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Install Arch Linux with Full Disk Encryption (LVM on LUKS) for Dell XPS 13

This is Arch Linux with Full Disk Encryption (LVM on LUKS) for Dell XPS 13

Based on:

There are 2 choices:

  • UEFI/GPT mode: UEFI boot mode / GPT partition table
  • BIOS/MBR mode: Legacy boot mode / MBR partition table

I tried to install in UEFI mode, but my laptop (Acer E5-475-336H) had problems with it, and didn't boot after installation. This is how I installed arch linux in BIOS/MBR mode with full disk encryption (using LUKS), and LVM on LUKS.


  • I assume that /dev/nvme0n1 is the system's disk, and /dev/sda is USB drive.
  • Set SATA Operation to AHCI mode
  • RAM is 8G


  1. Download arch iso image from and copy to a USB drive.

    # dd if=arch.iso of=/dev/sdb
  2. Set boot mode to "Legacy" in BIOS configuration, and boot from USB.

  3. Connect to internet. Useful commands:

    # supervisorctl restart dhcpcd
    # wifi-menu
  4. Partitioning

    A drive should first be partitioned and afterwards the partitions should be formatted with a file system. Use fdisk to create MBR partitions.

    # fdisk /dev/nvme0n1

    First, create an empty MBR partition table (WARNING: This will erase entire disk)

    (fdisk) o

    We are going to create 2 main partitions (/dev/nvme0n1p1 and /dev/nvme0n1p2):

    Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
    /dev/nvme0n1p1            2048    526335    524288   256M 83 Linux      /boot
    /dev/nvme0n1p2          526336 765986815 765460480   365G 83 Linux      Encrypted with LUKS, 3 LVM partitions:
        swap  vg0 -wi-ao----   8.00g                                   swap
        root  vg0 -wi-ao----  80.00g                                   /
        home  vg0 -wi-ao---- 277.00g

    Create partitions:

    (fdisk) n
    (fdisk) p
    (fdisk) 1
    (fdisk) <Enter>
    (fdisk) +256M
    (fdisk) t
    (fdisk) 83
    (fdisk) n
    (fdisk) p
    (fdisk) 2
    (fdisk) <Enter>
    (fdisk) <Enter>
    (fdisk) t
    (fdisk) 2
    (fdisk) 83
    (fdisk) w (Write Changes)

    Format Partitions:

    mkfs.ext2 /dev/nvme0n1p1
  5. Setup encryption

    # cryptsetup -c aes-xts-plain64 -y --use-random luksFormat /dev/nvme0n1p2
    # cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/nvme0n1p2 luks
  6. Create LVM Partitions This creates one partions for root, modify if /home or other partitions should be on separate partitions

    # pvcreate /dev/mapper/luks
    # vgcreate vg0 /dev/mapper/luks
    # lvcreate --size 8G vg0 --name swap
    # lvcreate --size 80G vg0 --name root
    # lvcreate -l +100%FREE vg0 --name home
  7. Format LVM partitions

    # mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/vg0-root
    # mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/vg0-home
    # mkswap /dev/mapper/vg0-swap
  8. Mount the new system

    # mount /dev/mapper/vg0-root /mnt
    # mkdir /mnt/boot
    # mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/boot
    # swapon /dev/mapper/vg0-swap
  9. Install the base system

    # pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel openssh git vim
  10. Generate /etc/fstab. This file can be used to define how disk partitions, various other block devices, or remote filesystems should be mounted into the filesystem.

    # genfstab -pU /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

    (Optional) For making /tmp a ramdisk, add following line to /mnt/etc/fstab:

    tmpfs	/tmp	tmpfs	defaults,noatime,mode=1777	0	0
  11. Enter the new system

    # arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
  12. Set TimeZone

    See available timezones:
    # ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/
    Set timezone:
    # ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Tehran /etc/localtime
  13. Set Locale

    # vim /etc/locale.gen (uncomment en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8)
    # locale-gen
    # echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf
    # export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
  14. Set the hardware clock mode uniformly between your operating systems. Otherwise, they may overwrite the hardware clock and cause time shifts.

    # hwclock --systohc --utc
  15. Set hostname

    # echo myhostname >/etc/hostname

    Add it to /etc/hosts:	myhostname.localdomain	myhostname
  16. Create User

    # useradd -m -g users -G wheel -s chrislee
    # passwd chrislee
    # visudo
    uncomment %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
  17. Configure mkinitcpio with modules needed for the initrd image

    # vim /etc/mkinitcpio.conf
    Add 'ext4' to MODULES
    Add 'encrypt' and 'lvm2' to HOOKS before 'filesystems'

    Regenerate initrd image

    # mkinitcpio -p linux
  18. Setup grub

    # pacman -S grub
    # grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck /dev/nvme0n1

    In /etc/default/grub edit the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX to:


    [Tip] To automatically search for other operating systems on your computer, install os-prober (pacman -S os-prober) before running the next command.

    # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  19. Exit new system and unmount all partitions

    # exit
    # umount -R /mnt
    # swapoff -a
  20. Reboot into the new system. Don't forget to remove the CD/USB.

    # reboot
  21. Start network and check internet

    # systemctl enable dhcpcd.service
    # systemctl start dhcpcd.service
  22. System is installed now. If you want to install Gnome desktop, perform following steps.

  23. Install gdm

    # pacman -S gdm
    # pacman -S xorg-server
    # pacman -S xorg-xinit
    # pacman -S xorg-server-utils
    # INSTALL GRAPHICS DRIVER (e.g. xf86-video-intel)
    # pacman -S xterm
    # startx
    # exit
  24. Install Gnome and some extra

    # pacman -S gnome
    # pacman -S gnome-extra gnome-system-tools  (Optional)
    # pacman -S networkmanager iw wpa_supplicant dialog wireless_tools
    # systemctl enable NetworkManager.service
    # systemctl enable wpa_supplicant.service
  25. Enable GDM service

    # systemctl enable gdm
  26. Reboot!

  27. Install yay

    # sudo pacman -S base-devel
    # git clone
    # cd yay
    # makepkg -si
  28. Install fish

    # yay -S fish
    # curl -L | fish
    # sudo pacman -S fzf
    # omf install
    # omf install bobthefish
    # chsh -s /usr/local/bin/fish
    # git clone --depth=1
    # cd fonts
    # ./
    # cd ..
    # rm -rf fonts
    # gnome-terminal -e fish
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