure that the root (/) partition is specified by UUID on line 3). You may want to alter the resolution of the console by adding a vga=<number> kernel argument corresponding to your desired virtual console resolution. (A table of resolutions and the corresponding numbers is printed in the menu.lst.)


title  Arch Linux (Main)
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sda1 ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img
Note: The linux kernel, 'vmlinuz', is so named because it incorporated virtual memory capability early in its development. The z denotes a zipped (compressed) image.

Example for /boot on the separate partition:

title  Arch Linux (Main)
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sda3 ro
initrd /kernel26.img


Line 1: title: A printed menu selection. "Arch Linux (Main)" will be printed on the screen as a menu selection.

Line 2: root: GRUB's root; the drive and partition where the kernel (/boot) resides, according to system BIOS. (More accurately, where GRUB's stage2 file resides). NOT necessarily the root (/) file system, as they can reside on separate partitions. GRUB's numbering scheme starts at 0, and uses an hdx,x format regardless of IDE or SATA, and enclosed within parentheses.

The example indicates that /boot is on the first partition of the first drive, according to BIOS, or, (hd0,0).

Line 3: kernel: This line specifies:

  • The path and filename of the kernel relative to GRUB's root.

In the example, /boot is merely a directory residing on the same partition as / and vmlinuz26 is the kernel filename; /boot/vmlinuz26. If /boot were on a separate partition, the path and filename would be simply /vmlinuz26, being relative to GRUB's root.

  • The root= argument to the kernel statement specifies the partition containing the root (/) directory in the booted system, (more accurately, the partition containing /sbin/init).
  • An easy way to distinguish the 2 appearances of 'root' in /boot/grub/menu.lst is to remember that the first root statement informs GRUB where the kernel resides, whereas the second root= kernel argument tells the kernel where the root filesystem (/) resides.
  • Kernel options.

In our example, ro mounts the filesystem as read only during startup, (usually a safe default; you may wish to change this in case it causes problems booting).

Note: Depending on hardware, 'rootdelay=8' may need to be added to the kernel options in order to be able to boot from an external usb hard drive.

Line 4: initrd: (For Initial RAM disk) The path and filename of the initial RAM filesystem relative to GRUB's root. Again, in the example, /boot is merely a directory residing on the same partition as / and kernel26.img is the initrd filename; /boot/kernel26.img. If /boot were on a separate partition, the path and filename would be simply /kernel26.img, being relative to GRUB's root.

Install the GRUB bootloader (to the master boot record, sda in our example).

Tip: For more details, see the GRUB wiki page.

H: 重新開機

That's it; You have configured and installed your Arch Linux base system. Exit the install, and reboot:

# reboot

(Be sure to remove the installer CD)


Your new Arch Linux system will boot up and finish with a login prompt (you may want to change the boot order in your BIOS back to booting from hard disk).

Congratulations, and welcome to your new Arch Linux base system!

Your new Arch Linux base system is now a functional GNU/Linux environment ready for customization. From here, you may build this elegant set of tools into whatever you wish or require for your purposes.

Login with the root account. We will configure pacman and update the system as root.

Note: Virtual consoles 1-6 are available. You may switch between them with ALT+F1...F6

Step 1: Configuring the network (if necessary)

  • This section will assist you in configuring most types of networks, if your network configuration is not working for you.

If you properly configured your system, you should have a working network. Try to ping to verify this.

# ping -c 3

If you have successfully established a network connection, continue with Update, Sync, and Upgrade the system with pacman.

If, after trying to ping, an "unknown host" error is received, you may conclude that your network is not properly configured. You may choose to double-check the following files for integrity and proper settings:

/etc/rc.conf # Specifically, check your HOSTNAME= and NETWORKING section for typos and errors.

/etc/hosts # Double-check your format. (See above.)

/etc/resolv.conf # If you are using a static IP. If you are using DHCP, this file will be dynamically created and destroyed by default, but can be changed to your preference. (See Network.)

Tip: Advanced instructions for configuring the network can be found in the Network article.

Wired LAN

Check your Ethernet with

# ifconfig -a

All interfaces will be listed. You should see an entry for eth0, or perhaps eth1.

  • Static IP

If required, you can set a new static IP with:

# ifconfig eth0 <ip address> netmask <netmask> up

and the default gateway with

# route add default gw <ip address of the gateway>

Verify that /etc/resolv.conf contains your DNS server and add it if it is missing. Check your network again with ping If everything is working now, adjust /etc/rc.conf as described above for static IP.

  • DHCP

If you have a DHCP server/router in your network try:

# dhcpcd eth0

If this is working, adjust /etc/rc.conf as described above, for dynamic IP.

