Install Archlinux

Install Archlinux with VirtualBox

What is Arch Linux

Arch Linux is an independently developed, GNU/Linux distribution. Arch is installed as a minimal base system, whereby the user chooses what to install, thus making an arch installation a very custom tailored installation. There are no official GUI (Graphical User Interface) for the installation/configuration of Arch. All configurations and customisations are generally carried out from the command line (shell). Arch is based on what is known as a rolling release model. Arch typically offers the latest stable versions of most software. To install Arch Linux simply follow the instructions below. It may also help to take a look at the official beginners guide to installing Arch before proceeding. This can be found at the following site: Beginners Guide

The first step is to download an iso image of Arch from its official website. Simply follow this Link: Arch Linux Download. Simply choose the country that is closest to your location and select a site. In the example installation that follows I downloaded the following iso file "archlinux-2014.08.01-dual.iso". This particular file contains both 32bit and 64bit versions. Note: a 32bit version can be used on both 32bit and 64bit processors.

Once you have downloaded your chosen iso image, you will need to place this in a location that is available to your VirtualBox software. Next you will need to create a definition for your new installation. I have used the following parameters.

Creating a Virtual Environment for your Arch Installation using VirtualBox

In the example that follows we will be using Oracle's VirtualBox software to install Arch Linux. VirtualBox can be downloaded free from the following location: Download VirtualBox

Simply select the operating system that matches your host, this could be Mac OS, Linux or Windows.

VirtualBox Configuration for Arch Installation

The following steps need to be completed to create an environment for our installation.

Create a Name and Select OS type

In this example I have chosen the 64bit version of the operating system. The name I have assigned is "Arch_Linux_VirtualBox". You can assign any name to your installation. The type should automatically be chosen, you may need to change the version to match your intended installation type (32bit/64bit).

Arch VirtualBox Name of OS

Allocate Memory

From this screen you need to specify how much physical memory you would like to give your system. In the example I have allocated 1GB (1024MB).

Arch Linux VirtualBox Memory Allocation

Create a Virtual Hard Drive

Select the option to "Create a virtual hard drive now".

Arch Linux VirtualBox Create a Virtual hard Drive

Select Hard Drive File Type

Select the default option of "VDI VirtualBox Disk Image".

Arch Linux VirtualBox Select Hard Drive File Type

Select Storage on Physical Drive

Here you can choose either a Dynamically allocated or fixed size. In the example the "Dynamic" option has been chosen.

Arch Linux VirtualBox Storage on Physical Drive

File Location and Size

At this screen you need to type the name of the new virtual drive (By default your system name is used). You must also specify the size of the drive to create. In the example I have assigned a value of 20GB

Arch Linux VirtualBox File Location and Size

Overview of Settings Chosen


From the general overview screen, you can click on any of the parameters from the left hand frame to display their assigned settings.

Arch Linux VirtualBox General Tab

System Motherboard

In this tab I have chosen to give the installation 1024MB of memory.

Arch Linux VirtualBox System Motherboard Tab

System Processor

Under this tab the default of 1 processor has been selected.

Arch Linux VirtualBox System Processor

System Acceleration

The options here were chosen automatically.

Arch Linux VirtualBox System Acceleration Tab


This tab shows that we have a virtual disk and an iso image disk allocated to our virtual machine. In this example I have a 20GB virtual disk allocated along with the iso image of our installation media.

Arch Linux VirtualBox Storage Tab


I have selected a bridged connection as this allows our installation to communicate with other devices on the same network.

Arch Linux VirtualBox Network Tab

Starting the Virtual Machine

The process of starting the Virtual Machine will initiate the booting of our Live image of Arch Linux. Once you press start, you will be asked to specify the location of your installation media (iso image of arch).

To continue with the installation process click the following link: Installation Process