Arch Install Notes

Yesterday my Pop OS install got borked and instead of fixing it, since I’m bored at home and self-quarantined anyway, decided to try installing Arch Linux. First time, and how hard could it be anyway?

Got it done finally, and learned a lot along the way. Here are some notes to speed it up next time.

  1. Boot into my Windows partition, download the Arch ISO, use Rufus to make a bootable drive, and boot into Arch.

  2. I decided to reuse the Linux partitions, so no new partitioning necessary. fdisk -l lists the drives.

    • mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sda5 to ready the EFI partition
    • mkswap /dev/sda6 and swapon /dev/sda6 to setup swap
    • mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda7 to create filesystem
  3. wifi-menu is a huge improvement over past methods for connecting to WPA2. After connection, use dhcpcd wlan0 if IP isn’t assigned automatically. Ping to check connection.

  4. Get fastest mirrors.

    • pacman -Syy to refresh the Pacman
    • pacman -S reflector to install Reflector
    • reflector -c "US" -f 12 -l 10 -n 12 --save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist for best mirror list
  5. Mount drive and install kernel

    • mount /dev/sda7 /mnt to mount
    • pacstrap /mnt base linux linux-firmware vim to install base packages and Vim
  6. Generate an fstab file: genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

  7. Access system as root: arch-chroot /mnt

  8. Setup hostname echo a1kn > /etc/hostname and then vim /etc/hosts to edit hosts file. Add:

    127.0.0.1  localhost
    ::1        localhost
    127.0.1.1  a1kn
    
  9. Use passwd to setup root password.

  10. Install bootloader. I’m still using Grub because it’s rock-solid and simple.

    • pacman -S grub efibootmgr to install
    • mkdir /boot/efi and mount /dev/sda5 /boot/efi to mount EFI partition
    • grub-install --efi-directory=/boot/efi
    • grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  11. Install Gnome pacman -S gnome

    • systemctl enable gdm.service
    • systemctl enable NetworkManager.service
  12. reboot

Fun part is done! Now for the boring system config stuff. Some stuff to do (in a somewhat particular order):

And…we’re out. Things are feeling pretty good and snappy and we’ll have to keep installing packages over the next few days, but right now we should have a pretty usable environment.