Talk:Installation guide

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Read this first before adding new suggestions

  • systemd tools such as hostnamectl, timedatectl and localectl do not work in the installation chroot environment, so please do not propose to use them in the guide unless you can prove that they have been made to work also in that case. See [1], [2], [3] and [4] for some past discussions about this issue.
  • localectl list-keymaps does not work due to bug FS#46725. For the chosen replacement command, see [5].
  • localhost must be set explicitely in /etc/hosts, as it is otherwise resolved over the network. See FS#56684.

-- The ArchWiki Administrators 22:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Link to the German version

Instead of de:Arch Install Scripts you could choose de:Anleitung für Einsteiger it means "Beginner's Guid" and is a very detailed artikel for very new arch users and the future experts.

Thank you, done. -- Kynikos (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
This was already proposed last year and rejected: [6]. I don't see what has changed since then. If someone adds me as admin to the german wiki or changes the protection settings, I can update de:Arch Install Scripts as required. -- Alad (talk) 18:13, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I see, I didn't remember that discussion so I've reverted the change, hopefully you'll make it to update the translation, let's leave this open until the problem is solved, otherwise this kind of suggestion will keep appearing recurrently. -- Kynikos (talk) 17:53, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Network configuration

dhcpcd for installed environment

How about we add a sentence to Installation_guide#Network_configuration describing how to restore use of dhcpcd as done on the installation medium? That way if the connection already worked on installation people only need a brief look at dhcpcd. -- Alad (talk) 15:48, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

I think that would just hide the possibility of choice from users. Maybe just say that dhcpcd is not enabled on the installed system without recommending anything. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:34, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

once chrooted, one has to configure again

One chrooted, configuration file edited in the previous steps, will have to be redone in the chrooted environment (/etc/systemd/network/ files). This is the same for ntp configuration (/etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf).

This should be worth noting.

Why should a static IP be preferred over 127.0.1.1 in /etc/hosts?

"If the system has a permanent IP address, it should be used instead of 127.0.1.1."

I think the ArchWiki should not just say do X but also why. Alad as you added this, perhaps you can explain?--Larivact (talk) 15:14, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

In Network_configuration#Local hostname resolution: "For a system with a permanent IP address, that permanent IP address should be used instead of 127.0.1.1." -- Lahwaacz (talk) 06:48, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
First appearance in our wiki, cited source, also discussion. -- Kynikos (talk) 10:26, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Network Configuration -- WiFi discussion

I'm starting a new thread seeing as the last one took a different direction and never really got resolved.


As it stands, the current instructions for the installation guide make it challenging for users who need to connect to the internet via a Wireless connection rather than wired. The Installation_guide#Connect_to_the_Internet section essentially assumes the users are using a wired connection, and to test it with a ping. Otherwise, they are directed to the Network_configuration page. Unfortunately, that page does not provide clear instructions for new users (or even those who just want to do a quick connection) to establish a connection via wireless. Equally so, should users find their way to the Wireless_network_configuration page, there is some digging to do there in order to find instructions to setup a connection. These are currently using the iw command, which may prove to be challenging to some. I see a few different possible solutions to improve the user experience:

  • Add explicit instructions to the installation guide
    • This is not ideal, as it adds another place to maintain likely duplicate information
  • Add a reference to the Wireless_network_configuration page
    • This is better, though the page would likely need a new section, or some tweaking to allow users to more easily find the information they need to get setup
  • Add new/better instructions to the Network_configuration page
    • This may also prove to be tricky, seeing as that page is already fairly monolithic, and focuses mostly on wired connections

One other consideration (of which I also don't see any progress) is the discussions revolving around moving and breaking down the Network Configuration guides, to separate Wired and Wireless content. With this move I could see such instructions being provided there. In any case, the guide should provide instructions that are:

  • Easy to follow, particularly for new users
  • Puts no emphasis on persisting configurations, as this is not applicable during the install phase
  • Offers options (choice is King)

--CubeTheThird (talk) 23:47, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

