Maybe today is the day you’ve decided to take the step. You have enough time in GNU/Linux, enjoying the usability provided by some of the most famous, user-friendly distributions. And you think you do not have enough, that you want more. Greater control over what you install or stop installing, knowledge about the structure of directories in GNU/Linux, feel that you have the wheel of your own team… deepen, in short, in the system that you like.
Buddy, I was there, believe me. Although I’m back and prefer to save my efforts and the time I dedicate to the computer, one day I felt that call which I speak. I discovered Arch Linux and I knew it was what I had been curiously looking for. I was introduced to Pacman and immediately understood that he was the ultimate package manager because of its speed and simplicity. It was love at first sight. In those days it was possible to install Arch Linux thanks to a known “script” with the unnamed name of the Arch Installation Framework (Arch’s installation framework). Straight away. Let’s get down to work.
Option 1: install Arch Linux “bareback”
And without anesthesia, there is nothing. If you choose this first option, one of two: either you become a real “archer” or you run away scared to not return. Be careful, it is not as difficult as it seems. Here a server has done it more than ten times – without exaggeration – and has always succeeded. It only requires stripping off that label that constrains our mind according to which it is too geeky a task.
It would not make sense – I quote here a blogger who I used to read, Ahmad, whose web no longer exists – put a copy of all the steps that one should follow. The duplicity of absurd content. If you have the firm determination to install an Arch Linux to the bravas, know that it is the method that developers recommend.
Since Arch is a pure “rolling release” distribution, the installation images are nothing more than a copy of the repositories at any given time. The last available “ISO” is in the corresponding download page and it is, as usual, the same image for 32 and 64-bit architectures. Download Arch Linux
Option 2: Arch Anywhere (Discontinued)
But if the standard installation resists you, as is often the case with GNU/Linux, we have other options. One of them is Arch Anywhere, a project that seeks to facilitate the work to the user. This does not have to mean that it is aimed at the less technically gifted, not necessarily. I can think of the case of people who install Arch Linux with some frequency – on other computers, it is understood – and they are a tad tired of manually repeating all the steps.
Arch Anywhere is not a distribution. What we will obtain once the installation completes, is a pure and hard Arch Linux. It does not add repositories other than the official or anything similar. It simply rescues the philosophy of the old AIF, adding many useful things, such as the possibility of choosing kernel (current or LTS), perform an automatic partitioning of the disk, install our preferred desktop environment and the applications that we want to include input. Fantastic. And in Spanish. When I say our environment, I mean almost all the most popular window managers and environments.
Dylan Schacht maintains the project and you can download the “ISO” and find more information on its website:
Option 3: Architect Linux
This is a project very similar to the previous one, but more complete in my opinion. Initiated and maintained by Carl Duff, one of the creators of Manjaro, it is the natural evolution of Evo/ Lution, that sensational alternative that gave us a live XFCE desktop from which Arch Linux was installed. Despite not mentioning the environment, Architect offers everything that Arch Anywhere with some extra added: possibility to choose between Wayland or Xorg as a graphical server, installation of multimedia “codecs”, different login managers, owners controllers, and security options.
It is my preferred option. In addition to having a greater journey through the age of the project, it also brings us an “ISO” that weighs half that of the previous project and less than half that of Arch Linux. The reason is that it downloads absolutely everything from the distribution repositories. Needless to say, we will also get a pure Arch Linux as a result, without any additions.
Architect, who has now joined another project that installs Arch with Openbox, called Pacbang, not only has forums where to consult doubts but even has a community in Google Plus with almost a thousand members. I leave the corresponding links:
The graphics alternative: Antergos
Overwhelmed by having to use “scripts” and applications in text mode? Do not fear: there are still more opportunities to install Arch Linux than those mentioned above. The distribution Antergos brings you Arch Linux with a graphic installer, being able to choose between a minimum “ISO” and another with a Gnome desktop live. In addition, during the process, we can install utilities and various programs of our choice, from LibreOffice to typographical sources, through enabling a firewall or support for printing.
Antergos, however, is not pure Arch Linux. Very nearly. It is very simple that it is because the only additive consists of a proprietary repository where packages that only give a certain aesthetic beauty to the system predominate. In fact, we can add the repository to any Arch Linux installation if we like the graphics aspect that the distribution brings.
The distribution previously known as Cinnarch went from proposing a single environment (Cinnamon) to providing us with up to six different ones to choose from. Even being a good sample, in this aspect it clearly loses with respect to the two previous installation options, which offered everything there was and for having. Everything has a price in this life. You can find the information about Antergos on its website: Download Antergos
Three ways (and a half) of installing Arch Linux. I could have titled the article “Four ways …”, not doing so obeys a question of rigor. Antergos is considered a GNU/Linux distribution apart from Arch Linux. Although we know that it is possible – and extremely simple – to convert Antergos into Arch, this fact is enough to not count it as a real option. Let’s leave it in a good alternative. What do you say? Do you want to install Arch?