The file : archlinux-hf-2012-09-18.img is quoted on the download page as about 156 MB. After a download, my OS X file system reports it as:

1977614336 18 Sep 12:49 archlinux-hf-2012-09-18.img

i.e. nearly 2 GB! What happened? The download was definitely the smaller of these two numbers. I suspect the file is sparse but I was not aware of this technique.

2 Answers 2


The Archlinux site provides the images in zip format, I guess OS X automatically unpacked it for you. Because the file size you noted in your question is the file size of the unzipped image.

  • Ah, that's one of the things I hate about OS X. In fact, I didn't even click on it in the GUI. The downloader assumed I wanted to unzip it, grrr! Oct 15, 2012 at 22:34
  • Just out of curiosity. What browser are you using? I have never experienced this on OS X. Then again, I tend to shy away from Safari...
    – Joppe
    Oct 15, 2012 at 23:45

The zip is compressed to 158.86 MB, but the image file inside is intended to be written to a SD-card that is at least 2 GB large, therefore it has this size. You can write it to a larger card, but then you have to resize the main partition afterwards (if you want to use all of your card).

The image file is indeed sparse, since the filesystems inside the image are not 100% filled with data.

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