The Wireless network configuration link was removed because it cannot be used independently of Network configuration. I propose the following:
  1. Implement Talk:Network configuration#Moving Ethernet-specific sections to Wired subpage. Network configuration currently isn't straightforward. The actual setup instructions are hidden in the Network management section and it's confusing that wireless has a subpage but wired and medium-agnostic configuration are mixed together. See my demo.
  2. Have the Connect to the Internet section only link Network configuration and move the dhcpcd udev rule note there.
  3. Move Wireless network configuration to Network configuration/Wireless and move its iw section to a dedicated article because since recently we also have iwd.
The result should be more user-friendly without duplicating content.
--Larivact (talk) 07:13, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
As for your demo, note that in Talk:Network_configuration#Ongoing_rewrite, Alad said: "ping is one of the very first commands a new user has to run on installation to verify the availability of an internet connection". So unless you intend to direct users from the installation guide directly to the Network configuration#Troubleshooting section, there is still some more thinking to be done... -- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:21, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Well then let's keep Connect to the Internet and revise it:

The installation image has a udev rule that enables the dhcpcd service for Ethernet network interfaces on boot. If you use Ethernet, verify the connection with ping:

# ping archlinux.org

If the ping fails see Network configuration#Troubleshooting. If you want to use Wi-Fi or a static IP address, stop the dhcpcd service with systemctl stop dhcpcd@interface where the interface name can be tab-completed and proceed with Network configuration.

--Larivact (talk) 08:41, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
That looks good to me. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 14:57, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

fstab

The section about generating the fstab with genfstab mentions -U and -L options but not the possibility to use GPT identifiers PARTUUID and PARTLABEL with the '-t' option. Those are described in Persistent block device naming and are a better choice for some users. genfstab itself doesn't explicitly list the GPT options either so IMHO it would be helpful to add this info here.

—This unsigned comment is by Grmat (talk) 15:12, 9 October 2018‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

In that case you should open a bug / file a patch such that genfstab does list these options. The wiki shouldn't make up for missing basic documentation in distribution tools. -- Alad (talk) 17:49, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Wording in example layout table and size of EFI partition

Wording in example layout table

Regarding Installation_guide#Example_layouts:

even if many users will understand remainder of the device as what is left after size of /dev/sdx1 and /dev/sdx3 are subtsructed from the size of the device, I think the order of the table might be confusing for some. Some people might set /dev/sdx2 to the size of the device minus size of /dev/sdx1, and then stumbled at where from 512 MiB, or larger, are to be found for /dev/sdx3. Either suggest the swap space as /dev/sdx2 and / as /dev/sdx3, or better explain the meaning of the remainder of the device for sdx2. Regid (talk) 14:05, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Using /dev/sdx2 for swap is questionable, it doesn't emphasize that swap is optional nor is it consistent with other articles like dm-crypt/Encrypting an entire system. If you have some better explanation for "remainder of the device" feel free to propose it. -- Alad (talk) 08:55, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
I was trying to say that a user that patitions his HD by following the table might do the following: look at first row in the table, and creates the EFI partition. Than continue with the 2nd row. So he creates a partition at the remainder of his HD. Now he comes to the 3rd row: where will he get 512 MiB, or larger? As for dm-crypt/Encrypting an entire system, I might be wrong thinking that each partition is considered a separate device, so it doesn't matter if the swap space is before, or after, the / partition. Regid (talk) 12:41, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps call it "Principal part of the device" instead. NB the term "remainder of the device" is often used for a separate /home in other articles. --Indigo (talk) 21:33, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Partioning disks mentions fdisk but better is gdisk /dev/sdX (x representing your drive. mine is sda) then running commands x, z, y, y after that run cgdisk Drillsar (talk) 01:04, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Size of EFI partition

Moved to Talk:EFI system partition#Size_of_EFI_partition. -- Alad (talk) 17:40, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Boot loader installation

Installation guide#Boot loader doesn't say to install a boot loader, it only refers to a list of them. How about adding something like "Choose and install at least one boot loader."? -- nl6720 (talk) 19:46, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

At least one? -- Alad (talk) 21:09, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Might not be the most common scenario, but it's possible to use one boot loader for BIOS booting and another for UEFI booting. E.g. rEFInd for UEFI booting + Syslinux for BIOS booting. If that use case is too uncommon to be mentioned then just add "Choose and install a boot loader.". -- nl6720 (talk) 21:31, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Boot loader options

Is it worth saying that without systemd-sysvcompat, you need to add the init=/lib/systemd/systemd kernel parameter?

