[arch-general] Little automation to install

Stephen Martin hwkiller at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 20:21:13 UTC 2015

> On 04/01/2015 06:53 PM, Bráulio Bhavamitra wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> After some many years, I'm back to ArchLinux. One thing that took me time
>> was to read the manuals and run all the commands for installation.
>> That made me wonder on how automation might help things get easier and
>> faster on install. Could you please tell the current works on that?
> I think it's for the best that the installation stays like this. Archlinux has always strived for minimalism and simplicity. It's really not that hard to install, although it does require some basic shell knowledge and the wiki does a pretty good job of explaining how to install. I believe this is by design, and should remain like this. I'm always telling people that Archlinux is NOT for complete novices or people who want to click-solve everything and are afraid of the console.
> This is what makes archlinux stand out, there are plenty of distros that have fancy python/whatever graphical installers. I don't use them anymore, but I respect them, and should be around if we want Linux to be adopted more.
Indeed. I'm impressed by the graphical installers, but arch's installation is actually very easy.

The 'hardest' part is remembering which basic configs to change (e.g., locale, hostname, timezone).
Otherwise, installing pretty much just involves:
1) Partitioning the drive using gdisk/fdisk/cfdisk/cgdisk
2) Formatting each partition
3) Mount each partition
4) pacstrap /mnt all of your packages here
5) arch-chroot /mnt; install bootloader and genfstab; change hostname or do any preconfiguration
6) Reboot into new arch installation.

Same steps as the graphical installers, really, except that you get to easily preinstall several packages.

My hdd began failing this past weekend. All I had to do was back up my configs, dump a list of installed packages (pacman -Qqe), install arch, and pacstrap the list of installed packages. I was up and running within 1.5 hours.  It's hard to beat that simplicity.

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