Wireless LAN

  • Ensure the driver has created a usable interface:
# iwconfig
  • Bring the interface up with ifconfig <interface> up. e.g.:
# ifconfig wlan0 up
Note: If you get this error message: SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory it most certainly means your wireless chipset requires a firmware to function, which you forgot to install during package selection. See Does the Wireless Chipset require Firmware? and Select Packages.
  • Associate your wireless device with the access point you want to use. Depending on the encryption (none, WEP, or WPA), the procedure may differ. You need to know the name of the chosen wireless network (ESSID), e.g. 'linksys' in the following examples:
  • An example using a non-encrypted network:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys"
  • An example using WEP and a hexadecimal key:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys" key 0241baf34c
  • An example using WEP and an ASCII passphrase:
# iwconfig wlan0 essid "linksys" key s:pass1
  • Using WPA, the procedure requires a bit more work. Check WPA supplicant for more information and troubleshooting:
# wpa_passphrase linksys "secretpassphrase" > /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
# wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
  • Check you have successfully associated to the access point before continuing:
# iwconfig wlan0
  • Request an IP address with /sbin/dhcpcd <interface> . e.g.:
# dhcpcd wlan0
  • Ensure you can route using /bin/ping:
# ping -c 3

You should have a working network connection. For troubleshooting, check the detailed Wireless Setup page.

Proxy Server

If you are behind a proxy server, edit /etc/wgetrc and set http_proxy and ftp_proxy in it.

Analog Modem, ISDN, and DSL (PPPoE)

See Internet Access for detailed instructions.

步驟 2: Update, Sync, and Upgrade the system with pacman

Now we will update the system using pacman.

What is pacman ?

Pacman is the package manager of Arch Linux. Pacman is written in C and is designed from the ground up to be lightweight, to occupy a very modest memory footprint, and to be fast, simple, and versatile. It manages your entire package system and handles installation, removal, package downgrade (through cache), custom compiled package handling, automatic dependency resolution, remote and local searches and much more. Pacman's output is streamlined, very readable and provides ETA for each package download. Arch uses pkg.tar.gz tarballs and is in the process of moving to the pkg.tar.xz format.

Pacman will now be used to download software packages from remote repositories and install them onto your system.

Package Repositories

Arch currently offers the following 5 repositories readily accessible through pacman:


The simple principle behind [core] is to provide only one of each necessary tool for a base Arch Linux system; The GNU toolchain, the Linux kernel, one editor, one command line browser, etc. (There are a few exceptions to this. For instance, both vi and nano are provided, allowing the user to choose one or both.) It contains all the packages that MUST be in perfect working order to ensure the system remains in a usable state. These are the absolute system-critical packages.

  • Developer maintained
  • All binary packages
  • pacman accessible
  • The Core installation media simply contains an installer script, and a snapshot of the core repository at the time of release.

The [extra] repository contains all Arch packages that are not themselves necessary for a base Arch system, but contribute to a more full-featured environment. X, KDE, and Apache, for instance, can be found here.

  • Developer maintained
  • All binary packages
  • pacman accessible

The [testing] repository contains packages that are candidates for the [core] or [extra] repositories. New packages go into [testing] if:

* they are expected to break something on update and need to be tested first.

* they require other packages to be rebuilt. In this case, all packages that need to be rebuilt are put into [testing] first and when all rebuilds are done, they are moved back to the other repositories.

  • Developer maintained
  • All binary packages
  • pacman accessible
Note: [testing] is the only repository that can have name collisions with any of the other official repositories. Therefore, if enabled, [testing] must be the first repo listed in pacman.conf.
Warning: Only experienced users should use [testing].

The [community] repository is maintained by the Trusted Users (TUs) and is simply the binary branch of the Arch User Repository (AUR). It contains binary packages which originated as PKGBUILDs from AUR [unsupported] that have acquired enough votes and were adopted by a TU. Like all repos listed above, [community] may be readily accessed by pacman.

  • TU maintained
  • All binary packages
  • pacman accessible

Users running 64 bit arch linux may want to install and use applications that are not available in 64 bit (and most desktop or laptop users probably will). The 32 bit versions of these applications can be used, but require that certain 32 bit libraries are installed. These libraries are available in the [multilib] repository.

  • Developer maintained
  • All binary packages
  • pacman accessible
Note: If you want to use this repository, you should add the lines below to /etc/pacman.conf
Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
AUR (unsupported)

The AUR also contains the unsupported branch, which cannot be accessed directly by pacman*. AUR [unsupported] does not contain binary packages. Rather, it provides more than sixteen thousand PKGBUILD scripts for building packages from source, that may be unavailable through the other repos. When an AUR unsupported package acquires enough popular votes, it may be moved to the AUR [community] binary repo, if a TU is willing to adopt and maintain it there.

  • TU maintained
  • All PKGBUILD bash build scripts
  • Not pacman accessible by default

* pacman wrappers (AUR Helpers) can help you seamlessly access AUR.


pacman will attempt to read /etc/pacman.conf each time it is invoked. This configuration file is divided into sections, or repositories. Each section defines a package repository that pacman can use when searching for packages. The exception to this is the options section, which defines global options.

Note that the defaults should work, so modifying at this point may be unnecessary, but verification is always recommended. Further info available in the Mirrors article.

