[Under continuous development]

Archlinux is till, by far, my best linux distro of all times. Although I’ve installed archlinux a number of times before, I still forget some steps which leaves me inside an inoperable archlinux installation. So this post is for beginners, intermediates and experts who need to have a step-by-step installation from a live ISO to a fully functional Archlinux/KDE installation.

You can always check The Official Guide

After partitioning your harddrive, you can start following these steps this post.

Installing Archlinux

Important Notes

  • Use fdisk to partition your PC through terminal.
  • Recommended partition table is (3 different mount points):
    • / : Root mount point (More than 10 GB is recommended)
    • /boot : Boot Mount point (100~500 MB)
    • /home : Home Mount point (More than 1 GB is recommended)
  • To connect to the internet through Wifi use : wifi-menu and follow instructions.

Commands


# mount /dev/sdaX /mnt
# mkdir /mnt/boot
# mount /dev/sdaY /mnt/boot
# pacstrap /mnt base

pacstrap is the line to give birth to a new archlinux installation! After this line we should have a new arch under /mnt.

So, now, let’s use the new arch installation,


DON’T REBOOT JUST YET!


Welcome to Arch

Chroot is a process to “encage” the root directory for the current running process and their children. So, we are telling our installer to go to /mnt and take it as the new root (/) to help us run some commands as if we have booted to the new arch installation without actually doing so.

Steps

# arch-chroot /mnt
# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Region/City /etc/localtime
# hwclock –systohc
# locale-gen
# echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 >> /etc/locale.conf
yourhostname >> /etc/hostname

After these steps, arch is configured to run on your PC, but without any packages. If you try to boot after this step, you will get a working terminal which is enough in some use cases, but not ours. It’s time to give our newborn some clothes. In all cases please :


DON’T REBOOT JUST YET!


Post Installation

While you are still chrooted, we will need to start installing some packages to get a more functional installation.

 

Install grub

Use this command to install grub :

pacman -S  grub

Then use this command to burn grub on your hard disk:

grub-install –target=i386-pc /dev/sdx

 

IMPORTANT NOTE

Use disk path not partition path, i.e., sda not sda1. Otherwise you will get this error:

warning: File system `ext2′ doesn’t support embedding.
warning: Embedding is not possible. GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists. However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged..
error: will not proceed with blocklists.

Then use this command to generate a config file :

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

 

Install Xorg

Xorg is responsible of giving us a GUI instead of a CLI, it’s called a video server

pacman -S  xorg-server

 

Install video driver and OpenGL

For example, for intel GPUs use this command :

pacman -S xf86-video-intel mesa

For more info check Xorg guide.

Install sudo

Archlinux comes with NO sudo capabilities so you have to install sudo, and specify sudoing policy.

Use this command to install sudo:

pacman -S sudo

For how to Specify sudoing policy, check this guide

Recommendation : Create new group called sudo and uncomment this line : # %sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL

Install pacaur

First, we need to install base development group :

pacman -S –needed base-devel

Then, for pacaur this shell file is one of the best to get it done in no time, by the great Tadlyhttps://gist.github.com/Tadly/0e65d30f279a34c33e9b

Install bash autocomplete

Bash compilation gives your bash wings and some auto complete capabilities

pacman -S bash-completion

Install SDDM

SDDM is responsible of providing a login screen on each boot instead of going through the TTY/startx procedure.

pacman -S sddm

systemctl start sddm

systemctl enable sddm

Install KDE

Let’s install the best desktop environemnt, our beloved KDE

pacman -S plasma

Install Plasma-nm applet

Plasma-nm makes you tray a home for a nice NetworkManage applet

pacman -S plasma-nm

Install okular

Okular is an Ebook Reader, simple yet capable.

pacman -S okular

Install VLC

VLC can simply play all your videos without any external tools. You will need QT4 to have it working on KDE.

pacman -S qt4 vlc

Install gwenview

Gwenview is the best image viewer for KDE

pacman -S gwenview

Install Thunderbird

Thunderbird is by far my favorite email client for linux, recently it has started to play nicely with KDE

pacman -S thunderbird

After that you should install the FireTray extension to have thunderbird icon in the tray (Tools>Add-ons)

Install Hunspell

Hunspell is a spellchecker that’s used by a lot of applications, e.g. Thunderbird.

pacman -S hunspell hunspell-en

Install Kate

Kate is used to handle text files, pretty much similar to Geany.

pacman -S kate

Install ark

Ark compresses/extract zip files from within dolphin.

pacman -S ark

Install Gimp (Optional)

Gimp is the photoshop for linux.

pacman -S gimp

Install LibreOffice (Optional)

Create and edit document files, spreadsheets and presentations.

pacman -S libreoffice

Install dialog

Dialog is important in case we needed the wifi-menu command, so this step is totally optional

pacman -S dialog

Install NTFS-3G

NTFS-3G is an open source implementation of NTFS that includes read and write support.

pacman -S ntfs-3g

Do you have any favorite KDE apps not on the list? Mention it in the comments.

Have a nice day.

TiTrias Founder and CEO, white hat hacker acknowledged by Microsoft, Apple, Redhat & AT&T.