Installation guide

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This document is a guide for installing Arch Linux from the live system booted with the official installation image. Before installing, it would be advised to view the FAQ. For conventions used in this document, see Help:Reading.

For more detailed instructions, see the respective ArchWiki articles or the various programs' man pages, both linked from this guide. See archlinux(7) for an overview of the configuration. For interactive help, the IRC channel and the forums are also available.


Arch Linux should run on any x86_64-compatible machine with a minimum of 512 MB. A basic installation with all packages from the base group should take less than 800 MB of disk space. As the installation process needs to retrieve packages from a remote repository, a working internet connection is required.

Download and boot the installation medium as explained in Category:Getting and installing Arch. You will be logged in on the first virtual console as the root user, and presented with a Zsh shell prompt; common commands such as systemctl(1) can be tab-completed.

To switch to a different console—for example, to view this guide with ELinks alongside the installation—use the Alt+arrow shortcut. To edit configuration files, nano, vi and vim are available.

Set the keyboard layout

The default console keymap is US. To list available layouts, run ls /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/**/*.map.gz.

To modify the layout, append a file name to loadkeys(1), omitting path and file extension. For example, run loadkeys de-latin1 to set a German keyboard layout.

Console fonts are located in /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/ and can likewise be set with setfont(8).

Verify the boot mode

If UEFI mode is enabled on an UEFI motherboard, Archiso will boot Arch Linux accordingly via systemd-boot. To verify this, list the efivars directory:

# ls /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

If the directory does not exist, the system may be booted in BIOS or CSM mode. Refer to your motherboard's manual for details.

Connect to the Internet

The dhcpcd daemon is enabled on boot for wired devices, and will attempt to start a connection. Verify a connection was established, for example with ping:

# ping

If none is available, stop the dhcpcd service with systemctl stop dhcpcd@<TAB> and see Network configuration.

For wireless connections, iw(8), wpa_supplicant(8) and netctl are available. See Wireless network configuration.

Update the system clock

Use timedatectl(1) to ensure the system clock is accurate:

# timedatectl set-ntp true

To check the service status, use timedatectl status.

Partition the disks

When recognized by the live system, disks are assigned to a block device such as /dev/sda. To identify these devices, use lsblk or fdisk — results ending in rom, loop or airoot may be ignored:

# fdisk -l

The following partitions (shown with a numerical suffix) are required for a chosen device:

Swap space can be set on a separate partition or a swap file.

To modify partition tables, use fdisk or parted. See Partitioning for more information.

If wanting to create any stacked block devices for LVM, disk encryption or RAID, do it now.

Format the partitions

Once the partitions have been created, each must be formatted with an appropriate file system. For example, to format the root partition on /dev/sda1 with ext4, run:

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

See File systems#Create a file system for details.

Mount the file systems

Mount the file system on the root partition to /mnt, for example:

# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

Create mount points for any remaining partitions and mount them accordingly, for example:

# mkdir /mnt/boot
# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot

genfstab will later detect mounted file systems and swap space.


Select the mirrors

Packages to be installed must be downloaded from mirror servers, which are defined in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist. On the live system, all mirrors are enabled, and sorted by their synchronization status and speed at the time the installation image was created.

The higher a mirror is placed in the list, the more priority it is given when downloading a package. You may want to edit the file accordingly, and move the geographically closest mirrors to the top of the list, although other criteria should be taken into account.

This file will later be copied to the new system by pacstrap, so it is worth getting right.

Install the base packages

Use the pacstrap script to install the base package group:

# pacstrap /mnt base

This group does not include all tools from the live installation, such as btrfs-progs or specific wireless firmware; see packages.both for comparison.

To install packages and other groups such as base-devel, append the names to pacstrap (space separated) or to individual pacman commands after the #Chroot step.

Configure the system


Generate an fstab file (use -U or -L to define by UUID or labels, respectively):

# genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Check the resulting file in /mnt/etc/fstab afterwards, and edit it in case of errors.


Change root into the new system:

# arch-chroot /mnt

Time zone

Set the time zone:

# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Region/City /etc/localtime

Run hwclock(8) to generate /etc/adjtime:

# hwclock --systohc

This command assumes the hardware clock is set to UTC. See Time#Time standard for details.


Uncomment en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 and other needed localizations in /etc/locale.gen, and generate them with:

# locale-gen

Set the LANG variable in locale.conf(5) accordingly, for example:


If you set the keyboard layout, make the changes persistent in vconsole.conf(5):



Create the hostname(5) file:


Consider adding a matching entry to hosts(5):

/etc/hosts	localhost.localdomain	localhost
::1		localhost.localdomain	localhost	myhostname.localdomain	myhostname

See also Network configuration#Set the hostname.

Network configuration

Configure the network for the newly installed environment: see Network configuration.

For Wireless configuration, install the iw and wpa_supplicant packages, as well as needed firmware packages. Optionally install dialog for usage of wifi-menu.


Creating a new initramfs is usually not required, because mkinitcpio was run on installation of the linux package with pacstrap.

For special configurations, modify the mkinitcpio.conf(5) file and recreate the initramfs image:

# mkinitcpio -p linux

Root password

Set the root password:

# passwd

Boot loader

See Category:Boot loaders for available choices and configurations. For example, set up the boot loader with systemd-boot if your system supports UEFI, and GRUB when not.

If you have an Intel CPU, install the intel-ucode package in addition, and enable microcode updates.


Exit the chroot environment by typing exit or pressing Ctrl+D.

Optionally manually unmount all the partitions with umount -R /mnt: this allows noticing any "busy" partitions, and finding the cause with fuser(1).

Finally, restart the machine by typing reboot: any partitions still mounted will be automatically unmounted by systemd. Remember to remove the installation media and then login into the new system with the root account.


See General recommendations for system management directions and post-installation tutorials (like setting up a graphical user interface, sound or a touchpad).

For a list of applications that may be of interest, see List of applications.