# nano /etc/pacman.conf

Example: Template:File

Enable all desired repositories (remove the # in front of the 'Include =' and '[repository]' lines).

  • When choosing repos, be sure to uncomment both the repository header lines in [brackets] as well as the 'Include =' lines. Failure to do so will result in the selected repository being omitted! This is a very common error.


Defines pacman repository mirrors and priorities.

Build a mirrorlist using the rankmirrors script (Optional)

/usr/bin/rankmirrors is a bash script which will attempt to detect uncommented mirrors specified in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist which are closest to the installation machine based on latency. Faster mirrors will dramatically improve pacman performance, and the overall Arch Linux experience. This script may be run periodically, especially if the chosen mirrors provide inconsistent throughput and/or updates. Note that rankmirrors does not test for throughput. Too/ls such as wget or rsync may be used to effectively test for mirror throughput after a new /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist has been generated.

Initially force pacman to refresh the package lists

Issue the following command:

# pacman -Syy

Passing two --refresh or -y flags forces pacman to refresh all package lists even if they are considered to be up to date. Issuing pacman -Syy whenever a mirror is changed, is good practice and will avoid possible headaches.

Use pacman to install curl:

# pacman -S curl
  • If you get an error at this step, use the command "nano /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist" and uncomment a server that suits you.

cd to the /etc/pacman.d/ directory:

# cd /etc/pacman.d

Backup the existing /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist:

# cp mirrorlist mirrorlist.backup

Edit mirrorlist.backup and uncomment all mirrors on the same continent or within geographical proximity to test with rankmirrors.

# nano mirrorlist.backup

Run the script against the mirrorlist.backup with the -n switch and redirect output to a new /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist file:

# rankmirrors -n 6 mirrorlist.backup > mirrorlist

-n 6: rank the 6 closest mirrors

Force pacman to refresh all package lists with the new mirrorlist in place:

# pacman -Syy

If you want to get help from the IRC channel, you will find it easier if you install and use curlpaste:

# pacman -S curlpaste

Mirrorcheck for up-to-date packages

Some of the official mirrors may contain packages that are out-of-date. ArchLinux Mirrorcheck reports various aspects about the mirrors such as network problems with mirrors, data collection problems, the last time mirrors have been synced, etc.

One may wish to manually inspect /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist, ensuring that the file contains only up-to-date mirrors if having the latest package versions is a priority.

Ignoring packages

After executing the command "pacman -Syu", the entire system will be updated. It is possible to prevent a package from being upgraded. A typical scenario would be a package for which an upgrade may prove problematic for the system. In this case, there are two options; indicate the package(s) to skip in the pacman command line using the --ignore switch (do pacman -S --help for details) or permanently indicate the package(s) to skip in the /etc/pacman.conf file in the IgnorePkg array. List each package, with one intervening space :

IgnorePkg = wine

The typical way to use Arch is to use pacman to install all packages unless there is no package available, in which case ABS may be used. Many user-contributed package build scripts are also available in the AUR and can be installed manually with makepkg, or with an AUR helper.

The power user is expected to keep the system up to date with pacman -Syu, rather than selectively upgrading packages. You may diverge from this typical usage as you wish; just be warned that there is a greater chance that things will not work as intended and that it could break your system. The majority of complaints happen when selective upgrading, unusual compilation or improper software installation is performed. Use of IgnorePkg in /etc/pacman.conf is therefore discouraged, and should only be used sparingly, if you know what you are doing.

Ignoring Configuration Files

In the same vein, you can also "protect" your configuration/system files from being overwritten during "pacman -Su" using the following option in your /etc/pacman.conf

NoUpgrade = etc/lilo.conf boot/grub/menu.lst

Get familiar with pacman

pacman is the Arch user's best friend. It is highly recommended to study and learn how to use the pacman(8) tool. Try:

$ man pacman

For more information, have a look at the pacman wiki entry at your own leisure.

Step 3: Update System

You are now ready to upgrade your entire system. Before you do, read through the news (and optionally the announce mailing list). Often the developers will provide important information about required configurations and modifications for known issues. Consulting these pages before any upgrade is good practice.

Sync, refresh, and upgrade your entire new system with:

# pacman -Syu


# pacman --sync --refresh --sysupgrade

pacman will now download a fresh copy of the master package list from the server(s) defined in pacman.conf(5) and perform all available upgrades. (You may be prompted to upgrade pacman itself at this point. If so, say yes, and then reissue the pacman -Syu command when finished.)

Reboot if a kernel upgrade has occurred.

Note: Occasionally, configuration changes may take place requiring user action during an update; read pacman's output for any pertinent information.

Pacman output is saved in /var/log/pacman.log.

See Package Management FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions regarding updating and managing your packages.

The Arch rolling release model

Keep in mind that Arch is a rolling release distribution. This means there is never a reason to reinstall or perform elaborate system rebuilds to upgrade to the newest version. Simply issuing pacman -Syu periodically keeps your entire system up-to-date and on the bleeding edge. At the end of this upgrade, your system is completely current. Reboot if a kernel upgrade has occurred.


