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ArchLabs (version +3) is an Arch based linux distribution that uses Openbox as desktop environment and by consequence many of the Arch wiki pages can be used to solve eventual hardware issues. But it is not Arch Linux. After downloading the iso (version ARCHLabs+3) you can burn it and boot from it (or write the iso to an usb) and you will be presented with a graphical installation.

ARCHLabs is a Linux distribution created by two guys with a love of BunsenLabs and Arch Linux.
We wanted to take the look of BunsenLabs and put it on top of Arch Linux.

This quote comes straight from the website of ARCHLabs and summarizes the existence of this new distro.

It takes only SEVEN graphical screens to complete the installation and none of them are highly technical. ARCHLabs does not strand you in a terminal where you should type in commands. In Arch Linux you will have to read the beginners wiki and the installation wiki and figure out what to do, what not to do and when to do it. For a beginner in linux – let us be honest – this is an impossible task.

ARCHLabs can be an alternative way to have an arch based system the easy way with the use of their graphical installer – Calamares. ARCHLabs users will also be able to use the AUR or Arch User Repository. The AUR is a great library, where all the scripts are kept, in order to install thousands of applications.

Like Arch Linux ARCHLabs is a rolling release meaning once you installed the system, you will never need to install it again. You will get the updates and that is that. You will get the latest version of any application. So there is no release distributions like e.g. Ubuntu 17.04 or so.

If you used a debian based system then you installed applications with

sudo apt install

On an arch based system it will be

sudo pacman -S

Installation Screenshots

Once you have figured out how to boot from the dvd or usb on your system, you will be presented with the graphical interface. If you have problems with booting then you google your computername and bios or bootsequence and keyboard shortcut. When booting up you get one second or so to see possible keyboard shortcuts. In a hurry then try escape, F2, F8 and delete.

Installation tutorial

If you really want to see all the steps I take when installing ARCHLabs, you can see this video tutorial. To be able to film all the installation steps we will install virtualbox on ARCHLabs and will film everything with simplescreenrecorder. Follow the link to the virtualbox website and choose which file to download and install depending on the operating system you have.

Once we have downloaded and installed virtualbox we can try out ARCHLabs in a safe and confined environment of a virtual machine on our system (Linux, Mac Osx or Windows).

What ever we do on the virtual machine will only affect that system not our own operating system.


Let us now install ARCHLabs on our virtual harddisk/machine.

Remember to get rid of the iso image of ARCHLabs before you reboot or you will be asked again to boot into the live boot or installation dvd.



Welcome screen

This will be our welcome screen after reboot. You see different notifications from clipit,  the networkmanager and the update manager.


After some customization


Openbox has a completely different approach in providing you with a menu. AND it is your menu. You can change it any way you see fit. Temps gives us a weather forecast and Aureola Acros conky is monitoring our systems vital signs. Sardi icons are used and the plank is using a personal theme.

Read on to customize your system further.