Dharma B

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Arch Linux Install Checklist

26 Mar 2014

This is my Arch Linux installation checklist. I mostly use it as a quick reference during the rare cases I need to do a fresh install from scratch. Do not use this as a general installation guide! Refer to the Beginners’ guide for a detailed step-by-step walkthrough.

Basic System


  1. Boot into the installer and establish network access
  2. Partition the drive with cgdisk, including a 512MB EFI partition if necessary
  3. Format the partitions with mkfs.ext4
  4. If using UEFI, use mkfs.fat -F32 to format EFI system partition
  5. If using swap, use mkswap and swapon to format and enable the swap paritions
  6. Mount the root partion to /mnt
  7. Create mount points under /mnt and mount partitions as necessary. If using UEFI, mount the EFI System Partition under /mnt/boot
  8. Select mirrors in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
  9. Start the install process with pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel sudo vim curl rsync openssh git ifplugd ntp reflector
  10. Generate an fstab with genfstab -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
  11. Chroot in with arch-chroot
  12. Verify the contents of /etc/fstab
  13. Set the hostname in /etc/hostname
  14. Symlink the correct timezone from /usr/share/zoneinfo/ to /etc/localtime
  15. Set the hardware clock to store UTC time with hwclock --systohc --utc
  16. Uncomment en_US.UTF-8 in /etc/locale.gen, run locale-gen and create /etc/locale.conf with content LANG=en_US.UTF-8
  17. Write netctl profiles in /etc/netctl and enable [email protected] and [email protected] services as appropriate
  18. Enable the ntpd service
  19. Set the root password with passwd
  20. Install a boot loader. Syslinux for BIOS, gummiboot for UEFI, GRUB 2 for complicated environments
  21. Exit the chroot and recursively unmount the partitions.
  22. Reboot into the new install
  23. Create a personal account with useradd -m -s /bin/bash -g users -G wheel myusername and passwd username
  24. Set up sudo with visudo
  25. Log into the personal account and set up the home folder
  26. Generate a mirrorlist with reflector
  27. Build cower and pacaur from the AUR

Desktop or Laptop


  1. Install alsa-utils and unmute sound with alsamixer
  2. Install GUI packages: xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit mesa lightdm lightdm-gtk3-greeter i3 dmenu lxappearance elementary-icon-theme xcursor-simpleandsoft ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation ttf-droid ttf-inconsolata
  3. Install a video driver: xf86-video-intel, xf86-video-nouveau, nvidia, or xf86-video-ati as required
  4. Enable the lightdm service and reboot
  5. Install user packages: chromium evince file-roller gimp libreoffice mumble openjdk openvpn pcmanfm gvim python ruby sbcl texlive-most truecrypt virtualbox vlc xterm, plus the latest versions of Sublime Text and IntelliJ IDEA from the AUR
  6. Install Vundle plugns: vim +PluginInstall +qall
  7. Compile YouCompleteMe: ~/.vim/bundle/YouCompleteMe/install.sh --clang-completer