1. Installing the base system

Boot from the installation media and run the installer with the following command:

# archinstall guided

(Fun fact: This is a python script so # python -m archinstall guided works too)

  • When prompted to select a network interface to configure, choose Use NetworkManager to control and manage your internet connection.
  • When prompted to reboot, shutdown your computer, remove the installation media, and turn on the PC.

Login to your new system and update all packages using this command:

sudo pacman -Syyu

2. Set the timezone and locale (to Melbourne, Australia)

Set the timezone with the following command

sudo ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Melbourne /etc/localtime

Run hwclock to generate /etc/adjtime

sudo hwclock --systohc

Install a CLI text editor

sudo pacman -S vim

Now we tell the system what locales it needs to generate by editing /etc/locale.gen (as superuser)

sudo vim /etc/locale.gen

Uncomment the following lines in /etc/locale.gen

en-AU.UTF-8 UTF-8
en-AU ISO-8859-1

Now generate the locales from /etc/locale.gen

sudo locale-gen

List the available locales to check they were generated correctly:

localectl list-locales

Set the system locale. To do this, write the LANG variable to /etc/locale.conf where en_US.UTF-8 belongs to the first column of an uncommented entry in /etc/locale.gen. This command will do the trick, nice and easy:

sudo localectl set-locale LANG=en_AU.UTF-8

Once the system and user locale.conf files have been created or edited, their new values will only take effect in the next session. But to have the current session use the new settings, unset LANG and then source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh

unset LANG
source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh

Finally, check the current locale


3. Installing an AUR Helper

The official Arch repo is great, but it doesn’t have everything… So we have the Arch User Repository (AUR) which is a community-driven repository for Arch users.

Read more here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Arch_User_Repository

Install basic CLI packages required for the next steps:

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

Install paru, an AUR helper:

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/paru.git
cd paru
makepkg -si

Note: when you run paru without any options, it will automatically add the -Syu flags and update your system. This is equivalent to sudo pacman -Syu

4. Installing a GUI

Using the CLI can get boring quick, not to mention you’ll surely want to run GUI programs, to view/edit images, watch videos, play games, etc, right?

When it comes to a GUI environment, you can choose between:

Desktop environments and window managers then require a display server (such as Xorg or Wayland) to provides the basic framework for a GUI environment: drawing and moving windows on the display device and interacting with a mouse and keyboard.

Install i3wm

sudo pacman -S i3-gaps i3status ttf-dejavu
  • i3-gaps A maintained fork of i3wm, which I prefer for its added features
  • i3status Contents for the status bar so it works and doesn’t show an error
  • ttf-dejavu A font so the text will display correctly on screen

Install the X Display Server

sudo pacman -S xorg xorg-xinit xterm

Install the drivers for your hardware. You may not need these at all, it’s possible that your system will work out-of-the-box.

sudo pacman -S nvidia nvidia-utils      # NVIDIA
sudo pacman -S xf86-video-amdgpu mesa   # AMD
sudo pacman -S xf86-video-intel mesa    # Intel

If you are using VirtualBox, you may want to install the VirtualBox guest utilities. This is completely uncessary on a physical machine.

sudo pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

Create and edit ~/.xinitrc so we can make changes to the default config

cp /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc ~/.xinitrc
vim ~/.xinitrc

and tell it to execute i3 when the X Server is launched by commenting out the following lines and adding exec i3

#twm &
#xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
#xterm -geometry 80x50+494+51 &
#xterm -geometry 80x20+494-0 &
#exec xterm -geometry 80x66+0+0 -name login
exec i3

Exit vim and start the X Server, in turn, starting i3.


5. Connecting to the internet

Running an ethernet cable should work out of the box. But wifi can be a little trickier. The first thing to consider is whether or not your wifi card is supported by the kernel.

Checking the wireless driver status

Run one of these commands to check the kernel has the required drivers

lspci -k 		# If card is connected via PCI(e)
lsusb -v 		# If card is connected via USB

You should see the network controller in the list (with the drivers noted)

05:00.0	Network controller: Intel Corporation Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (rev 1a)
		Subsystem: Intel Corporation Wi-Fi 6 AX200NGW
		Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi
		Kernel modules: iwlwifi

Now run this command to check a wireless interface was created

ip link

If the kernel doesn’t support your wifi card then you’ll have to install the drivers yourself. That can get a bit tricky and is out of the scope of this tutorial but this page has all the info you will need. Good luck!

Getting connected with NetworkManager

Assuming the kernel supports your wifi card (which is more than likely the case) or you have successfully installed the required drivers, let’s get connected!

List the nearby wifi networks

nmcli device wifi list

Connect to your network (Replace the text in CAPS)

nmcli device wifi connect SSID_or_BSSID password PASSWORD

Congratulations, you now have wifi working on Arch Linux! Test your connection with

ping archlinux.org

For more NetworkManager commands check out this page. You can also install a GUI network managing tool such as nm-connection-editor or network-manager-applet.

6. Connecting Bluetooth devices

Install Bluetooth and the CLI utilities

sudo pacman -S bluez bluez-utils

Check the Bluetooth driver is loaded. If it appears in the list then it is loaded.

lsmod | grep btusb

If btusb isn’t loaded, then you want to load it by running

modprobe btusb

Start the Bluetooth service and then enable it so it automatically starts next time you boot up your computer.

sudo systemctl start bluetooth.service
sudo systemctl enable bluetooth.service

Now lets connect a Bluetooth device. Check you Bluetooth adapter is not blocked by running

sudo rfkill list

If it is blocked, then unblock it

sudo rfkill unblock bluetooth

Start the interactive command with


Power it on

[bluetooth]# power on

Turn on the agent. This will automatically connect any trusted Bluetooth devices when you restart your computer to save you manually reconnecting everything

[bluetooth]# agent on
[bluetooth]# default-agent

Start scanning for nearby Bluetooth devices

[bluetooth]# scan on

You can see the list of nearby devices with their MAC address and name by running this command

[bluetooth]# devices

Trust the device you want to connect. (Tip: You can press [Tab] to auto-complete the MAC address after typing the first few characters)

[bluetooth]# trust MAC_ADDRESS

Now pair the device you want to connect. You may be prompted for a passkey, depending on the device.

[bluetooth]# pair MAC_ADDRESS

Once you’ve trusted and paired all devices you need, turn the scan off

[bluetooth]# scan off

There is one thing left to do. Your system is not going to automatically enable the Bluetooth device when it’s found. So let’s change that.

sudo vim /etc/bluetooth/main.conf

Uncomment the the line #AutoEnable=false and change it to true


Well done, you now have a complete installation of the famously “bare-bones” Arch Linux!

You can go on to customise your installation now! Two of the first things I always do is install ZSH, Oh My Zsh, and the GitHub CLI.

Install Zsh and two plugins (zsh-autosuggestions & zsh-syntax-highlighting)

sudo pacman -S zsh
sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"
git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-autosuggestions.git $ZSH_CUSTOM/plugins/zsh-autosuggestions
git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting.git $ZSH_CUSTOM/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting

Enable these two plugins by editing .zshrc

Add the two new plugins after git like so:

plugins=(git zsh-autosuggestions zsh-syntax-highlighting)

Installing and authenticating GitHub CLI

paru -S github-cli
git config --global user.name "Full Name"
git config --global user.email "username@domain.com"
gh auth login