Talk:Installation guide

From ArchWiki
Revision as of 13:47, 18 May 2013 by Fengchao (talk | contribs) (Keymaps)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Read this first before add new suggestion

  • Point of this page is to not become another Beginner's guide. It's meant to be a concise checklist of things to be done. So detailed install instruction should go to Beginners' Guide.
  • If there is something to discuss which should also affect the Beginner's guide, then do it on Talk:Beginners'_Guide/Installation. An advanced user will find this page less bloated and easier to read, so let's KISS.

Prominently link to Beginners' Guide

From new users who want to install Arch are likely to end up here, while for them the Beginners' Guide is a much better fit. IMHO this should be noted in the introductionary paragraphs. --Raboof (talk) 18:14, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I plan on improving this to the point where that shouldn't be necessary. Feedback on what needs to be added here to fill any gaps would be helpful. It's not going to duplicate high quality pages though. If they're not approachable for beginners it should be fixed there instead of duplicated. thestinger (talk) 03:27, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Meaning in the future there will be no beginner's guide? --Ewtoombs (talk) 17:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Well I'm not setting out to delete it, but the purpose of having an entirely separate guide for beginners should begin to fade away. thestinger (talk) 09:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Change section "Connect to the internet"

Since the installation guide is now part of the iso image, I'd like to see a few references to the manpages of the necessary tools here, since you cannot open the network related wiki pages. Maybe something like this would be acceptable:

  Assuming a wired ethernet connection, running dhclient or dhcpcd is 
  sufficient to get a lease. Otherwise set up the connection manually
  using ip add, wpa_supplicant (WLAN with WPA), pppoe-setup (DSL), etc.
  You can also create and use netcfg profiles. Read more in the manpages:
  ip(8), wpa_supplicant(8), pppoe(8), netcfg(8), netcfg-profiles(5)

A reminder to install the packages for the internet connection in the pacstrap section would also be nice. -- progandy

Suggestions to update this guide as part of ISO

Since this guide is now being included as 'install.txt' in the ISO, it might be beneficial to incorporate the following changes:

  • Entirely remove the 1. Download section and move it to the Download area of the page. This document here is about installing, not downloading, checking, burning discs or dd'ing. The majority of users reading this have likely already booted up the install medium.
  • Begin or end the document by mentioning the new archlinux(7) man page which explains the location of important system configuration files
# man archlinux
  • Slightly expand the 6. Connect to the internet section to include the most basic examples of setting up a private network using a dynamic and static IP address. (Right now it's only a single paragraph/line.) It's a vital installation step and should actually be moved to the top as one of the first actions during system setup. This fact should be emphasized.

Obtain dynamic IP

# dhcpcd

Set static IP

# ip link set dev eth0 up
# ip addr add dev eth0
# ip route add default via
# echo "nameserver" >> /etc/resolv.conf


  • I can agree to all your suggestions, I wonder why no one is modifying the wiki. Internet connection setup is the most important part and should be covered more extensively. In addition to your changes, mention the manpages and configuration templates for netcfg and pppoe-setup/connect. The boot medium must at least contain easy accesible information in order to read all pages referenced in the installation guide. There should also be mentioned that elinks is installed and can be used to access the wiki. --Progandy (talk) 21:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The dhcpcd network daemon is started automatically: [1], [2], so there's no reason to start it manually. --DSpider (talk) 08:17, 25 August 2012 (UTC)


As this guide mentions the loading of keymaps using loadkeys there should be at least a very small example about /etc/vconsole.conf

Either not talk about keymaps or tell how to make it correct. When this is used as a checklist, the setup of the keymap should not be missing.

KEYMAP page link added. Close. -- Fengchao (talk) 04:03, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
The section on keymaps and fonts links only to the KEYMAP page. An additional link regarding setting default console font should be added to:

Link updated. Thanks for suggestion. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:47, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

add a step: setting the clock

Lots of things care about the clock being more-or-less correct, e.g. pacman-key will not work at all if the clock is too far out. Lots of brand new computers come with the clock set to something in the distant past, which causes weird problems during the install. Thetrivialstuff (talk) 23:14, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree, the instructions in "Installation Guide" leaves you without a /etc/adjtime file. The following should be added (taken from beginners guide, but shortened): Set the hardware clock and generate a /etc/adjtime file with # hwclock --systohc --utc or # hwclock --systohc --localtime Bwid (talk) 08:03, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

There's no need for an adjtime file, but it does make sense to have people use timedatectl from the live media to set the clock correctly. -- thestinger (talk) 03:30, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

pacman-key --init / populate?

