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Installing Arch Linux for UEFI/GPT System #arch-linux

Installing Arch Linux for UEFI/GPT System

For BIOS/MBR Legacy system refer to here

Installation process over a Wi-Fi

Download the .iso file from Arch Linux Official Site.

Step 1: Make a Live USB Disk and boot from it.

Am assuming you know how to make live USB drives using a program like balenaEtcher or an equivalent.

Boot from Live USB example: Press ESC --- > Boot Menu (F9) --> UEFI Generic Mass Storage ....

You should see prompt like:

[root@archiso ~]$

Step 2: Start Wireless Service

Try to issue this command

[root@archiso ~]$ timeout 3 ping

Most probably you will get this response ping: Name or service not known. Meaning you are not connected to the internet.

Now start the INet Wireless Daemon(iwd).This wireless package comes pre-installed on intel based hp laptops.Not sure if it's in other laptop models.

The installed iwd package provides the following:

  1. iwctl - a client program
  2. iwd - the daemon (the service)
  3. iwon - Wi-Fi monitoring tool

Enable the iwd.service

$ systemctl enable iwd.service

Start the service

$ systemctl start iwd.service

Verify it has started

$ systemctl status iwd.service

Step 3: Connect to a Wi-Fi network

After verifying the iwd service is running in the previous step, type iwctl to get an interactive prompt.

The prompt will be displayed as [iwd]#.Here you are interacting with the client program 'iwctl'.

3.1 Get you device name

list all wifi devices nearby

[iwd]# device list
Name           Address            Powered    Adapter  Mode
wlan0          xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx    on        phy0    station

Note: wireless devices usually start with letter 'w'. e.g wlan0 or wlp3s0

3.2 List all available networks

[iwd]# station wlan0 get-networks
                  Available networks
Network name            Security          Signal
James2                     psk             ****
the_guy_next_door          psk             **** 

Your Network Name is also referred to as SSID technically.

3.3 Connect to your network

If you can see your network name, then type

[iwd]# station wlan0 connect <your_network_name>

substitute the above command with your network name, angle brackets excluded to connect to it.

When you type the above command, for instance station wlan0 connect guy_next_door

you will be prompted for passphrase.This is nothing but you network password.Type it and press enter.

Exit the iwctl client by typing exit

3.4 Ping to verify the connection Now back to prompt.Ping google servers for 3 seconds.

[root@archiso ~]$ timeout 3 ping

You should see see response different from the one stated in step 2.

To use iwctl directly without entering into the prompt

root@archiso ~#iwctl --passphrase <your_network_password> station <your_interface> connect <your_network_name>


root@archiso ~#iwctl --passphrase m455fgfH station wlan0 connect the_guy_next_door

Step 4: Check that you have booted in the correct mode.

Am assuming you are in UEFI mode, not legacy mode.Because commands are quite difference for both modes. You can type

$ls /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

If the above commands displays output,then you are in UEFI mode.Clear the screen Ctrl + l.

Otherwise if it displays ls:cannot access 'sys/firmware/efi/vars':No such file or directory then you have legacy system

Otherwise you can execute the following command to verify

# [ -d /sys/firmware/efi/efivars ] && echo "UEFI" || echo "Legacy"

Then you can refer to the Installation for Legacy/BIOS/MBR Legacy system process

Step 5: Check clock is set correctly

$ timedatectl set-ntp true

Step 6: Disk Partition

You can refer to this article on how my partition scheme looks like.

Step 7: Install the Base System.

You have finished partitioning and formating the disk in Step 6 as per your expectation.It's time for installing base system. Pacstrap!

7.1 Mount partitions so that you can install software on them.

make boot EFI System directory,create a filesystem for it & mount it to its respective partition

$ mkdir -p /mnt/boot/efi
$ mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sda1
$ mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi

make var directory & mount it to its respective partition

$ mkdir -p /mnt/var
$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
$ mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/var

create a filesystem & mount it to its root partition

$ mkfs.ex4 /dev/sda3
$ mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

-p flag here means create the previous directory i.e boot if it does not exist.

make home directory & mount it to its respective partition

$ mkdir -p /mnt/home
$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda4
$ mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/home

make swap and turn it on

$ mkswap /dev/sda5
$ swapon /dev/sda5

install the base system

$pacstrap /mnt base base-devel linux-lts linux-firmware nano dialog iw wpa_supplicant networkmanager

Step 8: Generate fstab file

This file has info about your partitions.It picks up partitions that have already been mounted. So we expect this file to contain.

  • boot
  • root
  • var
  • home partitions info.

So the command to generate fstab file

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

To verify this we can type

$cat /mnt/etc/fstab

Step 9: More Configurations and Set Up on root

Run the following commands as root

$ arch-chroot /mnt


We need to change to root of the system that is being installed so that we can:

  1. Install Bootloader.
  2. Set Up Time Zone.
  3. Generate Hardware Clock Settings.
  4. Set Up Language Settings(Locale)
  5. Add Super User.
  6. Verify everthing is OK, upto now.