Linux is a multi-user environment. You should not do your everyday work using the root account. It is more than poor practice; it is dangerous. Root is for administrative tasks. Instead, add a normal, non-root, user account using the /usr/sbin/useradd program.

useradd -m -g [initial_group] -G [additional_groups] -s [login_shell] [username]
  • -m Creates user home directory as /home/username. Within their home directory, a user can write files, delete them, install programs, etc. Users' home directories shall contain their data and personal configuration files, the so-called 'dot files' (their name is preceded by a dot), which are 'hidden'. (To view dotfiles, enable the appropriate option in your file manager or run ls with the -a switch.) If there is a conflict between user (under /home/username) and global configuration files, (usually under /etc/) the settings in the user file will prevail. Dotfiles likely to be altered by the end user include .xinitrc and .bashrc files. The configuration files for xinit and Bash respectively. They allow the user the ability to change the window manager to be started upon login and also aliases, user-specified commands and environment variables respectively. When a user is created, their dotfiles shall be taken from the /etc/skel directory where system sample files reside.
  • -g The group name or number of the user's initial login group. The group name must exist. If a group number is provided, it must refer to an already existing group. If not specified, the behavior of useradd will depend on the USERGROUPS_ENAB variable contained in /etc/login.defs.
  • -G A list of supplementary groups which the user is also a member of. Each group is separated from the next by a comma, with no intervening spaces. The default is for the user to belong only to the initial group.
  • -s The path and filename of the user´s default login shell. Arch Linux init scripts use Bash. After the boot process is complete, the default login shell is user-specified. (Ensure the chosen shell package is installed if choosing something other than Bash).

Useful groups for your non-root user include:

  • audio - for tasks involving sound card and related software
  • floppy - for access to a floppy if applicable
  • lp - for managing printing tasks
  • optical - for managing tasks pertaining to the optical drive(s)
  • storage - for managing storage devices
  • video - for video tasks and hardware acceleration
  • wheel - for using sudo
  • games - needed for write permission for games in the games group
  • power - used w/ power options (e.g.: shutdown with power button)
  • scanner - for using a scanner

A typical desktop system example, adding a user named "archie" specifying bash as the login shell:

useradd -m -g users -G audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power -s /bin/bash archie

Next, add a password for your new user using /usr/bin/passwd.

An example for our user, 'archie':

# passwd archie

(You will be prompted to provide the new password.)

Your new non-root user has now been created, complete with a home directory and a login password.

Deleting the user account:

In the event of error, or if you wish to delete this user account in favor of a different name or for any other reason, use /usr/sbin/userdel:

# userdel -r [username]
  • -r Files in the user´s home directory will be removed along with the home directory itself and the user´s mail spool.

If you want to change the name of your user or any existing user, see the Change username page of the Arch wiki and/or the Groups and User Management articles for further information. You may also check the man pages for usermod(8) and gpasswd(8).

Install and setup Sudo (Optional)

Install Sudo:

# pacman -S sudo

To add a user as a sudo user (a "sudoer"), the visudo command must be run as root.

By default, the visudo command uses the editor vi. If you do not know how to use vi, you may set the EDITOR environment variable to the editor of your choice, such as in this example with the editor "nano":

# EDITOR=nano visudo
Note: Please note that you are setting the variable and starting visudo on the same line at the same time. This will not work properly as two separated commands.

If you are comfortable using vi, issue the visudo command without the EDITOR=nano variable:

# visudo

This will open the file /etc/sudoers in a special session of vi. visudo copies the file to be edited to a temporary file, edits it with an editor, (vi by default), and subsequently runs a sanity check. If it passes, the temporary file overwrites the original with the correct permissions.

Warning: Do not edit /etc/sudoers directly with an editor; Errors in syntax can cause annoyances (like rendering the root account unusable). You must use the visudo command to edit /etc/sudoers.

In the previous section we added your user to the "wheel" group. To give users in the wheel group full root privileges when they precede a command with "sudo", uncomment the following line:

%wheel	ALL=(ALL) ALL

Now you can give any user access to the sudo command by simply adding them to the wheel group.

For more information, such as sudoer <TAB> completion, see Sudo

Further, for security purposes, it is good practice to restrict access to the "su" command to users in the "wheel" group only. This can be accomplished by editing /etc/pam.d/su:

# nano /etc/pam.d/su

Uncomment the following line:

auth		required use_uid


The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (known by the acronym ALSA) is a Linux kernel component intended to replace the original Open Sound System (OSS) for providing device drivers for sound cards. Besides the sound device drivers, ALSA also bundles a user space library for application developers who want to use driver features with a higher level API than direct interaction with the kernel drivers.

