Official Arch Linux Install Guide Appendix

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Adding a Window Manager/Desktop Environment

See Window Manager and Desktop Environment

Boot Scripts

See Arch Boot Process

User & Group Management

See Users and Groups

Internet Access

See Internet Access

Package Management

Pacman

See pacman

Accessing Repositories

See Official Repositories

Arch Build System (ABS)

Binary vs. Source

See Arch Build System

Synchronizing Your ABS Tree

See Arch Build System

How to Build Packages

See Creating Packages

Package Guidelines

See Arch Packaging Standards

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs listed here are only covering any problems that may keep you from booting or installing an initial Arch Linux system. If you have questions regarding further usage of the system utilities, X11 setup, etc. or how to configure your hardware, please head over to the Wiki. If you think an issue is not covered here that should be, please notify the author of this document, whose address is to be found at the very top of this file.

During the initial package installation, pacman fails to resolve dependencies for package A because package B is not in the package set

Unless something is very broken and thus very likely to be reported by multiple people soon, you probably just forgot to mount your target partitions properly. This causes pacman to decompress the package database into the initial ramdisk, which fills up quite nicely and ultimatively leads to this error.

Make sure that you use the DONE and not the CANCEL option offered by the Filesystem Mountpoints menu to apply your choices. This error should not happen if you use the Auto-Prepare feature; If it does nevertheless, please report this as a bug.

How can I install packages from the install CD with pacman --sync (so it resolves dependencies for me)?

If you would rather have packages install from the CD instead of downloading them, then mount the install CD somewhere (eg. /mnt/cd) and add this line right below the [core] line in /etc/pacman.conf: Server = file:///mnt/cd

Replace /mnt/cd with the mountpoint you chose. Then use pacman --sync as you normally would - It will now check the /mnt/cd directory first for packages.

How can I create multiple swap partitions during the install?

Naturally you won't be able to use the Auto-Prepare feature if you want to create and use multiple swap partitions. Create the partitions manually instead, and create as many swap partitions as your little heart desires. Go through the rest of the disk preparation steps, don't mind that you're only asked for one swap partition during the mount-point setting. Once you're through with the install and are about to edit your system configuration files, you can edit the fstab file and include a line for every swap device you created earlier. Simply copy the automatically generated swap line, and modify the referenced device according to your setup. The additional swaps will be activated after the bootup when swapon -a is being run by the initscripts. Make sure you ran mkswap on all of your swap partitions manually, or else your system will complain on bootup!

If, for any odd reason, you can not wait until after the installation with activating multiple swap partitions or files, you will have to open a shell on one of the virtual terminals and issue the swapon <device> for every swap drive or file you partitioned/readied before with mkswap. Then continue as explained above with the install.

In case you are honestly contemplating setting up multiple swap files or drives, you should keep in mind that a kernel that needs to swap is actually crying bitterly for more RAM, not more swap space. Please keep your penguin well fed. Thank you.

How do I reconfigure LILO from the rescue system?

As a first step you simply boot from the Arch Install CD or disks. If your partitions are intact and don't need checking, you can try choosing one of the recovery boot options according to your partition layout, or fiddle with the GRUB boot manager settings on your own to get your existing system to boot properly. That will boot directly into your system, and you can skip all but the last step of actually reconfiguring and running LILO.

If you cannot boot your old root directly, boot from the CD as if you were going to start an installation. Once you're in a shell, you mount the root partition of your harddisk into the /mnt directory, for example like this:

 mount /dev/hda3 /mnt

Then you mount any other partitions to their respective mount points within that root of yours, for example a /boot partition:

 mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/boot

Now you need to mount a /dev tree in the /mnt area, where LILO will be able to find it:

 /mnt/bin/mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev

Once everything is mounted, make this /mnt directory your new root with the chroot /mnt command. This will start a new shell and drop you into the /mnt directory, which will be considered your / from then on.

Now you can edit /etc/lilo.conf to your liking and run lilo to fix anything that needs fixing. Simply type exit when you want to break out of this root again, back into the original file tree. You can now reboot and test your changes.

I can't ssh into my machine!

The default configuration will reject all incoming connections, not only ssh connections. Edit your /etc/hosts.allow file and add the line: sshd:all to allow all incoming ssh connections.

How should I load modules during boot now?

If you want to load a module unconditionally without a specific device binding, add the name of the module to the MODULES array of your /etc/rc.conf. For on demand loading on device access, add it as usual with the alias and optioncommands to your /etc/modprobe.conf, in the rare cases that the automatisms employed by udev don't cut it. To pass any options to a module you want to load through the MODULES array, only add the appropriate options line to your /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf.

Kernel refuses to boot because of "lost interrupt"

Kernel refuses to boot. It locks at: IRQ probe failed for hda hda lost interrupt

This or a similar error occurs for some HD controllers on kernel 2.6.x. A workaround is to pass the acpi=off option to the kernel at boot time.

I get "access denied" errors trying to play music or read DVDs

Add your user to the optical and audio groups.

 gpasswd -a johndoe optical
 gpasswd -a johndoe audio

Logout, then login again as that user (eg. johndoe) so the group changes can take effect, and the device permissions shouldn't be a problem anymore.

If you have a DVD drive, you may want to create a /dev/dvd symlink to your real DVD device. Usually udev does this for you already, but this will serve well as an example for setting up similar symlinks.

For example, if your DVD drive is accessible through /dev/sdc, you can do the following as root:

 cat >>/etc/udev/rules.d/00.rules <<EOF
 > KERNEL="sdc", NAME="sdc", SYMLINK="dvd"
 > EOF
 /etc/start_udev
 mount /dev/pts
 mount /dev/shm