Arch Linux ARM available for download

Arch Linux ARM for Raspberry Pi is now ready to go! It’s available now on our downloads page. Huge thanks to Dave (pepedog on the forums) for working so hard on this project over the last six months.

Says Liam:

Thanks to Velocix for providing us with free usage of their Content Delivery Network and also a huge thanks to all of our community donated mirrors. Please do not be offended if your mirror has not been added to the load balancer; It has taken days to get it to the point where it is now and I feel that we have plenty of capacity.

Thanks to Shaun (ZeroHour) from for helping me with server configuration and the design of the load balancing system, to Turbo @ for helping out in general with testing and implementation, and to thank Zach Cross for code reviews and his general support of the system.

Finally, thanks to hxxr and Hugo Rodrigues for pointing out security flaws in the load balancer system which have now been fixed.

Arch Linux ARM is based on Arch Linux, which aims for simplicity and full control to the end user. It provides a lightweight base structure that allows you to shape the system to your needs. For this reason, the Arch Linux ARM image for the Raspberry Pi does not come with a graphical user interface, though you can easily install one yourself. Please note that this distribution may not be suitable for beginners.

Arch Linux ARM is on a rolling-release cycle that can be updated daily through small packages instead of huge updates every few months.

To update the package list:

pacman -Syu

To Install LXDE:

pacman -S lxde xorg-xinit xf86-video-fbdev

To run LXDE:

xinit /usr/bin/lxsession

More information is available at


Philipp avatar

Yay! Can’t wait to get an RPi :>

steviewevie avatar

Great work guys !

Jessie avatar

Good news.

Steve Pearce avatar

Arch is a beautiful, clean and damn-snappy OS and I’m very pleased to see that it’s now available for the RaspberryPi :-)

For anybody new to Arch, take a look at their wiki and in particular the beginners guide here:

MarshallBanana avatar

yaaaaay, may the downloading begin *clickclickclick*

MarshallBanana avatar

hmmmm, so you are basically overclocking all devices to 800 mhz in config.txt (dunno if good)??????? and setting a static mac-adress in cmdline.txt (don’t care actually)

Martin avatar

Keep’em coming! ;)

Norb avatar

I can’t find the download section on the website :/

liz avatar

Look up!

koko avatar

your really need glasses :) you want mine ?

Jesper Juhl avatar

Ahh. Nice. Now when my Pi arrives at end of april I’ll have my favorite Linux distro available for it – sweet :-)
Great work guys. Much appreciated.

Jesper Juhl avatar

Hopefully the Raspberry Pi will soon be listed on so it’s obvious to everyone that it’s a supported platform for Arch.

nate z avatar

The fourth menu option there is community supported and there’s a raspi thread in there. Any one know if Raspi is likely to join pogoplug on the official v6 list?

Chris avatar

So this is a dedicated RaspberryPi distro (presumably necessary to make use of the GPU), rather than the more generic distros usually available from ? If so, I can find no mention of it, or the load-balanced download network on that site (am I missing something really obvious?).

Chris avatar

(the above comment was made before the post was modified to mention the local download option)

peter green avatar

The world of arm is unfortunately FAR messier than the world of PCs.

On a PC there is a standard BIOS which loads a standard bootloader which loads a standard kernel which looks at the PCI configuration space, CPUID and so-on through standardised interfaces and enumerates the hardware in your machine.

ARM isn’t like that, each arm SOC (and sometimes each board) is different and requires a kernel built to match. Sometimes that kernel can be built from upstream kernel sources with the right configuration options, other times patches to the code itself is needed.

So what tends to happen with arm distros is that the distro directly supports a handful of devices and then third parties build either installer images or complete system images (or sometimes both) with customised kernels to support other devices.

There is a project afoot to change this (google linux arm devicetree) by intorducing a standaised configuration format that the bootloader can pass to the kernel describing the devices but that is still a work in process at the moment.

Craig avatar

It’s now seeding in my seedbox.

nick jelly avatar

Excellent news!

mrthom avatar

Please, tell me how can i mount this file to view its contents : archlinuxarm-01-03-2012.img ?

azph avatar

Assuming the image is a standard DOS filesystem, you can mount it in Linux on a loop device – search for ‘mount image on loop device linux’. It can then be used like any other disk.

mrthom avatar

I have found howto myself :

sudo mkdir /media/rasp
sudo mkdir /media/rasp/part1
sudo mkdir /media/rasp/part2
sudo losetup /dev/loop0 archlinuxarm-01-03-2012.img
sudo losetup -o 512 /dev/loop1 /dev/loop0
sudo losetup -o 100000256 /dev/loop2 /dev/loop0
sudo mount /dev/loop1 /media/rasp/part1
sudo mount /dev/loop2 /media/rasp/part2

