My workstation setup

My workstation setup
  1. Download install image from https://archlinux.org/download/
  2. Copy image to a USB drive with https://www.ventoy.net prepared
  3. Boot the image from the USB drive
  4. Connect the device to the internet
  5. Change keyboard layout with loadkeys de_CH-latin1

By the way, it's possible to connect from another computer to the live environment (livecd) via SSH.

  1. Enable ssh service via systemctl start sshd.service

  2. Reset root password with passwd

  3. Find the ip address with ip addr show

  4. Connect from another computer with ssh root@[ip-address]

  5. Update system clock with timedatectl set-ntp true

  6. Find installed block devices with fdisk -l

  7. If there is a EFI partition with at least 200 MiB it can be used for /boot otherwise the size should be increased or a separate /boot partition created.

  8. Partition the block device with fdisk /dev/nvme0n1 to

    Device Start End Sectors Size Type
    /dev/nvme0n1p1 2048 1671167 1669120 815M EFI System
    /dev/nvme0n1p2 1671168 4000797326 3999126159 1.9T Linux filesystem
  9. Encrypt system partition with cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/nvme0n1p2

    This will overwrite data on /dev/nvme0n1p2 irrevocably.
    Are you sure? (Type 'yes' in capital letters): YES
    Enter passphrase for /dev/nvme0n1p2:
    Verify passphrase:
    cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/nvme0n1p2  18.01s user 0.77s system 53% cpu 35.251 total
  10. Mount encrypted partition to cryptlvm with cryptsetup open /dev/nvme0n1p2 cryptlvm

  11. Create a physical volume on top of the LUKS container with pvcreate /dev/mapper/cryptlvm

  12. Create a volume group with the previously create physical volume with vgcreate systemcryptlvm /dev/mapper/cryptlvm

  13. Create logical volumes on the volume group:

    lvcreate -L 8G systemcryptlvm -n swap
    lvcreate -L 500G systemcryptlvm -n root
    lvcreate -l 100%FREE systemcryptlvm -n home
  14. Format filesystem on each logical volume:

    mkfs.btrfs /dev/systemcryptlvm/root
    mkfs.btrfs /dev/systemcryptlvm/home
    mkswap /dev/systemcryptlvm/swap
  15. Mount filesystems:

    mount /dev/systemcryptlvm/root /mnt
    mkdir /mnt/home
    mount /dev/systemcryptlvm/home /mnt/home
    swapon /dev/systemcryptlvm/swap
  16. Mount boot partition (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Dm-crypt/Encrypting_an_entire_system#Preparing_the_boot_partition_2):

    mkdir /mnt/boot
    mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/boot
  17. Install base system with pacstrap /mnt base linux linux-firmware

  18. Generate an fstab file genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

  19. Install lvm2, vim and btrfs-progs with pacman -S lvm2 vim btrfs-progs

  20. Update hooks in mkinitcpio.conf to HOOKS=(base udev autodetect keyboard keymap consolefont modconf block encrypt lvm2 filesystems fsck)

  21. Set time zone ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Zurich /etc/localtime

  22. Set hardware clock with hwclock --systohc

  23. Uncomment locale en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 und de_CH.UTF-8 UTF-8 in /etc/locale.gen

  24. Generate locales with locale-gen

  25. Set locale in /etc/locale.conf to LANG=en_US.UTF-8

  26. Set keymap in /etc/vconsole.conf to

    • All locales with localectl list-keymaps
    • All fonts with ls -l /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/ | grep -i ".psfu.gz"
  27. Set x11 keymap with localectl --no-convert set-x11-keymap ch

  28. Set hostename in /etc/hostname

  29. Create new initramfs with mkinitcpio -P

  30. Set root password with passwd

Boot manager

  1. Install grub and efibootmgr packages with pacman -S grub efibootmgr
  2. Install bootloader with grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id=GRUB
  3. Add GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=false at the end of /etc/default/grub to prevent Warning: os-prober will not be executed to detect other bootable partition otherwise install package os-prober.
  4. Get UUID of cryptdevice with blkid | grep crypto
  5. Change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="cryptdevice=UUID=[UUID]:cryptlvm root=/dev/systemcryptlvm/root"
  6. Generate GRUB configuration grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

DHCP client setup

  1. Install dhcpcd via pacman -S dhcpcd.
  2. Enable service with `systemctl enable dhcpcd

Reboot to system

  1. Logout CTRL + D
  2. Unmount umount -R /mnt
  3. Restart reboot


  1. Add microcode package with pacman -S intel-ucode
  2. Regenerate GRUB configuration grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

User management

  1. Add a user useradd -m robin
  2. Set password passwd robin
  3. Add sudo package pacman -S sudo
  4. Edit sudoers file with EDITOR=vim visudo
  5. Uncomment that members of group sudo can execute any command
  6. Add group sudo with groupadd sudo
  7. Add user to group sudo gpasswd -a robin sudo

Graphical User Interface

  1. Install Gnome with pacman -S gnome
  2. Enable gdm with systemctl enable gdm
  3. Important settings:
    • Fast cursor speed
    • Tab to click for touch pad
    • Automatic login


  1. Add network manager package pacman -S networkmanager
  2. Enable network manager systemctl enable NetworkManager.service

AUR helper

  1. Install build tools pacman -S --needed base-devel git
  2. Clone paru git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/paru.git
  3. Build paru cd paru && makepkg -si


  1. Install Firefox (Browser) paru -S firefox
  2. Install Visual Studio Code (Editor) paru -S visual-studio-code-bin
  3. Install KeepassXC (Password manager) paru -S keepassxc
r.obin.ch (v0.1.0) created by Robin Bühler was updated on 7/21/2024 at 12:24 AM