Installing Arch Linux from VirtualBox
This HOWTO will guide you through the process of installing Arch Linux from a host machine on a raw disk using VirtualBox. This method offers the ability to continue to work with the computer while installing.
Step 1: Installing VirtualBox
See the detailed article VirtualBox for installation instructions. You have to install the PUEL edition.
Step 2: Creating a raw disk .vmdk image
In order to use a raw disk in VirtualBox, your user must have write rights for the device. There are two ways to achieve this: either by directly changing the access rights of the device or by adding your user to the disk group. The latter way is preferred. To do this, run:
# gpasswd -a user disk
Now you must create a special .vmdk virtual machine disk file, so VirtualBox will save the data to a raw disk instead of the file. Let the file be saved in your user's VirtualBox directory, named raw.vmdk. You'll create it using this command:
$ VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename /home/user/.VirtualBox/VDI/raw.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb -register
Where user is your user name and /dev/sdb is the device you want to install Archlinux on.
For more information on using raw host disks, see the VirtualBox user manual.
Step 3: Downloading an Archlinux install image
If you have a working Internet connection on your host machine, which you probably do, you should go for the FTP ISO image. Otherwise download the core image. To obtain the image, go to: http://archlinux.org/download/
Step 4: Creating a virtual machine
Start up the VirtualBox GUI and run the New Virtual Machine Wizard:
- Give the machine a name and choose Arch Linux for the operating system.
- Choose the amount of memory to be allocated to the machine. At least 160 MiB is needed.
- Select the raw.vmdk disk image.
- Click Finish.
Now go to File » Virtual Disk Manager and add the installation CD-ROM image you've downloaded. Close the window, go to the Settings of the virtual machine and choose the CD/DVD-ROM item on the left. Finally check the Mount CD/DVD Drive box, choose the ISO Image File option and select the installation media.
Step 5: Installing the system
The main part is behind you. You have prepared a virtual machine with mounted installation media. Remember that inside the virtual machine, your disk will be named /dev/sda. Now you can loosely continue with one of these guides:
It doesn't boot on real hardware!
This is most probably caused by the
autodetect hook in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf, which removes unneeded modules from the initramfs image. If you have this hook in that file, remove it from the file and run:
# mkinitcpio -p linux
to regenerate the initramfs image.