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# cfdisk /dev/sda Create 2 partitions : /dev/sda1 : for the system (bootable) /dev/sda2 : swap partition (should be at least the size of the system’s RAM) Format the filesystem (here for a read-only system, we will be using ext4 without the journal feature) # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1 -O ^has_journal # mkswap /dev/sda2 Mount the target root filesystem # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt Start the Arch base system bootstrap # pacstrap /mnt base The base system packages are being downloaded and installed.
Now let’s chroot into our target system # arch-chroot /mnt Before rebooting the system, a proper bootloader is necessary.
From now on I’ll focus mainly on Firefox as it is still my favourite browser (although Chromium and Opera show quite faster startup times) # pacman -S chromium opera gstreamer0.10-base-plugins gstreamer0.10-good surf firefox arch-firefox-search firefox-adblock-plus firefox-noscript TIP : install only Opera if short on disk space (will use ~100M of disk) Install some nicer fonts as well # pacman -S ttf-liberation ttf-ubuntu-font-family ttf-droid Then configure the fonts in Firefox accordingly (Edit Advanced) (also pick a nice theme/persona for your Firefox while you’re at it, since the default GTK theme looks quite bland!
) You may want to install the dreaded flash and java plugins, and a small pdf viewer # pacman -S flashplugin jre7-openjdk icedtea-web-java7 epdfview TIP : avoid java if short on disk space.
I personnally like a faster and simpler bootloader (good bye GRUB2! Note : as of 2012/07/20 Grub Legacy is not officially supported anymore by Arch, see So let’s use the good old LILO # pacman -S lilo Review and edit # nano /etc/# # /etc/# boot=/dev/sda # This line often fixes L40 errors on bootup # disk=/dev/hda bios=0x80 default=arch timeout=50 lba32 prompt image=/boot/vmlinuz-linux label=arch root=/dev/sda1 initrd=/boot/read-only Then write up the bootloader # lilo -v Now you can reboot your system!
For my test system with Intel integrated graphics, I used xf86-video-intel.Optimized for maximum boot speed and read-only filesystem operation (especially for usb drives and other flash memory cards).Hardware used for this howto : Mini-ITX motherboard with Pentium-M 1.5GHz (centrino) 512M DDR ram Integrated graphics, sound and ethernet. Go and download the official netinstall iso image at https:// As root, copy the iso to an empty USB drive (it even fits on an old 512M drive) # dd if=archlinux*netinstall*of=/dev/sd X bs=1M # sync Usual warning, replace /dev/sd X with your actual drive, ALL DATA WILL BE ERASED on the drive!In order to make changes we are remounting it writable.# mount -o remount,rw / Edit /etc/fstab for the change to be permanent # nano /etc/fstab Add the line : /dev/sda1/ext4defaults,noatime,rw01 Set a new root password # passwd As usual with Arch, we begin with the configuration of /etc/# man # nano /etc/Setup your network settings, I use dhcp so leave untouched the network section.