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Arch Linux step to step installation guide

Arch Linux Installation Guide

This guide will show step-by-step how to Install Arch Linux on UEFI mode.

Table of Contents

  • Bootable Flash Drive
  • BIOS
  • Pre installation
    • Set Keyboard Layout
    • Check boot mode
    • Update System Clock
    • Internet Connection
      • DHCP
      • Wi-Fi
      • Wired Connection
    • Partitioning
      • Create Partitions
      • Format Partitions
      • Mount the file system
  • Installation
    • Select Mirror
    • Install Base Packages
    • Generate fstab
    • Chroot
    • Check pacman keys
  • Configure System
    • Locale and Language
      • Keymap
      • Timezone
      • Hardware Clock
    • Network
      • Hostname
      • Nameservers
      • Firewall
    • Blacklists
      • No Beep
      • No Watchdog
    • Initramfs
    • Set-up Wi-Fi
    • Bootloader
    • Root password
    • Xorg
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Users
    • Reboot
  • Post installation
    • Window Manager
    • Network Manager and services
  • Extras
    • Set-up TTF Fonts
    • Bluetooth Headphone

Bootable Flash Drive

First of all, you need the Arch Linux image, that can be downloaded from the Official Website. After that, you should create the bootable flash drive with the Arch Linux image.

If you're on a GNU/linux distribution, you can use the dd command for it. Like:

$ dd bs=4M if=/path/to/archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx status=progress oflag=sync && sync

Note that you need to update the of=/dev/sdx with your USB device location (it can be discovered with the lsblk command).

Otherwise, if you're on Windows, you can follow this tutorial.


We'll install Arch on UEFI mode, so you should enable the UEFI mode and disable the secure boot option on your BIOS system. (Also remember to change the boot order to boot through your USB device).

Pre installation

I'm presuming that you're already in the Arch Linux zsh shell prompt.

Set Keyboard Layout

For brazilian users:

# loadkeys br-abnt2

You can see the list of available layouts by running ls /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/**/*.map.gz

Check boot mode

To check if the UEFI mode is enabled, run:

# ls /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

If the directory does not exists, the system may be booted in BIOS.

Update System Clock

Ensures that the system clock is accurate.

# timedatectl set-ntp true

Internet Connection

First, test if you alredy have internet connection, so run:

# ping -c 2

If you're not connected, follow one of these steps:


This option is automatically started. Run:

# dhcpcd


Run the following command and connect to your wi-fi network.

# wifi-menu -o

The -o option is to hide your password by using the "obscure" method

Wired Connection

Warning: Make sure the DHCP is deactivated by running systemctl stop dhcpcd.service

  1. Find the network interface name

    # ip link

    The response will be something like:

    1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT
        link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    2: enp2s0f0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST> mtu 1500 qdisc noop state DOWN mode DEFAULT qlen 1000
        link/ether 00:11:25:31:69:20 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    3: wlp3s0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP mode DORMANT qlen 1000
        link/ether 01:02:03:04:05:06 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
  2. Activate Network interface

    Using the enp2s0f0 for example:

    # ip link set enp2s0f0 up
  3. Add IP addresses

    The command to do that is ip addr add [ip_address]/[mask] dev [interface] applying to our example:

    # ip addr add dev enp2s0f0
  4. Add the Gateway

    The command is ip route add default via [gateway] then:

    # ip route add default via
  5. Change DNS

    Using the Google DNS, open the file /etc/resolv.conf (you can use nano or vi to do that) and write down these lines:


After that, test your internet connection again with the ping command.


First, define your partitions size. There's no rules about this process.

Tip: If you use a SSD drive, leave 25% of his storage free. More info here.

My HDD has 1Tb of storage. For that example, I'll create 4 partitions, described on the following table: (in my case, I'll install arch on /dev/sda disk)

Name Partition Size Type
sda1 /boot 512M EFI
sda2 / 64G ext4
sda3 swap 16G swap
sda4 /home Remaining space ext4

These values are very related for my PC needs.