Menthe avatar

You’re better off using kpartx.
sudo kpartx -a /dev/loop0
Then mount loop01 and loop02.

mrthom avatar

OK, so new howto:

sudo pacman -S multipath-tools
sudo modprobe dm_multipath
sudo losetup /dev/loop0 archlinuxarm-01-03-2012.img
sudo kpartx -a /dev/loop0
then mount in Thunar :D

Brian Smith avatar

Thanks for this. Would’ve been fun to have kernel 3.1.4 of course :)

Inky- avatar

FTP download from my seedbox is going slow.

nullstring avatar

I take it these are just the normal armv5 packages?

max1zzz avatar

downloading via http at 1mb/s
going straight to my server for permanent seeding

seems i’m going to need more sd cards….

liz avatar

Just noticed Eben forgot to link to the downloads page – I’ve just amended the post to correct that!

Dandapani avatar

Did I miss the Fedora release?

MarshallBanana avatar


nate z avatar

Seneca does Fedora Arm and was on break last week. Apparently one installer issue left.

nate z avatar

Wow. And immediately Liz tweets:

“Raspberry_Pi We expect the Fedora image in the next few days. @Seneca_College have been on a break in the last week; there’s just 1 install bug to fix.”

Liz, I was just going from memory, so I hope you got the bug count and ETA from @Chris_Tyler. The break is definitely listed on their public course schedule:

liz avatar

Yes, we did. ;)

nate z avatar

Thanks. Recollected Chris was going to try to take care of it himself while the students were on break. Did not want to add any pressure. They’ve been great.

Tomas avatar

This news just made my day! Arch Linux ARM is perfect for the R-PI because of its minimalism.

Thanks for the good work Dave!

PS: Looking forward to see audio working.

CJ Davies avatar

Seeding on my 100mbit box in France, along with the Debian image :)

Boyd avatar

Excellent news. Arch has long since been my distro of choice. Just need the pi now.

liz avatar

We do seem to have a *lot* of Arch fans here. When things quiet down a bit, I might run a poll about what readers’ preferred distros (on and off the Raspi) are; I’d be fascinated to learn the results.

Ian avatar

Not as simple as that because some peeps (like me) use different distros for different things.

cougarten avatar

thats why she asks for both, seperately :)

cougarten avatar

and hopefully with multiple selections possible (also balances the poll much better as many linux users use or like more than one distribution)

tawalker avatar

I chose Arch/x86 as the Linux distro for my Eee 701SD netbook, mainly because it’s fast, lean and highly-customisable. As a result, I was hoping the Arch/ARM port for the RasPi would be ready before I actually had the machine – full marks on that front :-)

Now, just waiting on RS to follow up their (welcome) email from Saturday night, and hopefully a Model B will soon(-ish) be mine, all mine! Buwahahahaha – oops, what a giveaway…

Michal avatar

Great project, it will enable countless hours of fun as well as server on raspberry coming (more) true.
However, I feel that publishing those last few lines that seem to show how ‘simple’ arch is may be a wrong message to people who would like to try it.

Lobster avatar

Bravo Arch
Arch did good.
The more penguins, The more options. The more learning.

Puppy Linux can use woof2 to build from Arch. Though our early
versions are likely to make use of Debian Puppy scripts.
Some Puppy Linux radical plans are based around Arch.

Puppy will be smaller, faster, leaner.

liz avatar

We’re really looking forward to Puppy; can’t wait!

[…] the system to your needs. For this reason, the Arch Linux ARM … See the original post here: Arch Linux ARM available for download | Raspberry Pi This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged arch, arm, base-structure, based-on-arch, […]

Shaun avatar

Definitely looking forward to loading this on my Pi when it arrives. I’m very much a fan of Arch Linux. I think it is a perfect fit, with its not-installing-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink-by-default approach. It’s like all of the goodness of Debian, only with more up-to-date packages…

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

Have there been letters from Microsoft yet to ask whether or not they may compile CE to the raspberry?

I am pseudo-trolling, though still curious. I had several Windows 2002-2002-2005 pocket PCs and it really was just a small version of Windows (compiled to run on ARM, MIPS, Xscale, SH3).. Even though many pocket-PCs had never even heard of USB-host or WLAN connectivity, the drivers for everything were always there. CE contained drivers for generic USB-devices such as mice, keyboards, mass storage.. The connectivity stack contained everything including virtual drive mapping (yes I’m serious, on a pocket pc and MDA). It would take absolutely zero effort to compile an older version of CE to Raspberry Pi and it’d probably run stupidly good. Yet, no one will ever be able to do that.