Isn't this a required step? pacstrap does not seem to do it on its own. Thetrivialstuff (talk) 23:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Edit: Ah; I think this was related to the "set the clock" step -- I see that there is a pacman keyring init in the boot sequence of the latest media, but it (silently?) fails if the local clock is wrong. --Bluewind (talk) 09:10, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Link to UEFI Bootloaders page

Instead of telling the user to install GRUB(2) alone in case of UEFI, direct the reader to the UEFI_Bootloaders page which provides info about all the UEFI bootloaders capable of booting linux kernel. Also how can I edit the guide, there is no "edit" tab shown on top of the page. Is this page restricted to few authors only? -- Keshav P R (talk) 15:31, 19 August 2012 (UTC)


  • The "Install a bootloader" section should be a bullet point above "Configure the bootloader: refer back to the appropriate ...", no need to have them separate. Using pacstrap to install the bootloader just seems silly (especially since they were also merged in the Beginner's Guide). Also, commands after arch-chroot would look better if they were indented with ": {{bc|# <command>}}", kinda like how # pacman-key -v <iso-file>.sig is at the beginning of the article. Would look much cleaner. --DSpider (talk) 16:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that Install a Bootloader should be above Configure the Bootloader. As for the thing with pacstrap installing the bootloader, that must have already been changed, since I didn't find that anywhere. --Ewtoombs (talk) 17:27, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposed changes to Beginners' Guide and link to Post-Installation

Some major changes are under discussion in Talk:Beginners'_Guide#Guide_restructuring: some of them would require adjustments to this very guide, see for example this post.

Please reply in the linked discussion, not here.

-- Kynikos (talk) 12:15, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I've added the steps in Beginners' Guide/Post-Installation to this guide, which now directly sends users to Beginners' Guide/Extra.
If however Talk:Beginners' Guide#Guide restructuring will be implemented as planned, the Beginners' Guide will have a slightly different installation procedure than this guide, unless this one is updated too.
-- Kynikos (talk) 14:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Shouldn't the information be added before "Unmount leftovers and reboot" ? By the way, the title should mention rebooting, because most likely a kernel update was involved. --DSpider (talk) 14:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
The link to Post-Installation was the last step of the guide, so that's the line I've replaced with the instructions from Post-Installation.
About rebooting in case of a kernel upgrade, I don't think it's necessary to state that since this guide is aimed at experienced users.
In any case, any reordering or modification of the various steps should better be approved by a Developer, and probably the forum or the mailing lists are better places than this talk page to involve them in such discussions.
-- Kynikos (talk) 14:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but at this point, you were instructed to reboot. In order to edit pacman.conf, you need to mount the root partition. And to update your system, you need to chroot into it. It would be better if "Unmount leftovers" was renamed "Unmount leftovers and reboot", and added at the end (before the suggestion to read the instructions from Extra). --DSpider (talk) 15:07, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
You are still instructed to reboot, aren't you? The "Unmount leftovers" section currently tells you to "reboot and then login into the new system with the root account". In the "new system", the correct partition is already mounted at /.
Whether or not configuring pacman, updating the system and adding a user would be better done in the chroot before rebooting, it's something that should be discussed with a Developer. I too think that it would make more sense, requiring one less reboot in case of a kernel upgrade.
-- Kynikos (talk) 15:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Renaming "Unmount leftovers" to "Unmount leftovers and reboot" is safe anyway, so I've done that. -- Kynikos (talk) 15:37, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
@DSpider: you're quite active on the forum, why don't you propose your idea there? I think it would be interesting to discuss it. -- Kynikos (talk) 14:11, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, after reading this I realize that maybe I haven't been clear enough, so I'll try to explain everything more thoroughly.
  1. The current procedure makes you configure the system in the chroot environment from the live system.
  2. Then, still in the live system, it asks you to exit the chroot, unmount the partitions for the new system, reboot and login into the new system. Now, I refuse to write more explicitly in the guide that you should boot into the new system, and not again in the live system, in order to login into the new system.
  3. Since you are now into the new system (not the live system), the root partition is mounted at /, not at /mnt/, so you should be able to configure pacman, update the system and add a user wihtout chrooting. Now, if you've tested the procedure and really noticed that for some obscure-to-me reason you still need to chroot to /mnt in order to do those operations, please ask for clarifications in the forum because I wouldn't be able to answer any more.
Last thing, and I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I write it, I agree with you that configuring pacman etc. could easily be done in the chroot environment at step 1, but you should propose that change in the forum first, since it would be a change in the official installation procedure and I won't take responsibility for that.
I think this is the best I can do here, the next step to explain all this could be making a movie or a five-act play, but I hope it's not necessary :)
-- Kynikos (talk) 05:56, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

