Building a Live CD

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Motivation - Why?

To have a bootable version of Arch Linux running totally off a CD, is useful in many ways. It can be made to rescue your HD system, test new machines / hardware if Linux compatible, keep an updated installer with latest packages, or make a demo CD to show your projects, and much more.

Instructions - How

Currently there are two well developed and documented tools available for creating your own Arch Linux-based live media: Archiso and larch. Please refer the respective articles for detailed information as this article will only give you a rough overview.


Archiso is the official tool used to build Arch Linux release images. It strongly follows the KISS principle and is easy to use. If you want to build your own updated Arch Linux live installation images, this tool will get you to your goal quickly as the git repo contains the exact profile used to generate these installation images. However, it can also be used for completely customizing your live medium. It relies on an Arch Linux host system.


larch aims to provide a more desktop-based approach. It does not require an Arch Linux host system.


It's very simple livecd creator. It uses just a Makefile to build live cd and uses pacman to install base and additional packages to livecd. You can choose your packages and build then in to livecd. Moreover this uses grub to boot into live-cd in order to add more flexibility. This means it's much easier to to make a live USB stick without formating it, for that you just need to install grub into your usb pen drive and copy the file in iso to root dir in pen drive. It relies on an Arch Linux host system and pacman.

This is available in aur[1]