Note: Alsa is included in the Arch mainline kernel and udev will automatically probe your hardware at boot, loading the corresponding kernel module for your audio card. Therefore, your sound should already be working, but upstream sources mute all channels by default.
Note: OSS4.2 has been released under a free license and is generally considered a significant improvement over older OSS versions. If you have issues with ALSA, or simply wish to explore another option, you may choose OSS4.2 instead. Instructions can be found in the OSS article.

The alsa-utils package contains the alsamixer userspace tool, which allows configuration of the sound device from the console or terminal.

Install the alsa-utils package:

 # pacman -S alsa-utils

Also, you may want to install the alsa-oss package, which wraps applications written for OSS in a compatibility library, allowing them to work with ALSA. To install the alsa-oss package:

# pacman -S alsa-oss

Did you add your normal user to the audio group? If not, use /usr/bin/gpasswd. As root do:

# gpasswd -a yourusername audio

You must log out to activate this change. As normal, non-root user, invoke /usr/bin/alsamixer:

# su - yourusername
$ alsamixer

Unmute the Master and PCM channels by scrolling to them with cursor left/right and pressing Template:Keypress. With the key Template:Keypress increased the volume to obtain a value of zero dB gain, this wording is found in the upper left. Higher values of gain produce distorted sounds and crackling.

Card: NVidia CK804
Chip: Realtek ALC658D
View: F3:[Playback] F4: Capture  F5: All
Item: PCM [dB gain: 0,00, 0,00]

Usually a value around 75 produces a gain of zero, but some cards to a maximum value do not add any gain. Some machines, (like the Thinkpad T61), have a Speaker channel which must be unmuted and adjusted as well. Leave alsamixer by pressing ESC.

Sound test

Ensure your speakers are properly connected, and test your sound configuration as normal user using /usr/bin/aplay:

$ aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

You should hear a woman's voice saying, "Front, center."

Saving the sound settings

Switch back to root user and store these settings using /usr/sbin/alsactl :

# alsactl -f /var/lib/alsa/asound.state store

This will create the file Template:Filename, saving the alsamixer settings.

Also, add the alsa daemon to your DAEMONS section in /etc/rc.conf to automatically restore the mixer settings at boot.

# nano /etc/rc.conf
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network crond alsa)
Note: The alsa daemon merely restores your volume mixer levels on boot up by reading Template:Filename. It is separate from the alsa audio library (and kernel level API).
Tip: For advanced information and troubleshooting, see ALSA.


Step 1: Install X

The X Window System version 11 (commonly X11, or just simply X) is a networking and display protocol which provides windowing on bitmap displays. It provides the standard toolkit and protocol to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

X provides the basic framework, or primitives, for building GUI environments: spaces for interaction with a mouse, keyboard, or other input to windows on the screen. X does not mandate the user interface per application, the individual client programs handle this. X does add that graphic splendor at the cost of an extra layer.

X is so named because it was preceded by the W Window System, originally developed at Stanford University.

Warning: If you're installing Arch in a Virtualbox guest, you need a different way to complete X installation. See Running Arch Linux as a guest, then skip the A,B,C steps below.

A: Install Xorg

Now we will install the base Xorg packages using pacman. This is the first step in building a GUI.

Install the base packages:

# pacman -S xorg

Install mesa for 3D support:

# pacman -S mesa

The 3D utilities glxgears and glxinfo are included in the mesa-demos package, install if needed:

# pacman -S mesa-demos

B: Install video driver

Next, you should install a driver for your graphics card.

You will need knowledge of which video chipset your machine has. If you do not know, use the /usr/sbin/lspci program:

$ lspci
Note: The vesa driver is the most generic, and should work with almost any modern video chipset. If you cannot find a suitable driver for your video chipset, vesa should work with any video card, but it offers only slow 2D.

If you need a list of all open-source video drivers, do:

$ pacman -Ss xf86-video | less

Or use this list of open-source drivers, and the corresponding video chipsets:

  • xf86-video-apm — Alliance ProMotion video driver
  • xf86-video-ark — ark video driver
  • xf86-video-ast — ASPEED AST Graphics video driver
  • xf86-video-ati — ATI(AMD) radeon video driver
    • xf86-video-r128 — ATI(AMD) video driver for ati Rage128 video
    • xf86-video-mach64 — ATI(AMD) video driver for mach64 video
  • xf86-video-chips — Chips and Technologies video driver
  • xf86-video-cirrus — Cirrus Logic video driver
  • xf86-video-dummy — dummy video driver
  • xf86-video-fbdev — framebuffer video driver
  • xf86-video-glint — GLINT/Permedia video driver
  • xf86-video-i128 — Number 0 i128 video driver
  • xf86-video-i740 — Intel i740 video driver
  • xf86-video-intel — Intel i810/i830/i915/945G/G965+ video drivers
  • xf86-video-mga — mga video driver (Matrox Graphics Adapter)
  • xf86-video-neomagic — neomagic video driver
  • xf86-video-nv — Nvidia nv video driver
  • xf86-video-nouveau — Open Source 3D acceleration driver for nVidia cards
  • xf86-video-openchrome — VIA/S3G UniChrome, UniChrome Pro and Chrome9 video driver
  • xf86-video-rendition — Rendition video driver
  • xf86-video-s3 — S3 video driver
  • xf86-video-s3virge — S3 Virge video driver
  • xf86-video-savage — savage video driver
  • xf86-video-siliconmotion — siliconmotion video driver
  • xf86-video-sis — SiS video driver
  • xf86-video-sisusb — SiS USB video driver
  • xf86-video-tdfx — tdfx video driver
  • xf86-video-trident — Trident video driver
  • xf86-video-tseng — tseng video driver
  • xf86-video-unichrome — VIA S3 Unichrome video drivers
  • xf86-video-v4l — v4l video driver
  • xf86-video-vesa — vesa video driver
  • xf86-video-vmware — vmware video driver
  • xf86-video-voodoo — voodoo video driver
  • xf86-video-xgi — XGI video driver
  • xf86-video-xgixp — XGIXP video driver

