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Preinstalled Windows 8.1 and Arch Linux dual boot

Arch Linux installation (preinstalled Windows 8.1 dual boot)


  1. Disable Windows Fast-Startup
  2. Disable Secure Boot



Partition Location Size File system
ESP sda1 500 MB fat32
DIAGS sda2 40 MB fat32
OEM 1 sda3 128 MB ?
WINRETOOLS sda4 750 MB ntfs
WINDOWS 8 sda5 913.878 GB ntfs
PBR sda7 8.25 GB ntfs
OEM 2 sda6 8 GB ?


Partition Location Size File system
ESP sda1 500 MB fat32
DIAGS sda2 40 MB fat32
OEM 1 sda3 128 MB ?
WINRETOOLS sda4 750 MB ntfs
WINDOWS 8 sda5 200 GB ntfs
/boot sda8 200 MB ext2
swap sda9 8.5 GB swap
/ sda10 705.18 GB ext4
PBR sda7 8.25 GB ntfs
OEM 2 sda6 8 GB ?

Load keyboard layout

$ loadkeys la-latin1

Connect to the internet (Wi-Fi)

$ iw dev    # Get the interface name
$ wifi-menu <wifi_interface_name>

Format and mount disks

$ mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda8
$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda10
$ mkswap /dev/sda9
$ swapon /dev/sda9
$ mount /dev/sda10 /mnt
$ mkdir /mnt/boot
$ mount /dev/sda8 /mnt/boot

Set mirrors

Set the preferred mirror first. To find the best mirrors:

$ rankmirrors -n 6 /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist > mirrorlistbest

In my case, the best one at the moment was:$repo/os/$arch

$ vi /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist


$ pacstrap /mnt base base-devel

Generate fstab

$ genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Chroot and configure base system

$ arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash

Root password

$ passwd


$ echo miguelarch >> /etc/hostname
$ vi /etc/hosts

/etc/hosts should look like:   localhost.localdomain   localhost   miguelarch
::1         localhost.localdomain   localhost   miguelarch


$ echo "America/Mexico_City" >> /etc/timezone
$ ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Mexico_City /etc/localtime


$ vi /etc/locale.gen
$ locale-gen
$ echo LANG=es_MX.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf
$ export LANG=es_MX.UTF-8

On /etc/locale.gen I uncommented es_MX.UTF-8 UTF-8 and en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8

Console font and keymap

$ vi /etc/vconsole.conf

It should look like:


Hardware clock

hwclock --systohc --utc

Initial ramdisk environment

$ mkinitcpio -p linux


$ pacman -S dosfstools grub efibootmgr
$ mkdir /boot/efi
$ mount /dev/sda1 /boot/efi

Edit /etc/default/grub, set DEFAULT_TIMEOUT=30.

$ grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=grub --recheck
$ grub-mkconfig -o boot/grub/grub.cfg

Now, let's add Windows to the GRUB menu. Edit /boot/efi/EFI/grub/grub.cfg and add the following menuentry after the Arch Linux menuentries:

menuentry "Microsoft Windows 8.1" {
    insmod part_gpt
    insmod fat
    insmod search_fs_uuid
    insmod chain
    search --fs-uuid --set=root $hints_string $fs_uuid
    chainloader /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

Now change:

  • $hints_string by the output of $ grub-probe --target=fs_uuid /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

  • $fs_uuid by the output of $ grub-probe --target=hints_string /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

Network configuration

$ pacman -S iw wpa_supplicant networkmanager

I chose to use NetworkManager since I like how it integrates with Gnome3 via NetworkManager-Applet. Disable all network services before using NetworkManager.

$ systemctl enable NetworkManager

Unmount and reboot

$ exit      # If still on arch-chroot mode
$ umount -R /mnt
$ reboot

After installation

Connect to the internet

$ nmcli nm wifi on
$ nmcli dev wifi connect <network ssid> password <password>

Install zsh

$ pacman -S zsh

Create user

$ useradd -m -g users -G wheel -s /bin/zsh miguel
$ passwd miguel
$ chfn miguel

Install X

Laptop trackpad support: $ pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

$ pacman -S xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit

Dynamic switching between NVIDA and Intel integrated graphics

In /etc/pacman.conf, uncomment:

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
$ pacman -S intel-dri xf86-video-intel nvidia bbswitch bumblebee lib32-nvidia-utils lib32-intel-dri
$ gpasswd -a miguel bumblebee
$ systemctl enable bumblebeed

Edit /etc/default/grub, set GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet rcutree.rcu_idle_gp_delay=1".

Edit /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia, set BusID "PCI:4:0:0". Where the PCI should be the one shown for the Nvidia card in lspci.

To turn on Nvidia graphics card:

$ tee /proc/acpi/bbswitch <<< ON
$ modprobe nvidia

To turn it off:

$ modprobe -r nvidia
$ tee /proc/acpi/bbswitch <<< OFF

To get information about PCI devices (Shows if Nvidia card is activeted or deactivated and the driver it's using):

$ lspci -v
$ lspci -k
$ lspci

Test if Bumblebee is working:

$ pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm mesa-demos
$ startx
$ optirun glxgears -info

Install Gnome

$ pacman -S gnome network-manager-applet
$ systemctl enable gdm.service

Other configurations

Add ILoveCandy under Misc options in /etc/pacman.conf


Install AUR packages.

$ curl -O
$ tar zxvf package-query.tar.gz
$ cd package-query
$ makepkg -si
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf package-query*
$ curl -O
$ tar zxvf yaourt.tar.gz
$ cd yaourt
$ makepkg -si
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf yaourt*


Protect disk.

$ pacman -S hdapsd
$ systemctl enable hdapsd

Specific for my Dell Inspiron 7537

To see the battery levels, add acpi_osi=Linux to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub.cfg. If the backlight service fails after that, add acpi_backlight=vendor too (didn't happen to me, but this thread claims that it can happen).

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


$ yaourt -S rbenv ruby-build
$ rbenv install 2.1.2
$ echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc
$ echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.zshrc
$ gem install bundler

Other stuff

$ pacman -S ttf-dejavu wget acpi vim rfkill ctags tree  gimp nodejs infinality-bundle gnome-tweak-tool gloobus-preview terminator viewnior synapse openssh
$ yaourt -S google-chrome spotify sublime-text python-markdown retext gnome-shell-extension-topicons 
$ mkdir $HOME/.config/terminator
$ curl -o $HOME/.config/terminator/config 
$ curl -L | sh
$ wget -qO- | sh





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thewisenerd commented Feb 1, 2016

instead of /boot/efi/EFI/grub/grub.cfg, it is perhaps the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file?


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ghost commented Jun 8, 2017

I borrowed your REFERENCE section into a update version of install Arch Linux

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