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How To Install Arch Linux On A PC

by Geek Insider Staff

Arch Linux installation is not a complex task per se, but you need to learn some commands to do it successfully. The available archinstall helper library has proven even more challenging to help get through the process. For that reason, we break down the standard installation method for you to run Arch Linux on your computer. 

Step 1. The Arch Installation Image

The first step is to obtain the Arch Linux optical disc image (ISO) from the download page. Here, you’ll find several download options, including torrent and direct download links. 

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Be sure to download the latest CD image and choose a server closer to your location for a reliable and fast speed connection. 

Create a USB Drive

After the ISO file download, create a bootable drive from the file. The standard way to do this is through the dd command or applications such as Ventoy or Etcher.

Boot Arch Linux from the USB

This step will work only when the secure boot is disabled. So, before you boot the Arch Linux, check the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) to ensure the function is disabled. Now shut down your PC, plug in the USB, and boot. We shall use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) mode in this guide as it is more up-to-date and supported by most modern hardware. A successful boot into Arch ISO should show something like this;

Pastedgraphic_1. PngChoose the highlighted option and hit Enter to proceed.

Verify Internet Connection

You must have a reliable internet connection to proceed with the Arch Linux installation process. To check internet connectivity, ping any website as in the image below, and see whether it is connected automatically. 

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Any error from the ping indicates problems with the connection or the router. 

Partition the Disk

To install Arch Linux, you’ll need the root, EFI, and swap partitions. But first, you should list all the storage devices using the “fdisk -l” command. Most SSDs are listed as “/dev/nvme0n1″ and HDDs as ” /dev/sda.” 

Type the “fdisk” command on your intended installation drive and follow these steps for each partition. 

EFI System partition:

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  1. Select the “GPT” option
  2. Click “Free Space” and then “New.”
  3. Type the intended storage space size.
  4. Choose “Type” at the bottom 
  5. Select “EFI System”

Swap partition:

  1. Go to “Free Space” and select “New.”
  2. Type space size and hit “Enter”
  3. Select “Type” and choose “Linux Swap.”

Root partition formatted in EXT4. 

  1. Go to “Free Space” once again and select “New.”
  2. Leave the file size in default.
  3. Select “Type” from the menu and click “Linux filesystem.”

Write The Changes

  1. Choose “Write” from the bottom menu and hit “Enter.”
  2. Type “Yes” and click “Enter”

Now we’re all set. 

  1. Click “Quit” and “Enter.”

Now you should have the partitions ready, appearing like in the image below.

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Create File System

We can now create a file system on the disk since the partitions are complete. We need three file systems for the different partitions we just created. Here are the commands for each section.

 “mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sda1” command for the EFI partition.

“mkswap /dev/sda2” command for the swap partition, and 

 “mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3” for the root partition.

Arch Linux Installation

Before performing any installation, you must mount the root “/dev/sda3” partition to the directory to install all necessary packages through the “pacstrap” command. Wait until all the packages are downloaded and installed before configuring the system. 

Arch Linux installation on PC is a long process that requires attention and patience. While this guide takes you up to the installation point, you still need to configure it and create your account to activate. Nonetheless, we hope the guide casts out all your doubts about Arch Linux installation.

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