Use pacman to install the appropriate video driver for your video card/onboard video. e.g.:

# pacman -S xf86-video-savage

(for the Savage driver.)

Tip: For some Intel graphics cards, configuration may be necessary to get proper 2D or 3D performance, see Intel for more information.
NVIDIA Graphics Cards

NVIDIA users have three options for drivers (in addition to the vesa driver):

  • The open source nouveau driver, which offers fast 2d acceleration and experimental 3d support which is good enough for basic compositing (note: does not support powersaving yet). Feature Matrix.
  • The open source (but obfuscated) nv driver, which is very slow and only has 2d support.
  • The proprietary nvidia drivers, which offer good 3d performance and powersaving. See NVIDIA for more information. Even if you plan on using the proprietary drivers, it's recommended to start with nouveau and then switch to the binary driver, because nouveau will almost always work out-of-the-box, while nvidia will require configuration and likely some troubleshooting.

The open-source nouveau driver should be good enough for most users and is recommended:

# pacman -S xf86-video-nouveau

For 3D support (highly experimental):

# pacman -S nouveau-dri

Create the file Template:Filename, and input the following contents:

Section "Device"
    Identifier "n"
    Driver "nouveau"

This is required to ensure that nouveau driver is loaded. Xorg is not yet smart enough to do this by itself.

Tip: For advanced instructions, see Nouveau.
ATI Graphics Cards

ATI owners have two options for drivers (in addition to the vesa driver):

  • The open source radeon driver provided by the xf86-video-ati package. It fully supports Radeon chipsets up to X1950 (latest R500 chipsets). Cards up to the 9200 series are fully supported, stable, and provide full 2D and 3D acceleration. Cards from 9500 to HD4000 feature full 2D acceleration, and stable/partly implemented 3D acceleration, but lack certain features provided by the proprietary driver; power management is under development and in an advanced stage, but not on par with catalyst. HD5000 support is currently a work in progress. Supports KMS and HDMI with audio output since kernel 2.6.33. Feature Matrix.
  • The proprietary fglrx driver provided by the catalyst package located in the AUR. It supports only newer devices (HD2xxx and newer). It was once a package offered by Arch in the extra repository, but as of March 2009, official support has been dropped because of dissatisfaction with the quality and speed of development of the proprietary driver. See ATI Catalyst for more information.

The open-source driver is the recommended choice:

Install the radeon ATI Driver:

# pacman -S xf86-video-ati
Tip: For advanced instructions, see ATI.

C: Install input drivers

Udev should be capable of detecting your hardware without problems and evdev (xf86-input-evdev) is the modern, hotplugging input driver for almost all devices so in most cases, installing input drivers is not needed. At this point, evdev has already been installed as a dependency of Xorg.

If evdev does not support your device, install the needed driver from the xorg-input-drivers group.

For a complete list of available input drivers, invoke a pacman search:

# pacman -Ss xf86-input | less
Note: You only need xf86-input-keyboard or xf86-input-mouse if you plan on disabling hotplugging, otherwise, evdev will act as the input driver.

Laptop users (or users with a touchscreen) will also need the synaptics package to allow X to configure the touchpad/touchscreen:

# pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics
Tip: For instructions on fine tuning or troubleshooting touchpad settings, see the Touchpad Synaptics article.

Step 2: Configure X (Optional)

Warning: Proprietary drivers usually require a reboot after installation along with configuration. See NVIDIA or ATI Catalyst for details.

X.Org X Server features auto-configuration. Therefore, it can function without an xorg.conf.

Note: If you want to configure something like horizontal/vertical refresh or monitor dimensions if your monitor's EDID is incorrect, see Xorg.

The current arrangement of configuration files is found in /etc/X11. Within that directory, there is the subdirectory /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. This is the directory which contains the default configuration files for the X server. These are supplied by your distribution, automatically-created or may also be added to for your personal configuration and editing. However, it is also possible to simply create and edit Template:Filename, since that file is read last after those in the /xorg.conf.d directory.

