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This is an old article and will not be maintained.
Use at your own risk.

You can learn how to install Arch Linux on
in the menu called phase 5.

This will be the base installation. We stop the installation just before we are about to install the video driver, Xorg, desktop environments like cinnamon, xfce,i3, budgie, …, software and all the rest. In an article at the bottom of this article we will continue install a desktop environment. The operating system is not meant to be run on a virtualbox. That is only for educational purposes. You should install it on a proper ssd.

Arch Linux can be quite daunting for linux beginners. The best advice I can give them is read the wiki from Arch Linux and know as much as you can about your system/hardware. The site has been also quite helpful to get some insights.

But like any big wiki it is sometime difficult to find the information you need and to know what step comes next. How to know which steps are necessary and which are optional and in what order should you install them. Those were questions I had to solve and figure out on my own via articles and youtube tutorials.

I will share all the steps I take on my hardware today. May it give you clarity on the matter.

I will demonstrate the installation on Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon on VirtualBox.


This is a picture from the desktop environment : Budgie on Arch. On the right is my host system Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon with VirtualBox (dualscreen).

We download the latest iso from the Arch website. No need to burn it, as we will mount it in our virtual machine. If you need to burn it, may I suggest to burn it to an usb. More info here.
Download the latest version of VirtualBox or use my scripts.

These settings of VirtualBox will be covered

  • memory
  • cpu cores
  • video memory
  • mount iso
  • scale factor



The next tutorial is the same as the one above BUT it will use the new iso of February 2017 rather than January 2017. If something was unclear in the first tutorial, you can consider watching this one. As a surplus I am filming this on i3wm so you check out how that looks on a linux mint driven machine.



These will be our building blocks for our system

Configuration steps

For educational purpose I have divided the installation in three logical parts.

  1. Boot into arch and make the harddisk ready – root has a password – reboot 1
  2. Boot into arch and login as root and make new user – reboot 2
  3. Boot into arch and login as user and install your desktop environment.

# FASE 1

Steps to take when installing Arch Linux from scratch
Pop in the latest arch usb and boot from your usb

I need to change my keyboard to the correct layout.

loadkeys be-latin1
cfdisk /dev/sda

delete all partitions

sda1 / everything minus 8GB for swap making sure it is primary and bootable (asterisk!)

sda2 /swap 8 GB primary type swap (82)

write – yes -quit

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

You might get the message “Proceed anyway” if you had already a partition in place – type “y”

mkswap /dev/sda2
swapon /dev/sda2
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel

Press Enter to download and install them all.

genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
arch-chroot /mnt
nano /etc/locale.gen

uncomment these lines
to set Arch in Dutch

or this line for English

CTRL + X , yes, enter

echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
nano /etc/vconsole.conf


CTRL + X , yes, enter

rm /etc/localtime

Time is not correct for me so I will correct this with the next line.

ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Brussels /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc --utc
echo ArchErik > /etc/hostname

Choose a name for your computer

nano /etc/hosts localhost.localdomain localhost ArchErik
::1 localhost.localdomain localhost ArchErik

pacman -S networkmanager
systemctl enable NetworkManager
mkinitcpio -p linux
pacman -S grub os-prober
grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck /dev/sda
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
umount -a




login with root
and use the password

useradd -m -g users -G wheel,storage,power -s /bin/bash erik
passwd erik
EDITOR=nano visudo

Look for these lines with an hashtag in front

%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

hashtag (#) should be gone

CTRL = X , yes and enter

pacman -S bash-completion



Login with new account i.e. here erik and password

Rather then typing all commands one by one we can start using the power of the scripts that are on the github.

We still need to install xorg-server, video driver, desktop environment, software, icons, themes, …

We need to decide what desktop environment to take :

Choose your desktop environment and follow the rest of the tutorial.