Install from SSH

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Revision as of 05:10, 2 April 2013 by Crshbndct (talk | contribs) (Next Steps)
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zh-CN:Install from SSH


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 as the following:

Setting up Arch on...

  • HTPC without a proper monitor (i.e. an SDTV).
  • A PC located in another city, state, country (friend's house, parent's house, etc.)
  • 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.
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!

Boot from Media

Boot into a live Arch environment via the Live CD/USB image.

Setup the Live Environment to use SSH

Note: The following commands should be executed as the root user, hence the # before the commands.

One should be logged in as root at this point. (This is the default user when running the livecd)

First, setup the network on the target machine.

Assuming a wired connection, running dhclient or dhcpcd is sufficient to get a lease. For more info, visit configuring network.

If on a wireless connection, see Wireless Setup and Wpa_supplicant for details on establishing a connection to your access point.

Secondly, start the openssh daemon:

On a live system using systemd: (2012.10.06 or later)

# systemctl start sshd

On a live system using initscripts: (pre-2012.10.06)

# rc.d start sshd

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


Connect to the Target PC via SSH

Connect to the target machine via the following command:

$ ssh

From here one is presented with the live environment's 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
[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 /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the live environment prior to starting the daemon for example to run on a non-standard port if desired.

Next Steps

The sky is the limit. If the intent is to simply install Arch from the live media, follow the guide at Installation Guide. If the intent is to edit an existing Linux install that got broken, follow the Install from Existing Linux wiki article.

Want grub2 or the ability to use GPT hard drives?

  • Manually partition the target HDD/SDD using the gdisk utility installed via pacman -S gdisk before starting the arch installer and when presented with the option to install a boot loader in the installation framework, simply answer no and drop back to the live environment's root prompt.
  • Installation of grub2 is trivial at this point. Simply chroot into the fresh arch install (default pre-mounted if coming out of the installer) then install and setup grub2:
cd /mnt
rm console ; mknod -m 600 console c 5 1
rm null ; mknod -m 666 null c 1 3
rm zero ; mknod -m 666 zero c 1 5
mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
chroot /mnt /bin/bash

Now inside the fresh Arch chroot:

pacman -S grub2
grep -v rootfs /proc/mounts > /etc/mtab

Edit /etc/default/grub to your liking. Install grub and generate a grub.cfg

grub-install /dev/sdX --no-floppy
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Note: The above assumes that if the user intends to boot from a GPT disk, the user has fully read and understood the aforementioned wiki articles and has made a 1M partition ef02 for grub2.

When ready to reboot into the new Arch install, exit the chroot and unmount the partitions prior to a reboot of the system.

umount /mnt/boot   # if mounted this or any other separate partitions
umount /mnt/{proc,sys,dev}
umount /mnt