[arch-general] How to install archlinux using a specific parition of usb instead of the whole usb?

brent s. bts at square-r00t.net
Wed Nov 6 01:57:02 UTC 2019

On 11/5/19 8:41 PM, Eli Schwartz via arch-general wrote:
> On 11/5/19 8:35 PM, Hongyi Zhao via arch-general wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I try to use a specific partition of usb to install archlinux, the
>> following is the step:
>> Suppose the /dev/sdc is my usb:
>> $ sudo ddrescue -f archlinux-2019.11.01-x86_64.iso /dev/sdc2
> The ISO contains multiple partitions, so probably not. Why are you
> trying to do this, precisely? Maybe you want to install archlinux
> following the install guide, but installing to the USB partition instead
> of an HDD. For example,
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installing_Arch_Linux_on_a_USB_key
> Alternatively, you can use grub to boot an ISO *file* as a loopback
> device. Some people do this to create multiboot USBs.

As usual, Eli beat me to the punch. :) Really need to tell my MUA to
fetch more frequently.

As shown in my other reply, the .iso image has a partition table on it.
Attempting to image this onto a partition leaves you with a partition
table on a partition which is... *technically* possible, but
parted/fdisk will complain about it (as they should, because we're
talking about something that's "you goofed something hard or you have a
REALLY technical, and probably very silly, reason to need nested
partition tables").

Eli has a great suggestion about using Grub's loopback capabilities. I
do this on my machines and it's saved my tuchas more than once, and
highly recommend it even if you don't need it for install reasons. You
can find instructions/information on it on the Arch wiki:


and I *very* recently even wrote briefly directly about this (using
SystemRescueCD instead of the Arch ISO, but I mention it):


brent saner
GPG info: https://square-r00t.net/gpg-info

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