How do I install Arch Linux on my Raspberry Pi?

Related: What are the benefits of using Arch Linux over the standard Debian build?

  • The same way you install any other OS, by writing an image to the SD card. Jivings' answer is correct, but do we really need a version of this question for every OS? – finnw Jun 21 '12 at 22:47
  • 1
    Actually, it's not (no longer) that simple. Images are not available, and trying to follow their step by step instructions on a Windows machine is impossible. – Chris G. Williams Mar 12 '17 at 12:03

Here is quite a simple Arch Arm RPi Guide.

  1. Download the zip file containing the dd image from one of these resources:
    • Torrent
    • Direct Download
  2. Extract the zip file to your hard drive, giving you the dd image archlinuxarm-29-04-2012.img

    • Write this image to the target SD card


    • Replacing sdX with the location of the SD card, run:

      dd bs=1M if=/path/to/archlinuxarm-29-04-2012.img of=/dev/sdX


    • Download and install Win32DiskImager Select the archlinuxarm-29-04-2012.img image file, select your SD card drive letter, and click Write

  3. Eject the card from your computer, insert into the Raspberry Pi, and power it on.
  • 2
    Unfortunately the images are no longer provided. Installation is from tarballs now with manual setup of partitions and file systems. The first link of your answer is therefore completely diametrical to answer itself. See my answer below for updated references. – Ghanima Apr 8 '15 at 21:53

Jivings answer holds true if you happen to have an image of Arch Linux around. As of now however such images are no longer issued by Arch Linux. Instead the full file system is provided as a .tar.gz and has to be installed to the SD card from scratch.

After preparation of the partition table using fdisk and creation of the file systems mkfs the root and boot file system is populated with the files from the .tar.gz archive.

Find the full installation procedures documented for Raspberry Pi and for Raspberry Pi 2.

  • Do you know if there's a guide for configuring the install from a windows machine? I have looked, and am still looking... nothing yet. – Chris G. Williams Mar 12 '17 at 12:04
  • @ChrisG.Williams I am not aware (but I have not been looking for it either). I think the rationale is that somebody willing to use Arch Linux on a Pi has another Linux around to do the install. Maybe use a live system to do the install. – Ghanima Mar 12 '17 at 13:22

You can use the Arch ARM image that you can just flash to a SD card and it needs no installing. You just plug it in.


Follow the Arch Linux guide for the appropriate model. I have a Pi 3, so I followed this guide, deviating a bit because the guide does not use the utilities that I like.

The instructions use fdisk, which implies an MS DOS partition table. GUID will not work...I know, because I wasted my time finding that out :)


parted "$DEVICENODE" mklabel msdos
parted "$DEVICENODE" mkpart primary fat32 0% 100MiB   # fat32 is extra info
parted "$DEVICENODE" mkpart primary ext4 513MiB 100%  # ext4 is extra info
mkfs.fat -F 32 "${DEVICENODE}1"                       # W95 FAT32 (LBA) or mkfs.vfat
mkfs.ext4 -F "${DEVICENODE}2"
mkdir /tmp/{ROOT,BOOT}
mount "${DEVICENODE}1" /tmp/BOOT
mount "${DEVICENODE}2" /tmp/ROOT
tar -xf ArchLinuxARM-rpi-2-latest.tar.gz -C /tmp/ROOT && sync
mv /tmp/ROOT/boot/* /tmp/BOOT && sync
unmount /tmp/{BOOT,ROOT}

Note that I did not write the "image" to the card, because it is not an image. It a collection of files that must be written to a preformatted partition on the card.

The default username is alarm, and the password is alarm.

You can also log in as root with password root, but not over SSH. Initialize the pacman keyring and populate the package signing keys

pacman-key --init &&
pacman-key --populate archlinuxarm

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