Create Partitions

To create partitions, I'll use gdisk since to work on UEFI mode we need GPT partitions.

First, list partitions (Informational only) with the following command

# gdisk -l /dev/sdx

Here's a table with some handy gdisk commands

Command Description
p Print partitions table
d Delete partition
w Write partition
q Quit
? Help
  1. Enter in the interactive menu

    # gdisk /dev/sdx
  2. Create boot partition

    • Type n to create a new partition
    • Partition Number: default (return)
    • First Sector: default
    • Last Sector: +512M
    • GUID: EF00
  3. Create root partition

    • Type n to create a new partition
    • Partition Number: default
    • First Sector: default
    • Last Sector: +64G
    • GUID: default
  4. Create swap partition

    • Type n to create a new partition
    • Partition Number: default
    • First Sector: default
    • Last Sector: +16G
    • GUID: 8200
  5. Create home partition

    • Type n to create a new partition
    • Partition Number: default
    • First Sector: default
    • Last Sector: default
    • GUID: default
  6. Save changes with w

  7. Quit gdisk with q

Format partitions

Once the partitions have been created, each (except swap) should be formatted with an appropriated file system. So run:

# mkfs.fat -F32 -n BOOT /dev/sda1  #-- boot partition
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2              #-- root partition
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda4              #-- home partition

The process for swap partition is slight different:

# mkswap -L swap /dev/sda3
# swapon /dev/sda3

To check if the swap partition is working, run swapon -s or free -h.

Mount file system

  1. Mount root partition:

    # mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
  2. Mount home partition:

    # mkdir -p /mnt/home
    # mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/home
  3. Mount boot partition: (to use grub-install later)

    # mkdir -p /mnt/boot/efi
    # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi


Now we'll install arch on disk

Select Mirror

Before installation, is recommended to select the best mirror servers. So open the file /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist (again, you can use nano or vi to do that) and move the best mirror to the top of the file.

Tip: That link generates a mirror list based on your location, you can use them as reference.

Install Base Packages

Now that the mirrors are already set, use pacstrap to install the base package group:

# pacstrap /mnt base base-devel

Generate fstab

Now you should generate the fstab with the genfstab script:

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

Optional: you can add noatime to the generated fstab file (on root and home partitions) to increase IO performance.


Now, we'll change root into the new system

# arch-chroot /mnt

Now, if you want to install some package, do it with pacman -S <package_name>

Check pacman keys

# pacman-key --init
# pacman-key --populate archlinux

Configure System

Locale and Language

Open the file /etc/locale.gen and uncomment your locale settings

After that, write your locale string to file /etc/locale.conf. For example, if you've uncomment the line en_GK.UTF-8 UTF-8, now you will write en_GK.UTF-8

echo en_GK.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf

Then, generate locale settings by running:

# locale-gen

And export your locale string with:

# export LANG=en_GK.UTF-8  #-- as example


Create the file /etc/vconsole.conf and write your console settings. For example:



Create a symbolic link with your timezone (to check available timezones, see the files/folders in /usr/share/zoneinfo/)

# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Sao_Paulo /etc/localtime

Hardware Clock

# hwclock --systohc --utc



# echo myhostname > /etc/hostname

Change myhostname to your hostname (Computer Name)

After that, open the file /etc/hosts and write (remember to change the myhostname to your own)

# IPv4 Hosts	localhost myhostname

# Machine FQDN	myhostname.localdomain	myhostname

# IPv6 Hosts
::1		localhost	ip6-localhost	ip6-loopback
ff02::1 	ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 	ip6-allrouters


Check the DNS again (using Google DNS). Open /etc/resolv.conf and write:



Write to file /etc/modules-load.d/firewall.conf:

# iptables modules to run on boot


Warning: this part is optional.