9.1 Set Up Timezone

Create a soft link to your timezone

# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Africa/Nairobi  /etc/localtime

9.2 Generate hardware clock settings

Ensure that your clock is set to UTC

# hwclock --systohc --utc

9.3 Set Up Language Settings

# echo en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 >> /etc/locale.gen

Then generate

# locale-gen
# echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf
# export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Set hostname mine is:hp-450g3-i7

# echo hp-450g3-i7 > /etc/hostname

Check everything has been installed properly.

# mkinitcpio -p linux-lts

9.4 Add Super user (Sudo)

mine is josphat

# useradd -m -G sys,wheel,users,adm,log -s /bin/bash josphat

we have added user josphat to these groups

  • sys
  • wheel
  • users
  • adm
  • log

create a password for your user


Enter the password again when prompted again.

9.5 Edit file /etc/hosts

# nano /etc/hosts

The file is empty, add the following content

Substitute hostname for yours. localhost
::        localhost  hp-450g3-i7.localdomain   hp-450g3-i7
  • Ctrl + o --> write changes
  • Enter --> to save/confirm changes
  • Ctrl + x --> Exit
  • Ctrl + l ---> Clear Screen

9.6 Set Up Sudo User Using Nano

# EDITOR=nano visudo

Find the following line in that file, uncomment(remove #) and save

#% wheel ALL = (ALL) ALL

9.7 Add Multilib Repo and Sync the Repos

#nano /etc/pacman.conf

Find the following line in that file, uncomment and save.

uncomment multilib not multilib-testing

Now sync the repos

# pacman -Syy

9.8 Optimize the mirrors

Go to this site and generate your nearest mirrors.I'm in Kenya

So here we go

# nano /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

I will populate this file with those for Kenya and South Africa, in that order.

## Arch Linux repository mirrorlist
## Generated on 2020-06-26

## Kenya
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch

## South Africa
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch
Server =$repo/os/$arch

9.9 Install GRUB bootloader for UEFI system

# pacman -S grub efibootmgr os-prober

9.10 Create a GRUB file for your UEFI system

# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --bootloader-id=grub --efi-directory=/boot/efi

9.11 Generate GRUB Configuration file

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

9.12 Install various important packages

# pacman -S xorg xorg-apps xorg-server xorg-drivers xrandr terminator mesa linux-headers xdg-user-dirs fuse2 ntfs-3g exfat-utils pulseaudio pulseaudio-bluetooth bluez-utils pavucontrol  gvfs dkms haveged git unrar unzip htop feh lsb-release  firefox lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter  

Install vlc and youtube-dl, then download a video clip(mp4 format(18)) from youtube for testing the audio & video

# pacman -S vlc youtube-dl

# youtube-dl -f 18   /home/josphat/Music

9.13 Install enlightenment Windows Manager

This is personal preference,you can install i3, cinnamon,lxde desktop/windows environment etc. More about the Enlightenment

# curl -o - l | tee -a /etc/pacman.conf

Then to install the packages for the first time

# pacman -Sy && pacman -S efl-git enlightenment-git terminology-git rage-git

9.14 Install fonts

# pacman -S  freetype2 terminus-font ttf-bitstream-vera
               ttf-dejavu ttf-droid ttf-fira-mono
               ttf-fira-sans ttf-freefont ttf-inconsolata ttf-liberation
               ttf-linux-libertine ttf-ubuntu-font-family xorg-xfontsel

(Optional) Applications to install

# pacman -S xed gnome-screenshot gimp code cinnamon lightdm-webkit2-greeter 

You can use sudo update-alternatives --config lightdm-greeter to toggle the greeters.

9.15 Enable the vital services

# systemctl enable lightdm.service
# systemctl enable NetworkManager
# systemctl enable wpa_supplicant.service
# systemctl --user enable pulseaudio

Exit Root

# exit
$ shutdown now

Remove live USB

10. Start the vital services after you login

$ sudo systemctl start lightdm.service

$ sudo systemctl start NetworkManager

$ sudo systemctl start wpa_supplicant.service

$ sudo systemctl start pulseaudio

11. Set Up Default Light Display Manager Greeter

# nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf


Post Power Up

ping to verify we have a network

$timeout 3 ping 

check your interface

$iw dev

Above command retrieves wireless device name

List nearby wireless networks

$nmcli device wifi list

connect to wireless network

$nmcli device <SSID> password <SSID_PASSWORD>

SSID - Network Name, SSID_PASSWORD - Network Password

You can also use the GUI



1. Reset Root Password

plug in the live USB

[root@archiso]#mount /dev/sdaX /mnt
[root@archiso]#passwd --root /mnt user_name
  • New Password
  • Retype Password

Then unmount

[root@archiso]#umount /dev/sdaX

X - for root partition number

2. [FAILED] Failed to start Light Display Manager

plug in the live USB

[root@archiso]#mount /dev/sdaX /mnt
[root@archiso]#sudo systemctl start lightdm.service

3. No Space Left

error: failed retrieving file 'linux-firmware' from archlinux.: Resolving timed out after 10520 milliseconds

$mount -o remount,size=4G /run/archiso/cowspace

Notes to Self

Important key things to remember

  1. Don't forget to mount all partitions before you install any software.

  2. Don't forget to enable vital service before you reboot.


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