Install from SSH

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Revision as of 13:46, 23 December 2010 by Graysky (Talk | contribs)

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This article is intended to show users how to install Arch remotely via an SSH connection. Consider this approach over the standard one in scenarios such the following:

Setting up Arch on...

  • HTPC without a proper monitor (i.e. an SDTV).
  • A PC located in another city, state, country.
  • A PC that you would rather setup remotely, for example from the comfort of one's own workstation with copy/paste abilities from the Arch Wiki.

Setup the Target System

Note: The first two steps require physical access to the machine. Obviously, if physically located elsewhere, this will need to be coordinated with another person!

1. Boot from Media

Boot into a live Arch environment via the [live CD/USB image] and log in as root.

2. Setup the Live Environment to use SSH

One should be presented with the root prompt [root@archiso ~]# at this point.

Firstly, setup the network on the target machine:

aif -partial-configure-network

Secondly, sync the live environment to a mirror, install the openssh package, and start it:

pacman -Syy 
pacman -S openssh
/etc/rc.d/sshd start # self explanatory
Note: Depending on the age of the install media, pacman may complain that it should be upgraded first. Since the goal is to simply install the openssh package, it s recommended to deny this request and simply install the single package.
# pacman -S  openssh
:: The following packages should be upgraded first :
:: Do you want to cancel the current operation
:: and upgrade these packages now? [Y/n] n

Finally, allow sshd connections and setup a root password which is needed for an ssh connection; the default arch password for root is empty.

echo "sshd: ALL" >> /etc/hosts.allow

3. Connect to the Target PC via SSH

Connect to the target machine via the following command

$ ssh

From here one is presented with live environment's the welcome message and is able to administer the target machine as-if sitting at the physical keyboard.

$ ssh root@
root@'s password: 
Last login: Thu Dec 23 08:33:02 2010 from
* To begin installation, run /arch/setup                     *
* You can find documentation at                              *
*  /usr/share/aif/docs/official_installation_guide_en        *
*                                                            *
* i18n: Use the 'km' utility to change your keyboard layout  *
*       and console font.                                    *
*                                                            *
* If you are looking to install Arch on something more       *
* exotic, such as your kerosene-powered cheese grater,       *
* please consult                  *
*                                                            *
[root@archiso ~]#


  • If the target machine is behind a firewall/router, the default ssh port of 22 will obviously need to be forward to the target machine's LAN IP address. The use of port forwarding is not covered in this guide.
  • One can edit Template:Filename on the live environment prior to starting the daemon for example to run on a non-standard port if desired.