The message I’d like to transfer isn’t anti-linux, though. I’ve never tried Arch-Linux before so I’m unsure what its pros and cons are as compared to Debian on an ARM platform. As soon as the GPU can be utilized for general purpose stuff such as UI, web browsing and running various (educational) programs, the Raspberry Pi will go onwards to become a well established part of the current IT industry. Well even without the GPU’s power it would do that, though people would complain a bit everything runs so slow

oninoshiko avatar

Start a petition, I’ll sign it.

While I doubt *I* would put wince on one, I am all about choice. This of course would have to come from MS, but we have sold enough of them to maybe get someone’s attention.

The trick is, I’m not sure wince was ever a sold product. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it only sold to OEMs?

Guilherme de Sousa avatar

Now I’m a bit confused.. don’t know if I should be happy or not.
Happy for having Arch the distro I use in all my computers, ported to Raspi, or a bit sad for only getting my hands on one in two months.

A HUGE tks to the devs !

best regards

[…] Image March 5th, 2012 cnxsoft Leave a comment Go to commentsThe Raspberry Pi Foundation has just announced the release of Arch Linux for the Raspberry Pi. This image is based on a minimal image of Arch Linux and does not come with a graphical interface. […]

shaurz avatar

Great stuff! Arch is my distro of choice.

Drawoc avatar

Agreed – Arch is my favorite. It’s a rolling release, so I’ve always got the latest stuff, and it’s so easy to tinker with. Couldn’t be happier.

ayeowch avatar

Great! I’ve mirrored a copy here in 7z format to give a smaller size download. Direct download link: (151MB)

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Jim Manley avatar

This is truly great news and thanks to the team and all of the devs!

Now, if only we had something to run it on …

Hardware? We don’ need no steenkin’ hardware! ;)

limulus avatar

Do Premier Farnell or RS Components accept PayPal?! Can’t find this info on their websites. What would be the shipping cost to Lithuania?

dinux avatar

Vienam forume skaičiau, kad siuntimas $18. Kokiais būdais galima susimokėti, nežinau.

darius avatar

ordered my from farnell, doesn’t look that they accept anything but credit card. shipping to Litchuania was 18LTL and TAX(PVM) was 21LTL so 133LTL(50USD) in total.

Jim Manley avatar

They don’t accept PayPal at this time. Shipping will be computed when stock is available to process your order and you should be notified of the cost before your order is charged and shipped.

Tadas Milinis avatar

Hey limulus! Talking about PayPal- I coulnd’t find this kind of payment in Farnell. But still it doesn’t prove they don’t accept it. And I don’t know anynthing about RS :)
Now talking about shipping cost- here are the details from the order (Farnell):
Pagrindinis išsiuntimas: 18.00 LTL
PVM: 22.11 LTL
Iš viso: 132.65 LTL

Stuart Lea avatar

Neither Farnell or RS take PayPal……you should check with the distributor for shipping costs, it’s their responsibility.

limulus avatar

Ačiu! Thanks!

Norman Rieß avatar

Though not necessary any more i guess, i added a mirror link to the community page.

David Joyce avatar

Does anyone know whether Arch, Fedora or the Debian release for Arm (specifically for Raspi or generally) takes advantage of the on-chip graphics, or are we will waiting for this support? Are the binary blobs part of the distribution, or are they downloaded elsewhere? Thank you!

cnxsoft avatar

The binary blobs are there and sample code is provided to take advantage of OpenGL ES, OpenVG and OpenMAX IL. So all the “low level” software components to take advantage of the GPU are there. However, the UIs are not yet accelerated with the GPU, so it may feel a bit sluggish. At least, that’s how I understand it.

JamesH avatar

Exactly. What would be great would be a community effort to accelerate X using OpenVG (or GLES). Surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be a project for that that has reached completion. Get that in place and the whole experience will get a LOT faster. I believe there will be a prize offered for this at some point.

Martyn Bryant avatar

Great work pepedog! I use Arch on my home PC and think it is great and lightning fast. I will definitely be using this on my pi.

Stefan Stefanov avatar

Just great!
Yet another host in my home-lan will run on Archlinux :)
I use 2 laptops and 1 server, all running Archlinux.

Is it true that for now GPU cannot be utilized? Is it the firmware issue or what?
If this is true then when this would be expected?

I want to run xbmc-standalone (without any DE) using Archlinux image, but if GPU cannot be used then this might be impossible.

Davespice avatar

I notice there is no linux-swap partition with this image, is that intentional? Maybe it gets created on the first boot, or should we create one ourselves? Cheers, Dave

Stefan Stefanov avatar
Davespice avatar

Okay so the swap file is just a file within the main partition and not its own partition. That’s cool, thanks for the pointer.

peter green avatar

I woiuld strongly advise against putting swap on the SD card, SD cards are excruciatingly slow at random writes and usually have poor wear leveling.

