I will be stuck for two or more hours, connected to the ethernet to install Arch Linux on my laptop. Are there any hints or tips that could be helpful during this processes that would be a must?

  • I don't consider their installer hard at all. But I also think OpenBSD is user friendly :P – Earlz Mar 1 '10 at 6:10
  • Where did that two hour figure come from? On a reasonably modern system with a decent broadband connectino, it's more like 30 minutes in my experience. – CarlF Oct 5 '11 at 15:30

You might give chakra project a look, essetially it's archlinux with kdemod installed by default with a graphical installer. After install it is considered a normal arch install using default repositories

  • 3
    Its not Archlinux anymore as it was forked, so this tip isn't valuable anymore ... – zillion Oct 5 '11 at 21:05
  • @zillion: that is correct. I would remove this answer, or update at the very least. – lpapp Dec 11 '13 at 11:28

The Arch Linux Wiki pages Beginners Guide.
But, Maybe you can start with a USB Key: Installing Arch Linux on a USB key to feel your way.
There are also some notes at the wikiHow page on How to Install Arch Linux.

  • Print off the Beginner's Guide and the How to Install guide. – David Rickman Sep 8 '09 at 7:25

You'll have to understand what the installer requires of you to install successfully, and as already mentioned, this will mean reading The Beginner's Guide.

Once I knew what I was doing, however, I actually found it easier than using other installers.

I can easily set up an Arch laptop with all the programs I need and configured to my liking in under 20 minutes from a blank drive. (obviously this depends on the speed of your network connection.)

Once you have your machine set up the way you like, put your config and dotfiles up on github, along with a copy of your installed packages. Put your files on Dropbox or Aerofs and you can get from a blank disk to Getting Stuff Done in the time it takes to watch a sitcom.


It can also be helpful to try out the installation in a Virtual Machine, like for example VirtualBox, first. That is a good possibility to get a feeling for the procedure, without the risk of destroying anything. Howtos and google can be used in parallel, too, if using this method.


Not at all. Its simpler than Gentoo; but you get to know the linux intricacies during installation process. It may time taking for the first install. You can copy the repo packages to another computer to save time for the second or more. The pacman tool is really does wonders. Much like apt-get. Even the harddisk set up is easy; just follow the screen instructions. Keep a copy of Beginner's Guide for additional support. My first experience was very smooth and error free.


I tried to install Arch on my Usb drive but eversince I installed I couldn't boot from it. So I tried to install Archlinux on VirtualBox its safer and easier way to know how to install Arch, I mean if you are stuck somewhere you can always minimise the VirtualBox window and search for solution on the host PC. I wrote down all commands needed to install Arch and how to get into X etc., etc., you will love the Experience !! Arch is much cooler then other Distros I only install what I need. Be sure to know how to get into X in your virtualbox arch installation.And also which Window Manager or Desktop you need. Archlinux WiKi is always there to help novice users.


Two hours is a reasonable time for an Arch Linux installation. It is not hard to install, but Arch is a distro that eschews easy-do-everything-install in favor of a only-install-what-you-need streamlined installation.

I recommend you standby some entertainment. :)


I found Arch install to be very easy, actually. The included /arch/setup guides you through every step, but being forced to work in a CLEnvironment can be a little daunting. Here are a few tips:

  1. Remember that you can open up more than one terminal! Alt + (F1 ... F7) will pick a terminal. This is good for having the included beginner's guide (it's already on the live CD) open for reference or to have a couple manpages up.
  2. If you're working with a laptop, just plug yourself in instead of trying to use wireless. Wireless adapters can be a real pain, espescially in a distro like Arch.
  3. Check out base-devel for things you really need. If you insist, you can find wireless drivers here, wpa_supplicant. You can find some libraries and tools (sudo, make...) that you know you'll need later, and save yourself a Pacman query.
  4. Write down your partition scheme, INCLUDING a description. I've been in the midst of setting up a dual-boot and have forgotten which partition matched which operating system and in the blink of an eye Windows was gone.
  5. Don't get overwhelmed. Arch install is seriously a piece of cake. It shows you exactly where to go, and provides ample documentation. And if Arch was too easy for you...


The only thing I can see taking a while is a bottleneck, either at your hardware or at your internet connection. A netinstall can take a bit to downlad and install, but Arch is fairly slim. You shouldn't be compiling that long.

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