Non-US keyboard

If you do not use a standard US keyboard you need to set the keyboard layout in Template:Filename:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "evdev keyboard catchall"
    MatchIsKeyboard "on"
    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
    Driver "evdev"
    Option "XkbLayout" "be"
Note: The XkbLayout key may differ from the keymap code you used with the km or loadkeys command. For instance, the uk layout corresponds to the key: gb.

Step 3: Starting a basic graphical environment

This section will explain how to start the very basic graphical environment included with in the xorg group. This uses the simple default X window manager, twm.

The default X environment is rather bare, and step 5 will deal with installing a desktop environment or window manager of your choice to supplement X.

If you just installed Xorg, there is an empty .xinitrc file in your $HOME that you need to either delete or edit in order for X to start properly. If you do not do this X will show a blank screen with what appears to be no errors in your Xorg.0.log. Simply deleting it will get it running with a default X environment.

$ rm ~/.xinitrc

Message bus

dbus is likely required for many of your applications to work properly, if you know you don't need it, skip this section.


Install dbus:

# pacman -S dbus
Starting the daemon

You should add dbus to your DAEMONS array in Template:Filename:

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng dbus network crond)

If you need to start dbus without rebooting, run

# /etc/rc.d/dbus start

Starting X

Note: The Ctrl-Alt-Backspace shortcut traditionally used to kill X has been deprecated and will not work to exit out of this test. You can enable Ctrl-Alt-Backspace by editing xorg.conf, as described at here.

Finally, start Xorg:

$ startx


$ xinit -- /usr/bin/X -nolisten tcp

If the screen goes black, you may still attempt to switch to a different virtual console (CTRL-Alt-F2, for example), and login blindly as root, followed by <Enter>, followed by root's password followed by <Enter>.

You can attempt to kill the X server with /usr/bin/pkill (note the capital letter X):

# pkill X

If pkill does not work, reboot blindly with:

# reboot


# init 6

In case of errors

If a problem occurs, then look for errors in Template:Filename. Be on the lookout for any lines beginning with (EE) which represent errors, and also (WW) which are warnings that could indicate other issues.

$ grep EE /var/log/Xorg.0.log

Errors may also be searched for in the console output of the virtual console from which X was started.

See the Xorg article for detailed instructions and troubleshooting.

Need Help?

If you are still having trouble after consulting the Xorg article and need assistance via the Arch forums, be sure to install and use wgetpaste:

# pacman -S wgetpaste

Use wgetpaste and provide links for the following files when asking for help in your forum post:

  • ~/.xinitrc
  • /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  • /var/log/Xorg.0.log
  • /var/log/Xorg.0.log.old

Use wgetpaste like so:

$ wgetpaste </path/to/file>

Post the corresponding links given within your forum post. Be sure to provide appropriate hardware and driver information as well.

Warning: It is very important to provide detail when troubleshooting X. Please provide all pertinent information as detailed above when asking for assistance on the Arch forums.

Step 4: Install Fonts

At this point, you may wish to save time by installing visually pleasing, true type fonts, before installing a desktop environment/window manager. DejaVu is a set of high quality, general-purpose fonts.

Install with:

# pacman -S ttf-dejavu

Refer to Font Configuration for how to configure font rendering and Fonts for font suggestions and installation instructions.

Step 5: Choose and install a graphical interface

The X Window System provides the basic framework for building a graphical user interface (GUI).

A Window Manager controls the placement and appearance of application windows in conjunction with the X Window System.

A Desktop Environment (DE), works atop and in conjunction with X, to provide a completely functional and dynamic GUI. A DE typically provides a window manager, icons, applets, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, a suite of applications and abilities like drag and drop.

Alternatively, you can build your own DE by using a WM and the applications of your choice.

Note: Unlike lots of other distributions, Arch won't decide what graphical environment you want to use. Choosing your DE or WM is a very subjective and personal decision. Choose the best environment for your needs. It's worth trying out a bunch of the environments listed here before you make your choice as pacman can completely remove anything you install.

After installing a graphical interface, you'll probably want to continue with General Recommendations for post-installation instructions.

Desktop Environments

See Desktop environments for more information.

Window Managers

See Window managers for more information.

Methods for starting your Graphical Environment

A: Manually

You might prefer to start X manually from your terminal rather than booting straight into the desktop (if not, skip to B: Automatically). There are three methods for starting X manually. Choose the one that suits you best:

Method 1: DE-specific commands

For some users, this method might be the easiest since you need only enter a command without any configuring. Simply use a command to launch your WM/DE. You may always start your desktop environment with xinit or startx, followed by the path to your DE's script:

$ xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session


$ startx /usr/bin/startkde

from the shell prompt. Note that such a command does not finish until you logout of the DE.

