Arch Linux setup procedure

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Bare-metal install procedure of Arch Linux.

===

Mostly extracted from shorter installation guide and a more detailed beginners guide.

Erase partition table

sgdisk --zap-all /dev/sd[ab]

Create GPT partitions and don’t use MBR partitioning scheme as there is a limit of 2TB, which it’s quite easy to reach nowadays:

parted /dev/sda mklabel gpt

# BIOS BOOT parition because of GTP partitioning
parted -a optimal /dev/sda mkpart biosboot 1M 2M
parted /dev/sda name 1 bios
parted /dev/sda set 1 bios_grub on

# Swap partition on last 5Gb on disk
parted -a optimal -- /dev/sda mkpart primary ext4 2M -5G
parted /dev/sda name 2 rootfs
parted /dev/sda set 2 raid on

parted -a optimal -- /dev/sda mkpart primary linux-swap -5G 100%
parted /dev/sda name 3 swap

Never prompt the user (--script), set alignment for newly created partitions (--align optimal). Negative numbers count back from the end of the disk, with -1s indicating the sector at the end of the disk. We can also use binary units like MiB, GiB, TiB.

We will add -- after you are done with command line arguments so that it will ignore anything else that looks like a - or -- arg.

Read more in Parted User’s Manual.

Do the same for the second disk:

parted /dev/sdb mklabel gpt
parted -a optimal -- /dev/sdb mkpart primary ext4 2M -5G
parted /dev/sdb name 1 rootfs
parted /dev/sdb set 1 raid on

Finally, create a RAID:

mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sd[ab]
mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=1 --raid-devices=2 --metadata=1.0 --assume-clean /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb1

To avoid the initial resync with new hard drives add we addes --assume-clean flag.

Whenever we want, we can watch resync process with the directive:

watch -n .1 cat /proc/mdstat

Create filesystems

mkfs.ext4 /dev/md0

And activate swap partition:

mkswap /dev/sda3
swapon /dev/sda3

Install base packages and configure the system

First, mount the disks to /mnt:

mount /dev/md0 /mnt

Use the pacstrap script to install the base group of packages:

pacstrap /mnt base

Generate an fstab file:

genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
nano /mnt/etc/fstab

arch-chroot /mnt
echo server > /etc/hostname
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Belgrade /etc/localtime

Uncomment the needed locales in /etc/locale.gen. Then generate locale with:

locale-gen
echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf    

Set the root password (vrlo5igurno):

passwd 

Install bootloader

pacman -S grub
grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck /dev/sda

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

Install RAID support

Update configuration file, but do it outside of the chroot

exit
mdadm --detail --scan >>/mnt/etc/mdadm.conf

Now, chroot again and add mdadm hook (mdadm_udev) to HOOKS line in mkinitcpio.conf

arch-chroot /mnt
nano /etc/mkinitcpio.conf

# HOOKS="base udev autodetect block mdadm_udev filesystems usbinput fsck"

And regenerate the initramfs image:

mkinitcpio -p linux

Installing Arch Linux on RAID

Reboot to the new environment

Exit the chroot environment and reboot:

exit
reboot

Set up static network

cd /etc/netctl
cp examples/ethernet-static mynet
nano mynet

Enable above created profile to start it at every boot:

netctl enable mynet

Setup SSH

pacman -S openssh
systemctl enable sshd

Setup Windows shares

By installing Samba:

pacman -S samba
cp /etc/samba/smb.conf.default /etc/samba/smb.conf
systemctl enable smbd nmbd

Now create a directory

mkdir /srv/cifs/public

And make it publicly accessible by just adding this immediatly after security = user line:

security = user
map to guest = Bad User

you must also make a share public as explained more here.

Upgrade everything

At last, do this simple:

pacman -Syu

That’s it for now.

date 01. Jan 0001 | modified 28. May 2021
filename: Arch Linux Basic Setup