Install Arch Linux on EFI

Most what you will find in this post comes from this gist. I’m rewritting this here as a note in any case. Some more info about the installation process here on ArchWiki and also more info about the post-installation process.

  1. Boot USB flash drive and make sure it’s connected via Ethernet.
  2. Change terminal keys if you are not in qwerty:
    loadkeys fr
  3. Disable the beeping sound (this one will save your ears and sanity):
    setterm -blength 0
  4. Check if the system was booted with UEFI:
    cat /sys/firmware/efi/fw_platform_size

    It should exists and be 64 if it’s booted in UEFI x86_64. If that’s the case, continue.

  5. Check that you have an IP address and try a ping to check your Internet connectivity:
    ip address
    ping 8.8.8.8
    
  6. Update system clock and check status:
    timedatectl set-ntp true
    timedatectl status
  7. Enable SSH, this might be useful if you want to continue the installation from elsewhere or transfer files via sftp:
    systemctl start sshd
  8. List the disks then proceed with creating the partitions:
    fdisk -l
    cfdisk /dev/sda
    

    Create a EFI partition of 256M to 512M, a several GB swap partition and what is left with a Linux root partition.

  9. Format the partitions:
    mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sda1
    mkfs.ext4 -L root -m 0 /dev/sda3
    
  10. Mount the root partition:
    mount -o noatime /dev/sda3 /mnt
    
  11. Install the base packages:
    pacstrap -Ki /mnt base linux linux-firmware
    
  12. Generate the fstab:
    genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
    
  13. Chroot in the filesystem:
    arch-chroot /mnt
    
  14. Configure the terminal keyboard:
    vim /etc/vconsole.conf
  15. Set the timezone:
    ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Brussels /etc/localtime
    
  16. Update the hardware clock:
    hwclock --systohc
    
  17. Install other packages:
    pacman -S grub efibootmgr dosfstools openssh os-prober mtools net-tools inetutils netctl dhcpcd dhclient vim
    
  18. Edit and set-up the locale:
    vim /etc/locale.gen
    locale-gen
    
  19. Setup root password:
    passwd
    
  20. Create and mount EFI directory:
    mkdir /boot/EFI
    mount -o noatime /dev/sda1 /boot/EFI
  21. Time to install the GRUB bootloader and write the config:
    grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --bootloader-id=grub_uefi --recheck
    grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    
  22. If needed you might configure an extra entry within the GRUB boot list, for instance for a dualboot with FreeBSD. To that end, edit /etc/grub.d/40_custom and add (at the end of this file):
    menuentry FreeBSD {
      insmod ufs2
      set root='(hd0,gpt3)'
      chainloader /boot/loader.efi
    }
    

    Then update the grub configuration with:

    grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  23. Time to reboot:
    exit
    reboot
    

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