[arch-general] Booting archlinux .iso to take a look

Chris Jones cjns1989 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 23:44:10 EDT 2012

On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 02:38:48PM EDT, Alexandre Ferrando wrote:
> On 22 June 2012 20:34, Chris Jones <cjns1989 at gmail.com> wrote:

> > I am a long-time debian user.


> You're not missing a thing, archlinux doesn't have that kind of
> liveCDs, just the installer. At least officially. Can't remember right
> now any live-cd aside from archbang ( but that is the livecd of an
> arch based distro, not just arch IIRC)
> PS: If you're looking into installing arch, don't use a core
> installation, or at least grab the lattest. It is better to use
> a netinstall.

One additional problem is that I only have network access via a WiFi
connection at this point, and to make things a little more complicated,
I need to install some non-free firmware to get it to work.

I did manage to boot to a framebuffer console & a bash prompt, but then
I was pretty much stuck anyway: Didn't have a network connection, so
that I couldn't even download additional packages w/o running the

In any case, it's pretty obvious that I misunderstood the wiki and
thought that the iso could run without having to install Archlinux to my
hard drive.. so that I could take a look at a standard/demo environment
and form an opinion. That's why I chose to download the core flavor of
the iso, rather than the net install.. reasoning that bigger is better
and that it was more likely to provide some kind of full-fledged demo

What I did not realize is that until you actually install Archlinux,
booting the .iso only causes the packages that are required to run the
install to be extracted.. everything else is still tucked away in the
/i686/arch/ directory. At that stage, I couldn't as much as start
a barebones X server + an XTerm and verify that the ‘nouveau’ driver
that ships with the .iso does not result in a black screen.. or that
I am able to bring up a wlan network connection.. etc.

I guess I should have made it clear in my original post that I want to:

- make sure Archlinux will run on my hardware with minimal headaches
- check out pacman.. see how it compares with debian's apt.

In any event, case closed. 

Thanks much for your comments.. not to forget the other gentlemen who
kindly took the trouble to reply.



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