Here is how to install Arch Linux with Plasma KDE via Wifi connection …
Keep in mind, that you can find yourself with successfully installed Arch Linux, but without internet connection, because of missing packages. In case like this, and many others, the only option is to boot again with the Flash Drive, mount the file system, chroot, and install the missing software. If you don’t know well your system, you may be forced to do this several times. So, as an advice, to save effort and time, make a simple list of all the packages you are forced to install trough the hard way. Next time that list will save you tons of time.
If you need any additional information, it is very likely to find it at wiki.archlinux.org, since it’s the best Linux documentation available. It’s worth spending few minutes there. And don’t forget that Google is your best friend.
You’ll need few things first:
- Internet Connection – that’s how things work these days
- USB Flash Drive – since no one’s using CD/DVDs anymore
- Arch Linux – the latest version, which is available here
- Rufus (or similar) – to help you make the bootable Flash Drive, download from here
- And an Alternative Internet Access – in case you need additional information
If you don’t know how to use Rufus, you can find plenty of great videos in YouTube about that. Just use the keywords ‘rufus bootable’. Also, we assume that you know how to change the boot sequence of your system, thus you can boot with the Flash Drive.
Boot Up & Connection Check
Once booted up with the Live version of Arch Linux, you need to check the Internet Connection. If you use Ethernet port, the connection should be automatically established.
In case you don’t have Ethernet Port on your system, and the only way to connect to Internet is via WiFi, you can use the
Ping google.com or archlinux.org to check if you have internet access:
If you are online, you should see response like this:
root@eureka:~$ ping archlinux.org PING archlinux.org (220.127.116.11) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from apollo.archlinux.org (18.104.22.168): icmp_seq=1 ttl=55 time=66.0 ms 64 bytes from apollo.archlinux.org (22.214.171.124): icmp_seq=2 ttl=55 time=66.1 ms 64 bytes from apollo.archlinux.org (126.96.36.199): icmp_seq=3 ttl=55 time=66.1 ms ...
Creating Disk Partitions
WARNING! Make sure you don’t have any important data on the disk, because you are going to erase it. Any data will be lost! if you are trying to install Arch Linux alongside another OS, such as Windows, do not follow this guide!
For this installation we create classical scheme with 4 partitions – boot, root, swap and home. Our test system has 1 HDD with total capacity of around 500 GB.
Here is the partition scheme we follow, you can use it as reference:
|/dev/sda1||BIOS Boot||250MB ~ 1GB|
|/dev/sda3||Linux Swap||4GB (for 8GB RAM)|
|/dev/sda4||Linux Home||/home||~400GB (the rest)|
With the help of
fdisk, you can list all of the physical drives with their available partitions:
As expected, the command will return something like this:
~/ fdisk -l Disk /dev/sda: 465.8 GiB, 500107862016 bytes, 976773168 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes Disklabel type: gpt Disk identifier: C22A3F27-55BA-874A-BB5E-59567C9161D6 ...
Note the first line. The disk we want to partition is /dev/sda. If you have more than one physical drives, make sure you target the right one.
cfdisk we can partition the drive.
cfdisk, you can use
Delete to delete existing partitions. Then by targeting the free space, select
New to create 4 new partitions. The size of each partition is set by number followed by unit (eg, 60G).
Choose the appropriate Type for each partition. As a result, you should have similar table:
/dev/sda1 2048 2099199 2097152 1G BIOS boot /dev/sda2 2099200 127928319 125829120 60G Linux root (x86-64) /dev/sda3 127928320 136316927 8388608 4G Linux swap /dev/sda4 136316928 976773134 840456207 400.8G Linux home
To finish the partitioning, select
Write and all changes will be written to the disk. Then
Creating the File System
Here we format the partitions and create the file system. We format sda2 (root) and sda4 (home) as btrfs – the newest (and the fastest) Linux File System.
Format the Root partition:
Format the Home partition:
Format the Swap partition:
Swap on the new Swap partition:
Mounting the File System
Now we need to mount our newly created partitions.
Mount /dev/sda2 in /mnt:
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
Create Home directory:
Mount the Home directory:
mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/home
Installing Base Arch Linux
Once partitions are mounted, we are ready to proceed with the actual installation:
pacstrap /mnt base base-devel
It can take some time, depends on your Internet connection.
When finally completed, we generate fstab from the current boot:
genfstab /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
At this point you have Arch Linux installed, but that’s not enough to celebrate. Now you need to make Arch Linux usable and ready to boot.
Configuring the Installation as chroot
Chroot allows us to install additional software and configuring the system:
arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
First change locales. Just uncomment the line you need in
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8. Then apply the changes:
en_US.UTF-8 is set in
/etc/locale.conf. If empty, just add
echo "LANG=en_US.UTF-8" >> /etc/locale.conf
If you want to set the timezone, all options are available in
/sur/share/zoneinfo/, to list them:
With symbolic link you can set the appropriate time zone, like so:
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Sofia /etc/localtime -f
It’s also recommended to set the system clock to UTC:
hwclock --systohc --utc
Don’t forget to set a password to the root user:
and just type your password, then repeat.
Next we set Hostname in
/etc/hostname. That’s your unique computer name:
echo "YourComputerName" >> /etc/hostname
Installing WiFi Packages
If you don’t install these and you are planning to finish the setup over WiFi Connection, after the reboot you may not be able to run
wifi-menu. So, just in case, we do this:
pacman -S dialog, wpa_supplicant
Installing GRUB Boot Loader
Finally, we install GRUB – the Boot Loader:
pacman -S grub os-prober grub-install /dev/sda grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Unmount & Reboot
That’s it! Now you can exit from chroot, then unmount the partitions in the opposite order, like so:
umount /mnt/home umount /mnt
First Start & Add New User
Now you have Arch Linux installed and almost ready. Log in with root and the password you’ve set.
Add a new user – you don’t want to use root as daily user:
useradd -m -G wheel -s /bin/bash YouUserName
Then, add this user to sudoers by editing
At the end of the file you will find the group
wheel, uncomment that part and modify the line to look like this:
... # Same thing without a password %wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL ...
Keep in mind, that this is not the most secure way of using Linux. But can save you the frustration of asking for password every time you type sudo.
Finally, change (set) the password for the newly created user:
Install Plasma KDE
First, we need to install Xorg, then a Display Manager and a Window Manager. We want Plasma KDE as Windows Manager and SDDM as Display Manager, so we install the following packages:
pacman -S xorg xorg-drivers sddm plasma-desktop plasma-meta konsole dolphin noto-fonts ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation
Enable the Display Manager:
systemctl enable sddm.service
Setup Network Manager
We want to make sure that, after the reboot, we will end up with properly functional Internet Connection. For that we install and configure the Network Manager. (We don’t want to use
pacman -S netowrkmanager
Then, we disable
netclt, because they will be in conflict with the Network Manager:
systemctl disable dhcpcd systemctl disable netctl
Now we enable and start the Network Manager:
systemctl enable NetworkManager systemctl start NetworkManager
Done and Done!
Now you can reboot and start the journey!
Enjoy your Arch Linux!
Once you get comfortable with Arch Linux, try XFCE4, instead of Plasma KDE. 🙂