Visit the Table of Contents for a listing of ArchWiki categories.
The following links are useful for those getting started with Arch Linux.
- Arch Linux
- A brief overview of Arch Linux; describes what to expect from an Arch Linux system.
- The Arch Way
- Describes the principles and philosophy of Arch Linux.
- Arch Compared to Other Distributions
- Summarizes the similarities and differences between Arch and other distributions.
- Forum Etiquette
- Guidelines for Arch forum members.
- ArchWiki Tutorial
- A short tutorial on editing and contributing to the Arch Linux wiki.
- Beginners' Guide
- A guide through the whole process of installing and configuring Arch Linux; written for new or inexperienced users.
- Official Arch Linux Install Guide
- A more general installation guide; assuming the user is more experienced in UNIX/GNU/Linux methodology.
- A list of common and frequently asked questions.
- General Recommendations
- An annotated index of other popular articles and often-referenced information.
A handful of the most popular topics are outlined below.
- Package management
- Packages in Arch Linux are built using makepkg and a custom build script for each package (known as a PKGBUILD). Once packaged, software can be installed and managed with pacman. PKGBUILDs for software in the official repositories are available from the ABS tree; thousands more are available from the (unsupported) Arch User Repository.
- Graphical user interface
- Category:X Server
- Access control
- Users and groups are used on GNU/Linux for access control. The superuser (root) has complete access to the operating system and its configuration; it is intended for administrative use only. Unprivileged users can use the su and sudo programs for controlled privilege escalation.
This subject of security includes a wide range of topics.
- Arch Linux provides netctl for network management.
netctlsupports wired connections on desktops and servers, as well as wireless setups and roaming for mobile users, facilitating easy management of network profiles. For alternatives see Network managers.
- Boot process
In order to boot Arch Linux, you must install a Linux-capable boot loader to the Master Boot Record or the GUID Partition Table. The boot loader is the first piece of software started by the BIOS or UEFI. It is responsible for loading the kernel with the wanted kernel parameters, and initial RAM disk before initiating the boot process. See below for boot loaders available.
- Boot loaders only need to support the file system on which kernel and initramfs reside (the file system on which
- As GPT is part of the UEFI specification, all UEFI boot loaders support GPT disks. GPT on BIOS systems is possible, using either "hybrid booting", or the new GPT-only protocol. This protocol may however cause issues with certain BIOS implementations; see rodsbooks for details.
- Encryption mentioned in file system support is filesystem-level encryption, it has no bearing on block-level encryption.
|GRUB||Yes||Yes||Yes||without zstd compression||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||On BIOS/GPT configuration requires a BIOS boot partition.|
|systemd-boot||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||ESP only||No||Cannot launch binaries from partitions other than ESP.|
|Syslinux||Yes||Partial||Partial||without: multi-device volumes, compression, encryption||without:
||No||Yes||v4 on MBR only||No support for certain file system features |
|rEFInd||No||Yes||Yes||without: encryption, zstd compression||without encryption||without tail-packing feature||Yes||No||Supports auto-detecting kernel parameters without explicit configuration.|
|Clover||emulates UEFI||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown||No||Yes||No||Main target audience is Hackintosh users.|
|LILO||Yes||No||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||MBR only ||Deprecated. Does not support GUID Partition Table.|
|GRUB Legacy||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||v4 only||Deprecated. Does not support GUID Partition Table.|
If looking for specific information, try using the search box to the left. Alternatively, use Google's "site" search feature by appending site:wiki.archlinux.org to search terms (e.g. search this site for "Arch Linux").
You must create an account to edit this wiki. Once done, you can play around in the Sandbox or your user page to familiarize yourself with ArchWiki markup. The available syntax is listed in the Wiki Help Category along with other helpful resources.