No Beep

To avoid the beep on boot, Write to file /etc/modprobe.d/nobeep.conf:

# Dont run pcpkr module on boot
blacklist pcspkr

No watchdog

If you don't want a watchdog service running, write to file /etc/modprobe.d/nowatchdog.conf

blacklist iTCO_wdt


# mkinitcpio -p linux

Set-up Wi-Fi

Install required packages with pacman

# pacman -S wireless_tools wpa_supplicant dialog

Now enable wireless connection automatically on system boot (it will be disabled later)

  1. Go to /etc/netctl (with cd command)
  2. List profiles with netctl list
  3. Enable wifi-menu to automatically connect on boot:
    # netctl enable wlp1s0-MyWiFi


Install Grub and efibootmgr:

# pacman -S grub efibootmgr

Run grub automatic installation on disk:

# grub-install /dev/sda

Create grub.cfg file:

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

Root password

# passwd


Install Xorg Server: (use default options)

# pacman -S xorg-server

Define your keyboard layout on /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-keyboard.conf file:

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "keyboard default"
	MatchIsKeyboard "yes"
	Option  "XkbLayout" "br"
	Option  "XkbVariant" "abnt2"


Install your GPU driver

# pacman -S xf86-video-vesa


Install audio driver

# pacman -S alsa-utils

Configure and save:

# alsamixer
# alsactl store


Install sudo package

# pacman -S sudo

Configure sudo (uses vim as default editor) by running visudo and uncommenting the line:

## Uncomment to allow members of group wheel to execute any command
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

Now we're going to add a new user by running: (change myuser to your username)

# useradd -m -g users -G wheel myuser

Change the new user passord:

# passwd myuser


Exit chroot environment by pressing Ctrl + D or typing exit

Unmount system mount points:

# umount -R /mnt

Reboot system:

# reboot

Remember to remove USB stick on reboot

Post Installation

Now you're on your successfull Arch Linux installation.

Login with your user and follow the next steps.

Window Manager

Now We're gonna install the Window Manager.

I'll show the steps to install Gnome.

First of all, run the installation command with pacman:

$ sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-extra

When the installation finishes, enable gdm to be started with system on boot:

$ sudo systemctl enable gdm.service

Network Manager and services

Now we'll remove the previously enabled service from netctl and the wifi-menu settings.

First ensures that the NetworkManager package is installed:

$ sudo pacman -S networkmanager

Enable and start NetworkManager service:

$ sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager.service
$ sudo systemctl start NetworkManager.service

Go to /etc/netctl folder and see the connection files (the ones that starts with something like wlp1s0...)

Disable the netctl service that you've been enable previously:

$ sudo netctl diable wlp1s0-MyWiFi

Then, remove all /etc/netctl folder and remove your connection file (the one that starts with something like wlp1s0...)

$ sudo rm wlp1s0...  #-- replace with you wifi connection file

Now you can reboot the system (by running reboot) and everyting should be working fine.


Set-up TTF Fonts

Follow this tutorial

Bluetooth Headphone

To connect the headphone:

  1. Install required packages:
    $ sudo pacman -S pulseaudio pulseaudio-bluetooth pavucontrol bluez-utils
  2. Edit /etc/pulse/ and add:
    load-module module-bluez5-device
    load-module module-bluez5-discover
  3. For GNOME users:
    $ sudo mkdir -p ~gdm/.config/systemd/user
    $ ln -s /dev/null ~gdm/.config/systemd/user/pulseaudio.socket
  4. Connect to bluetooth device
    $ bluetoothctl
    # power on
    # agent on
    # default-agent
    # scan on
    # pair HEADPHONE_MAC
    # trust HEADPHONE_MAC
    # connect HEADPHONE_MAC
    # quit

To auto switch to A2DP mode:

  1. Edit /etc/pulse/ and add:
    load-module module-bluetooth-discover
    load-module module-switch-on-connect  # Add this line
  2. Modify (or create) /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf to auto select AD2P profile:
  3. Reboot PC to apply changes


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Hi, there are a few issues with your "guide"
I recommend sticking to our official installation guide instead of trying to build a custom guide out of that.

Hi, The official install guide is very good, but not complete, at least for some like me. I had no trouble during installation, but after reboot I got no network connection. I reviewed the documentation and didn't helped me. A comprehensive troubleshoot session could help a lot.

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