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Vaibhav Acharya
Vaibhav Acharya

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Install Arch Linux with i3 window manager.

In this post we will be going over how to setup a fast & minimal Arch Linux OS with i3 window manager.

Download Arch ISO

Go ahead & download the .ISO file from Arch Downloads.

Create a Bootable USB drive

Burn the .ISO file to a USB drive (>= 4GB) by using any of the below tools :

Boot from USB drive

  • Insert the USB drive.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Press F12 or DEL (Depending on how to access boot menu).
  • Select your USB drive from the list.

Now you will be greeted with a screen like this :
boot options
Select the first option by pressing enter.

Install the OS

After some loading, a console will be shown like this :
arch console

From here our installation process will start.

  1. Go ahead and type archinstall in the console.
  2. Now you be asked to select a keyboard language. You have to type the number which is shown prepended in each language name. For me it's us which is English so, I will type 26.
  3. Now you have to select a region to download packages from. If your region is not listed then you can type 52 for worldwide. For me it's 16 for India.
  4. This one is an important part of installation. You have to select a drive where you want to install the system. It is recommend to use the largest drive available to do a clean install of the system. But again you could create the partition anyway you like. For me 1 which is dev/sda is the main hard drive.
  5. After the partition stuff done, You have to choose a fire system format. I am most comfortable with ext4 so I will type 1.
  6. You can now setup encryption if you like. In my case I will just leave it blank for no encryption.
  7. Now, create a hostname you like. I will just type myarch.
  8. Type a password for the hostname. For me it is ******.
  9. Now create your first user by the same process. When asked if it should be superuser type y.
  10. Now it will ask you to select a predefined profile. Here we want to install i3 so we will select 0 which is desktop.
  11. Type 6 for the i3 window manager.
  12. When asked to choose between i3-wm & i3-gaps, you can choose anyone you like. I will go with i3-gaps.
  13. Now you have to select drivers for the system. I recommend going with 1 which installs all open-source drivers. But if you are on Nvidia, Go for 3.
  14. You can select any audio drive you like. I will just go with pipewire.
  15. You can now select a kernel. The default is fine for most users so just press enter.
  16. When asked to install additional packages just type enter as you can always install then after.
  17. Now choose a network manager to configure, I type 1 which is NetworkManager.
  18. Select your timezone. UTC is fine for me so I just press enter.
  19. I want to sync to NTP so now I will type y.
  20. Press enter to continue.

Now it will take some time to install & setup all the things. So go grab a tea.

  1. It will now ask to manually check the installation. You can type n for decline.
  2. Now when you are back to console you have to restart. Type shutdown -r 0 in the terminal to restart.
  3. Remove the pen drive and boot normally.
  4. You will see a GRUB screen. Select Arch Linux and press enter.
  5. You will now see a login screen. Type your password and login.

On first load i3 will ask you to make a default config. Press enter.

Now you will see a screen like this :
i3 landing


You can now launch a terminal by pressing super + enter.
Find more about default i3 key bindings here.

This was my first post, I hope you found it helpful. 😁

Top comments (1)

lrnzdc3696 profile image

Hi there!

So I did archinstall with i3gaps as well!!!
But can you pls make a post about what to do next? Or general suggestions to what to do next