"Configure the network" is missing

Basically, you establish an internet connection, but you also need to configure the network, so that you can connect after rebooting. The Beginners' Guide mentions it: You need to configure the network again, but this time for your newly installed environment. The procedure and prerequisites are very similar to the one described above, except we are going to make it persistent and automatically run at boot. And this information seems to be missing from the installation guide. --DSpider (talk) 13:51, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that any Developer is watching this talk page, you'd better report this in the forum or mailing list. -- Kynikos (talk) 10:43, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this should be a part of the installation guide. -- Karol (talk) 15:20, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Of course it should. Because after rebooting (which you are instructed to), you're left with a borked machine. You need to boot the installation media again, establish an internet connection, mount the partitions and chroot into your system, and only THEN install the required packages. There should at least be a line that mentions netcfg. Because I read that it can handle both wired and wireless connections, and it's included in base now. --DSpider (talk) 07:04, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I'm missing something, but there is a line about netcfg already and was there a month ago when this discussion was started. If you want to add a note that after rebooting the user has to enable dhcpcd service etc. (so he should have all the needed packages installed beforehand) that's fine with me. -- Karol (talk) 10:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Install a bootloader

Make it more visible that it is a choise between Grub/Syslinux.

2 amendments to do

In Configure the system:

There is only one link on

   Add console keymap and font preferences in /etc/vconsole.conf

This link should apply only to "console keymap".
"font preferences" should link to Fonts#Console_fonts

Link updated. Thanks. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

There is also:

   Uncomment the selected locale in /etc/locale.gen and generate it with locale-gen.

This should be removed as it has been already done during this step:

    Set locale preferences in /etc/locale.conf.

Thanks and regards, Boism (talk) 21:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

They are not the same. First generate locale than set default locale. See Locale for more info. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Mount the partitions

Please also mention that if using a swap partition the user should execute swapon at the "Mount to partitions" step. It is important to do this so that the swap partition is included when generating the fstab later on in the guide.--Takaitra (talk) 17:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

add netctl to the mentioned ways of configuring network

Since netctl is on it's way to replace netcfg we should at least mention its existance in the appropriate section.

Not until it's out of [testing]. -- thestinger (talk) 03:28, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
It's out of testing and in core/base. Scimmia (talk) 23:08, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Add link to usb installation media

Can you add a link to written to a USB on:

The image can be burned to a CD, mounted as an ISO file, or directly written to a USB stick using a utility like dd. It is intended for new installations only; an existing Arch Linux system can always be updated with pacman -Syu.


rewrite "stacked block devices" sentence

The sentence

Remember to create any stacked block devices like LVM, LUKS, or RAID.

makes it sound like it's necessary to create such block devices. I think this could be formulated better as:

If you want to create any stacked block devices like LVM, LUKS, or RAID, do it now.

(No comment on the philosophy of a wiki that doesn't allow editing.) ~~ RavuAlHemio (talk) 14:32, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I think the whole Installation section has to be thrown out and replaced with a heavily edited version from the Beginners' Guide - it's quite bad right now. By the way it's just this page and a few others that are protected. This is regarded as the official documentation for the installation procedure. It should really be regularly updated from the community-maintained Beginners' Guide but I haven't had the time for it lately. thestinger (talk) 03:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Updated for now. Thanks for the suggestion. Close. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:23, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

pacstrap links obsolete repo

The pacstrap word links to the obsolete github repo

The current repos seems to be this one: and the link to pacstrap is

Kolewu (talk) 23:12, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Link updated. Thanks for reporting. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:15, 18 May 2013 (UTC)