Installing Arch Linux

Setting up USB Boot Media

Windows – use Rufus (you may need to use GPT && DD image mode)


First, boot the Arch Linux USB stick onto the computer of choice. After finished loading, you should see a command terminal.

To increase font size during install, use:

setfont /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/latarcyrheb-sun32.psfu.gz

Connect To Internet

Wired, use ping to confirm access.

Wireless – run: wifi-menu -o, select a network, then verify access using ping.

Synchronize Clock

To set the clock, run:

timedatectl set-ntp true
timedatectl status

Set up Partitions

If needed, set up partitions for the overall system. First, use parted -l to determine both:

  • Which disk you want to use
  • Whether partition table is GPT

If needed, convert to GPT using fdisk disk.

Use cfdisk to create the following partitions (remember when sizing, you can use +512M for ease):

Mount PointPartitionPartition TypeSize
/mnt/boot/dev/sda1EFI System512MB
/mnt/dev/sda2Linux root (x86-64)remaining
SWAP/dev/sda3Linux swap8GB

Format & Mount Partitions

Now format the partitions (using parted -l to list disks):

mkfs.fat <EFI_DISK>
mkfs.ext4 <PRIMARY_DISK>
mkswap <SWAP_DISK>
swapon <SWAP_DISK>

Mount the newly formatted partitions:

mount <PRIMARY_DISK> /mnt
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount <EFI_DISK> /mnt/boot

Perform Arch Installation

Edit the /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist file and set it to have just 12 United States entries.

Install base Arch Linux:

pacstrap /mnt base linux linux-firmware nano grub efibootmgr networkmanager git firefox sudo

Generate an fstab file:

genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Change root into the new system to set time zone and localization:

arch-chroot /mnt

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Detroit /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc

Change the default console font size at /etc/vconsole.conf:


Generate locales and set locale:

# comment out needed locales
nano /etc/locale.gen

nano /etc/locale.conf

# set content to LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Set up network configuration (computer name):

# set computer name
nano /etc/hostname 

# configure hosts file, add contents below
nano /etc/hosts	localhost
::1		localhost	YOUR_HOSTNAME.localdomain	YOUR_HOSTNAME

Create a root password with passwd.

Configure GRUB boot loader:

grub-install /dev/sda --efi-directory=/boot

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

(Optional) Create Non-Root User

You’ll want to perform your daily activities without using the root user.

useradd -m dfar
passwd dfar
usermod -aG wheel,audio,video,optical,storage dfar

Edit the /etc/sudoers file and allow users of wheel group to execute any command.


Finally, reboot the system:


shutdown now

To verify, remove the USB stick used for installation, and turn on the computer.

You should be able to log in as either the root user or the newly created user specified earlier. If you end up at the terminal, you’ve successfully installed Arch Linux!

Next step involves configuring the base system.

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