How to install Arch Linux – easy way [updated, June 2014]

Arch Linux is one of the most tempting Gnu/Linux based operating systems. There are many reasons why one would want to use Arch Linux and since you are reading this post there are chances you have found a reason. The reasons I use Arch are are 1) an always up-to-date system so I don’t have to worry about upgrading it every six month or be deprived of the app which is not available for my version; 2) availability of almost every single app which is available for any other GNU/Linux based operating system. Another reason is it being fully community driven so I don’t have to worry about compromises which a company-backed OS may make to achieve their goal.

Building your own house

Arch is more or less like building your own house on your own land. You own it, but you are also responsible for building it from scratch. The obvious benefit of this approach is that you install only what you need keeping your system lean and fast. The flip side is that unlike Ubuntu, you can’t just move in – you have to build it first. The first stage of getting Arch is installing it – you can’t use it without installing it!

And installation of Arch, though not that hard if you try, can be tricky.

There is a very comprehensive Wiki on how to install Arch Linux. The Beginner’s Guide is an awesome resource, but there is so much information that it can be intimidating at times. If you are someone like me who wants to use Arch but is afraid of its official wiki, this article will help you. It’s more or less a documentation of the steps I took to install Arch on my systems.

Before you follow this tutorial, I would suggest that you also open the Beginner’s Guide and compare the steps I mentioned in this article with those in the wiki. The goal of this article is to make you comfortable with the Arch Wiki. Use my tutorial to understand the official guide.

So, let’s take a dive in the warm waters of Arch.

My hardware

CPU: 64 bit Intel
Hard Drive: 128GB SSD
RAM: 8GB
Nvidia GTX 470/GTX 275
BIOS

Getting Arch Linux

You can get the latest image of Arch from the download page (I will recommend the Bittorent method).

Create a bootable USB or CD of Arch Linux

The first step is to create a bootable USB or CD of Arch Linux. I prefer USB as there is no point in wasting CDs and they are slow. Run the following command from a GnuLinux system to put Arch iso image on USB:

sudo dd if=/path_to_arch_.iso of=/dev/sdX

(Here sdX is the USB drive. Please remember don’t use any numbers, for example, if your drive is detected as sde, don’t use sde1, instead just use ‘sde’). Once the USB is ready, plug it into your computer and boot into Arch.

arch-linux-install-001

Step #1 Arch Installation

It is recommended that you use the Ethernet connection for installation as your PC might need drivers for the wireless chip and it will only complicate things. To keep it simple, plug the

Ethernet cable and check if you have the Internet connectivity.Run this command:

ping -c 3 www.google.com

If everything works fine, move ahead.

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