How your parents installed Arch

For those who think the new Arch Install Scripts are no longer the Arch Way, here are the original install instructions of Arch Linux 0.1 published in March 2002.

                              ARCH LINUX #VERSION#
                     SHORT & SWEET INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS
                 ==========================================

1.  Make your swap/root partitions
      # fdisk /dev/discs/disc0/disc

2.  Make your target filesystems
      # mkswap /dev/discs/disc0/partX
      # mkreiserfs /dev/discs/disc0/partY

3.  Activate your swap partition
      # swapon /dev/discs/disc0/partX

4.  Mount your target root filesystem under /mnt
      # mount /dev/discs/disc0/partX /mnt

5.  Initialize the pacman database
      # mkdir -p /mnt/var/lib/pacman
      # touch /mnt/var/lib/pacman/pacman.db

6.  Add the filesystem package from /arch/pkg/filesystem-0.X-Y.tar.gz
      # cd /arch/pkg
      # pacman --add -r /mnt filesystem-0.X-Y.tar.gz

7.  Mount any other data partitions you may have created
      # mount /dev/discs/disc0/partX /mnt/home
      # mount /dev/discs/disc0/partY /mnt/usr

8.  Install some base packages
      # cd /arch
      # ./installworld /mnt

9.  Uncompress the linux source to /mnt/usr/src
      # cd /mnt/usr/src && tar zxvf /arch/linux-2.4.XX.tar.gz

10. Mount a dev and proc under your new system and chroot
      # mount -t devfs none /mnt/dev
      # mount -t proc none /mnt/proc
      # chroot /mnt /bin/bash

11. Build & install your new kernel from /usr/src/linux
      NOTE: make sure you ask for "/dev file system support" and
            "Automatically mount at boot", since we use DevFS.

12. Install a lilo bootloader
      # vi /etc/lilo.conf
      # lilo

13. Edit settings
      # vi /etc/rc.conf
      # vi /etc/resolv.conf
      # vi /etc/fstab
      # vi /etc/modules.conf (if needed)

14. Exit your chroot shell
      # exit

15. Reboot!

16. Verify success and install any additional packages you want.
      # pacman -A /mnt/cd/arch/pkg/whatever-1.1-1.pkg.tar.gz

16 thoughts on “How your parents installed Arch

  1. I have no issue with some install scripts that make the base install faster. As long as I have final control over my system any intelligent assistance is appreciated. If a user really wants to control everything use LFS.

  2. I love the ‘new’ install method… it seems much more straight forward to me. Admittedly, when I first used Arch I would have been a bit confused… but now it’s exactly what I want šŸ™‚

  3. Beautiful regression. I now understand why Linux will never exceed 1%
    Next step, just provide a link to LFS.pdf?

    • Arch is for people who intermediate/advanced users, if you don’t understand what’s going on here or can’t copy and paste those commands I don’t think you should be using arch.

    • Arch isn’t meant for your grandmother. If you want ease of use and abstractions to make it more than simple, then don’t use arch; you’re not the audience intended by arch.

      Arch is for those not afraid to get their hands dirty, who don’t want others to configure their system, and who want control of their system; it does so with simple design, a simple package manager, [mostly] vanilla packages, and the hope that you will read documentation if need be.

      This isn’t meant to be the OS of the entire world. It’s a distribution that satisfies the needs of a group of users. Ubuntu is a distribution that satisfies the needs of another group of users. Mint… gentoo… etc are all meant to satisfy some demand. If you want a preconfigured installation and a fancy front-end to something as simple as partitioning, formatting, mounting, and pacman -r, then don’t use arch. It’s really. That. Simple.

  4. new Beginners’ Guide is not really beginner friendly…when there was AIF (which was more intuitive) guide was more thorough, but now, when there is no more AIF, all the nice details are missing, and noobs like me will have a hard time installing Arch. there is google of course, but hey…

    • You say that as if it was a bad thing.

      Arch is perfectly happy to get newbies, but noobs can stay away :p

      A fun thing was that aif often caused problems too by making silly assumptions and not really working at all for non-trivial setups.

  5. Hi Pierre,

    A big thank you to to yourself and your fellow contributors (Gerardo, Dave, …) for updating Archiso and creating the new installation scripts.

    I think the installation scripts perfectly compliment the manual Arch Linux installation and I feel that this is much more in line with Arch’s KISS philosophy.

    Nevertheless, a big thank you to Dieter for all his hard work on the AIF but have always felt that for a full blown installer Python would be a bit more suited then Bash.

  6. Long time (5 years) Arch user. Before that was the pre-Fedora Red Hat, Debian and early Ubuntu.

    My problem is that distros get a following based on how they work and their philosophy. Then for whatever reason (change of management, bitching users…) they change big things to make it unrecognizable. Maybe I just haven’t given it the chance it deserves… but seriously… why zsh, why scripts, why not keeping the config in one file (rc.conf), why grub2? Are you even Arch anymore? Looks like I am going to have to use LFS!

    I do appreciate the comments that Arch isn’t for your grandma, so that’s why going to script installer and killing the ncurses one??? Whose grandma is comfortable with ncurses??? In what way is an ncurses installer catering to noobs? I am aware that I can install Arch, Ubuntu, Debian via commands (and sometimes I do), but why are you now forcing me??? The benefit of Arch over Gentoo is that you could install it in about 15 minutes… and it used to be that you didn’t have to learn and type a bunch of commands.

    You can’t believe how pissed off I am right now at this update!

    • You’re being childish. Even if you don’t like the new install system, I believe it’s worth it, since you only have to do it once in a blue moon.

  7. I feel pretty let down too. I have invested a lot of time learning Arch and its install procedures and stuck with it because I wanted control over my system. This new (?) script based install is great for those that look in the mirror and say “I am not my grandmother” but for those of us that have work to do, it’s a pain in the rear. Why not allow a user to choose how to install? Ho hum. Clearly I have absolutely no control of my install any longer : unless I do it this way. Is Mr. Shuttleworth in control?

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