archlinux

Arch Linux installer - guided, templates etc.
Under GNU General Public License v3.0
By archlinux

linux arch archlinux arch-linux python3 installer iso archlinux-installer arch-installer archinstall


Arch Installer


Just another guided/automated Arch Linux installer with a twist.
The installer also doubles as a python library to install Arch Linux and manage services, packages and other things inside the installed system (Usually from a live medium).



Installation & Usage
$ sudo pacman -S archinstall

Or simply git clone the repo as it has no external dependencies (but there are optional ones).
Or use pip install --upgrade archinstall to use as a library.


Running the guided installer

Assuming you are on an Arch Linux live-ISO and booted into EFI mode.


# archinstall

Running from a declarative configuration file or URL

Prequisites:
1. Edit the configuration file according to your requirements.


Assuming you are on a Arch Linux live-ISO and booted into EFI mode.


# archinstall --config <path to config file or URL>

Help?

Submit an issue here on GitHub, or submit a post in the discord help channel.
When doing so, attach the /var/log/archinstall/install.log to the issue ticket. This helps us help you!


Mission Statement

Archinstall promises to ship a guided installer that follows
the Arch Principles as well as a library to manage services, packages and other Arch Linux aspects.


The guided installer will provide user-friendly options along the way, but the keyword here is options, they are optional and will never be forced upon anyone.
The guided installer itself is also optional to use if so desired and not forced upon anyone.

Archinstall has one fundamental function which is to be a flexible library to manage services, packages and other aspects inside the installed system.
This library is in turn used by the provided guided installer but is also for anyone who wants to script their own installations.


Therefore, Archinstall will try its best to not introduce any breaking changes except for major releases which may break backwards compability after notifying about such changes.


Scripting your own installation

You could just copy guided.py as a starting point.


However, assuming you're building your own ISO and want to create an automated installation process, or you want to install virtual machines on to local disk images, here is a minimal example of how to install using archinstall as a Python library:


```python
import archinstall, getpass


Select a harddrive and a disk password

harddrive = archinstall.select_disk(archinstall.all_disks())
disk_password = getpass.getpass(prompt='Disk password (won\'t echo): ')


We disable safety precautions in the library that protects the partitions

harddrive.keep_partitions = False


First, we configure the basic filesystem layout

with archinstall.Filesystem(harddrive, archinstall.GPT) as fs:
# We create a filesystem layout that will use the entire drive
# (this is a helper function, you can partition manually as well)
fs.use_entire_disk(root_filesystem_type='btrfs')


boot = fs.find_partition('/boot')
root = fs.find_partition('/')

boot.format('vfat')

# Set the flag for encrypted to allow for encryption and then encrypt
root.encrypted = True
root.encrypt(password=disk_password)


with archinstall.luks2(root, 'luksloop', disk_password) as unlocked_root:
unlocked_root.format(root.filesystem)
unlocked_root.mount('/mnt')


boot.mount('/mnt/boot')

with archinstall.Installer('/mnt') as installation:
if installation.minimal_installation():
installation.set_hostname('minimal-arch')
installation.add_bootloader()


    installation.add_additional_packages(['nano', 'wget', 'git'])

# Optionally, install a profile of choice.
# In this case, we install a minimal profile that is empty
installation.install_profile('minimal')

installation.user_create('devel', 'devel')
installation.user_set_pw('root', 'airoot')


```


This installer will perform the following:




Creating your own ISO with this script on it: Follow ArchISO's guide on how to create your own ISO or use a pre-built guided ISO to skip the python installation step, or to create auto-installing ISO templates. Further down are examples and cheat sheets on how to create different live ISO's.



Unattended installation based on MAC address

Archinstall comes with a unattended example which will look for a matching profile for the machine it is being run on, based on any local MAC address.
For instance, if the machine that unattended is run on has the MAC address 52:54:00:12:34:56 it will look for a profile called profiles/52-54-00-12-34-56.py.
If it's found, the unattended installation will commence and source that profile as it's installation procedure.


Testing
Using a Live ISO Image

If you want to test a commit, branch or bleeding edge release from the repository using the vanilla Arch Live ISO image,
you can replace the version of archinstall with a new version and run that with the steps described below:



  1. You need a working network connection

  2. Install the build requirements with pacman -Sy; pacman -S git python-pip
    (note that this may or may not work depending on your RAM and current state of the squashfs maximum filesystem free space)

  3. Uninstall the previous version of archinstall with pip uninstall archinstall

  4. Now clone the latest repository with git clone https://github.com/archlinux/archinstall

  5. Enter the repository with cd archinstall
    At this stage, you can choose to check out a feature branch for instance with git checkout v2.2.0

  6. Build the project and install it using python setup.py install


After this, running archinstall with python -m archinstall will run against whatever branch you chose in step 5.


Without a Live ISO Image

To test this without a live ISO, the simplest approach is to use a local image and create a loop device.
This can be done by installing pacman -S arch-install-scripts util-linux locally and doing the following:


# truncate -s 20G testimage.img
# losetup -fP ./testimage.img
# losetup -a | grep "testimage.img" | awk -F ":" '{print $1}'
# pip install --upgrade archinstall
# python -m archinstall --script guided
# qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -machine q35,accel=kvm -device intel-iommu -cpu host -m 4096 -boot order=d -drive file=./testimage.img,format=raw -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly,file=/usr/share/ovmf/x64/OVMF_CODE.fd -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly,file=/usr/share/ovmf/x64/OVMF_VARS.fd

This will create a 20 GB testimage.img and create a loop device which we can use to format and install to.
archinstall is installed and executed in guided mode. Once the installation is complete, ~~you can use qemu/kvm to boot the test media.~~
(You'd actually need to do some EFI magic in order to point the EFI vars to the partition 0 in the test medium, so this won't work entirely out of the box, but that gives you a general idea of what we're going for here)


There's also a Building and Testing guide.
It will go through everything from packaging, building and running (with qemu) the installer against a dev branch.