I got a bad surprise when I uninstalled the thing. – flying sheep 08:05, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

That is not something that belongs in the Installation guide. The init= parameter is documented in Kernel parameters#Parameter list and its description hints at the consequences of uninstalling systemd-sysvcompat.
What made you decide to uninstall systemd-sysvcompat? -- nl6720 (talk) 10:37, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
I decided I didn’t need the aliases it provides. Little did I know that one of them is Linux’ defaults.
I think it’s a bit hidden there and there should be some way to discover this in the wiki while installing – flying sheep 16:58, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not against making it a bit more discoverable, but the Installation guide is not the place for that. I think it would best belong somewhere in the systemd page. -- nl6720 (talk) 07:58, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

with UEFI you only need to run bootctl install and add entries to arch.conf. Why isn't this mentioned? Drillsar (talk) 01:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Confusing partition numbers

The partition numbers on this page are confusing. The table calls the root partition /dev/sdX2, while the text below calls it /dev/sdX1. It should be matched for consistency. Sabinscabin (talk) 20:29, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Probably better to do it as [7] -- Alad (talk) 18:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Note for EFI formatting

Under the section "Format the partitions", I believe it can be confusing for newcomers wanting to set up an EFI system. An EFI system requires that the boot partition is formatted as FAT, and this could easily be overlooked going through the installation guide. I believe a note saying something along the lines "Please note that for an EFI system partition, FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32 is mandatory" followed by a codeblock containing # mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sdxY. I came across this with a friend, helping him to install Arch, and I believe I also overlooked this during my first attempt.

Please let me know your thoughts. --AustralianZim (talk) 11:23, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

The EFI system partition requirements are explained in the EFI system partition article which is linked from Installation guide#Example layouts. Also, an UEFI system does not require using the FAT file system for the boot partition. An UEFI system may need a EFI system partition that must be formatted as FAT, but it doesn't require that the ESP is used as /boot. -- nl6720 (talk) 11:41, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Microcode Update

Installing processor microcode is probably something easily forgotten. And perhaps people just don't know there's microcode update for their processor. The system might still works very stable w/o Microcode Update, but still it's something good to have. Maybe it's a good idea to include the link to the microcode wiki in the beginner guide. —This unsigned comment is by Wan109020 (talk) 02:09, 1 May 2019 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

There already is a link to the Microcode page in Installation guide#Boot loader. -- nl6720 (talk) 07:24, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I overlooked that. I'm sorry. Wan109020 (talk) 15:56, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Add topic on setting the language of the live environment

The environment of the installation process comes in English, but one could easily set it to its own language in order the get TextUI and command-line outputs in the desired language.

My propose is to add a section called Set the live environment locale around #Set the keyboard layout (right before or after), with a content like this:

=== Set the live environment locale ===

{{Note|This applies '''only''' to the live environment. Setting the locale of the installed system is explained in [[#Localization]]}}

The live environment comes in English (locale {{ic|en_US.UTF-8}}) by default, but you can change it in order to run the installation steps using the desired language. 

First, uncomment the desired language in {{ic|/etc/locale.gen}}, and generate it with:

  # locale-gen

Then export the {{ic|LANG}} variable suffixing the desired language and encoding. E.g. for pt_BR it would be:

  # export LANG=pt_BR.UTF8

(I wrote it very similar to #Localization, but maybe that's not so bad.)

Any thoughts on this?

-- Josephgbr (talk) 20:39, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

I think that many people can fluently switch between English and another language for reading, whereas writing on a keyboard layout they are not used to is not fluent. So I don't find it useful to show how to set the live environment locale on a page which assumes that the reader will continue reading in English. It may, however, be a good addition for translated pages. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 13:28, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. Added to the my language's translated page. -- Josephgbr (talk) 12:00, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Time configuration

Why use:

# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/x/y /etc/localtime

Instead of:

# ln -sfr /usr/share/zoneinfo/x/y /etc/localtime

Keeping relative links isn't better?

—This unsigned comment is by Tinti (talk) 10:56, 7 May 2019 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!