Note: If you do xinit gnome-session instead of xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session, then you will have problems on your desktop. Always include the complete path (/usr/bin/)

Optionally, you can make an alias in /etc/bash.bashrc so you don't have to type the whole command.

alias gnome="xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session"

Alternatively, if you wish to launch a Display Manager (AKA login manager) rather than go directly into your desktop, you can use the command for your installed Display Manager. For example, for gnome:

$ gdm

or KDE:

$ kdm


Method 2: using runlevels

By default, Linux is set up to have different runlevels. Arch boots into runlevel 3 by default. Runlevel 5 is typically used in Linux for loading X server. Edit the file /etc/inittab. In the last section at the bottom of the file, uncomment the appropriate line for your desktop environment's display manager. For example, for gnome it would look like this:

# Example lines for starting a login manager
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/slim >/dev/null 2>&1

Now, simply start your desktop environment, as root, with

# init 5

or, as a normal user, with

$ sudo init 5
Method 3: using .xinitrc

This method involves the most configuring.

First we need to configure ~/.xinitrc

One of the main functions of this file is to dictate what X Window client is invoked with the /usr/bin/startx and/or /usr/bin/xinit program on a per-user basis. (The startx script is merely a front end to the more versatile xinit command.) There are vast amounts of additional configurable specifications and commands that may also be added to ~/.xinitrc as you further customize your system.

Note: .xinitrc is a so-called 'dot' (.) file. Files in a *nix filesystem which are preceded with a dot (.) are 'hidden', and will not show up with a regular 'ls' command, usually for the sake of keeping directories tidy. Dot files may be seen by issuing ls -a. The 'rc' denotes Run Commands and simply indicates that it is a configuration file. Since it controls how a program runs, it is (although historically incorrect) also said to stand for "Run Control".

The startx and xinit commands will start the X server and clients. To determine the client to run, startx/xinit will first look to parse a .xinitrc file in the user's home directory. In the absence of file ~/.xinitrc, it defaults to the global xinitrc in the xinit library directory; /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc, which defaults to using the TWM window manager. (Hence, if you invoke startx without a ~/.xinitrc file, a TWM session will start.) Further details in the .xinitrc wiki entry.

Switch to your normal, non-root user:

# su - yourusername
  • /etc/skel/ contains files and directories to provide sane defaults for newly created user accounts. The name skel is derived from the word skeleton, because the files it contains form the basic structure for users' home directories.
Note: This template file .xinitrc is available in the /etc/skel directory when the package xorg-xinit is installed.
  • Sample .xinitrc provided here

Copy the sample xinitrc file from /etc/skel/ to your home directory:

$ cp /etc/skel/.xinitrc ~/

Edit the file:

$ nano ~/.xinitrc

and uncomment the line that corresponds to your Desktop Environment. For example, if you use Gnome, it will look something like this:

# ~/.xinitrc
# Executed by startx (run your window manager from here)

exec gnome-session
# exec startkde
# exec startxfce4
# exec wmaker
# exec icewm
# exec blackbox
# exec fluxbox
# exec openbox-session
# ...or the Window Manager of your choice
# exec xterm

For KDE uncomment:

exec startkde

For fluxbox:

exec fluxbox


Note: Be sure to have only one uncommented exec line in ~/.xinitrc for now.

Now we're ready to launch X. Start X as a normal, non-root user, with:

$ startx


$ xinit

Your desktop should open up now. You can test your keyboard and its layout in it. Try moving your mouse around and enjoy the view.

If trouble with automounting is experienced, try using the following command in ~/.xinitrc instead. (Replace "startxfce4" with the command that is appropriate for your window manager/DE.)

exec ck-launch-session startxfce4

This will ensure the various environment variables are set correctly by starting a clean consolekit session. ConsoleKit is a framework for keeping track of the various users, sessions, and seats present on a system. It provides a mechanism for software to react to changes of any of these items or of any of the metadata associated with them. It works in conjunction with dbus, and other tools.

B: Automatically

Most users might prefer to have their desktop start automatically during boot instead of starting X manually. There are two methods for starting X automatically. Choose the one that suits you best:

Method 1: using runlevels

This method expands on Method 2 from the section above on starting X manually.

By default, Linux is set up to have different runlevels. Arch boots into runlevel 3 by default. Runlevel 5 is typically used for loading X server. Edit the file /etc/inittab. In the first section, uncomment id:5:initdefault: so it looks like this:

## Only one of the following two lines can be uncommented!
# Boot to console
# Boot to X11

This tells Arch to boot to runlevel 5 when you start your computer.

In the last section at the bottom of the file, uncomment the appropriate line for your desktop environment's display manager. For example, for gnome it would look like this:

# Example lines for starting a login manager
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/slim >/dev/null 2>&1
Method 2: using a daemon

Simply add your display manager to your daemons array in /etc/rc.conf. For example, it would look like this for gnome:

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng dbus network gdm ...)

You might try backgrounding your display manager so that other daemons continue loading while the display manager loads:

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng dbus hal network @kdm ...)


For a list of Common Applications and Lightweight Applications, visit their respective articles.

See General Recommendations for post-installation tutorials like setting up CPU frequency scaling or font rendering.