I just ran into this issue myself. I found two ways to create the SD card using the .tar.gz images provided by ArchLinuxARM, provided you have a USB SD card reader.
Method 1: Raspberry Pi + USB card reader + 1 additional SD card
This method requires an additional SD card and a USB card reader. It uses Linux on your Raspberry Pi to build an new SD card that can boot into ArchLinux.
- Connect an external USB card reader to Raspberry Pi.
- Plug the SD card that you want to install ArchLinux onto into the external USB card reader.
- Boot your Raspberry Pi using Raspbian, as Raspbian has an image you can write to an SD card from OSX or Windows.
Install bsdtar using:
sudo apt-get install bsdtar
Follow the ArchLinuxARM instructions for Raspberry Pi. Make sure you do everything as the root user. To become root on Raspbian, run
Method 2: VMWare + USB card reader
This method does not require an additional USB card, but it does require you to have installed Linux on a VMWare.
- Start Linux on VMWare
- Connect an external USB card reader to the computer running VMWare. VMWare will ask you if you want to connect it to your Linux instance, which is what you want.
- Follow the ArchLinuxARM instructions for Raspberry Pi.
I was able to build an SD card running ArchLinux on my Mac running VMWare Fusion. I imagine this also works with Virtual Box though I did not try. I imagine it works on Windows but, again, I did not try.
You should also know that VMWare is not able to access the Mac's built in SD card reader, hence the need for a USB card reader. Perhaps on Windows VMWare can access the built-in card reader, making the external USB card reader unnecessary.
The above two methods did work, but it took several tries for me to get it to work. Here are some of the issues I ran into:
- I had an intermittent failure while using bsdtar to extract image. Using
journalctl -kf I was able to see a reset occurring in the USB system. I was able to git rid of this reset by connecting my unpowered USB card reader to a USB hub, rather that connecting it directly to my Raspberry Pi (method 1) or Mac (method 2).
- Using method 2, I kept getting an error about pathnames not being able to be converted from UTF-8 to the current locale. I then realized my current locale was not set to UTF-8, so I fixed this issue by running
localectl set-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8 and then logging out and back into Linux.
When booting the Raspberry Pi into Arch, I highly recommend using a USB serial cable, like the USB to TTL Serial Cable from Adafruit or any FTDI based USB to serial cable. This will allow you to see the entire boot process of the Raspberry Pi, which is a key debugging tool when trying to use a new OS on Raspberry Pi.