If you MUST have swap then put it on an external hard drive or a high end USB stick but honestly if you can’t live in 224MB without swap the Pi is probablly the wrong device for your application.

Davespice avatar

Thanks Peter, I just assumed a swap area was necessary for Linux (I am new to it). But thanks for clearing that up for me.

Liran avatar

If you’re new to linux I suggest you start with debian or fedora. They are more user friendly for beginners.

Jan-Erik avatar

My (unofficial) mirror is up and running including the Arch Linux image:

nugget avatar

I broke my Linux cherry with Ubuntu a couple of years ago, been meaning to try Arch. I think the Raspberry Pi will be the ideal platform to try it on.

Gandalf avatar

But the Fedora port is still the “official” firmware? I understand that people are interested in their distro to be released on the Raspi, but nevertheless I would prefer to somehow have only one supported distro. I am afraid the community, both users and develeopers, will be split.

JamesH avatar

Yes, Fedora is the officially supported distro, although the Foundation is happy to help others.

Vanden Circkel avatar
Josh avatar

Awesome! I can’t wait to buy a Raspberry Pi to put Arch on!

monkeyra avatar

I’ve added a mirror to this on my CDN:



[…] Linux-distributie kan worden gedownload van de Raspberry Pi-website. Het image-bestand moet naar een sd-kaartje worden geschreven met het […]

[…] inicial à venda e esgotou em poucas horas, ganhou uma nova distribuição de Linux compatível: o Arch para ARM/Raspberry Pi já está disponível, após 6 meses em […]

Rasec avatar

Is going to be a compatible version of Ubuntu-lxde for Raspberry Pi such as Lubuntu x86?

JamesH avatar

Well, x86 won’t work – this is an Arm device.

In fact, Ubuntu do NOT support the version of the Arm processor used in the Raspi, so cannot be used. However, LXDE works fine in Debian and Fedora. It’s a simple install.

Tomas avatar

You forgot Arch!

Rasec avatar

Thank you for your help.

[…] the folks behind the Raspberry Pi $35 computer have announced that there’s a build of Arch Linux available that will run on the company’s tiny […]

Sérgio Berlotto avatar

Yes ! Arch Linux is the best Linux Distro ! The more efecient !
Greate Job for all !!!

[…] il giro del mondo ed ha stuzzicato l’appetito di tutte le comunità opensource online. Il team di Arch Linux ad esempio, ha pensato bene di creare una versione ad-hoc della distro per installazione su […]

RobinJ avatar

Hooray! \o/
Time for me to buy a raspie now!

[…] Raspberry Pi نسخه آرچ (Arch) را برای پلت فرم خود منتشر کرد. این پورت برای فراهم آوردن تنظیمات اولیه برای کاربران […]

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dbh937 avatar

Fantastic! I always wanted to try out ArchLinux and on my RPi would be the BEST!

[…] post over at even comes with a warning: Please note that this distribution may not be suitable for beginners. […]

Bob avatar

Your idea and concept is amazing! The work you are doing is just fantastic! To get kids to understand computer like some of ‘older’ generation (gee that sounds bad for a 25yo!!) is somthing that should be taught to more and more kids these days! To create a small cheep way to do this just astounds me! Keep up the great work and I hope to see this in Australia in the future!

dbh937 avatar

I love how the recommended OS is the last to be released.

Tomas avatar

Well, they should recommend Arch!

OrionFyre avatar

This statement, and your enthusiasm, belies the reality of endorsing an “official” distro for the Raspberry Pi. While I in no way speak for the foundation… It is, or should be, readily apparent to anyone who has used Arch that it is decidedly -NOT- a beginner friendly distribution. It expects a high level of competence and understanding of the Linux systems and way of doing things. Or at the very least it demands an incredibly high propensity to learn and troubleshoot on your own with much less help than many so-called ‘newbs’ are used to. One only needs to look at the beginner forum in Arch’s main site to understand this. Furthermore outside the beginners forum, and even in it, there is very little hand holding and coddling like there is with other distributions such as Ubuntu.

The Raspberry Pi will be in the hands of children and non-native Linux users who are minimally aware of the inner workings of an operating system. So giving these individuals an ‘Official’ distro such as Arch which requires the user to install a graphical interface, go into textual config files, and handle package management from the command line is both foolish and unwise. The official distro /should/ by design be an operating system that is ready to go at the push of a button. This is how the fedora release is lining up to be. Arch is not.

I am in no way downplaying Arch. It is by far the most elegant solution to a Linux distribution I have come across. The balance it strikes among its low level of management, ease of use (not “easy” but “simplicity”), and the control it offers is exactly what I need from a distro. I run it on every single desktop that I manage for friends and family.

The final reality is however that this is NOT a beginner’s distro for _all_ beginners.

Dan avatar

” Or at the very least it demands an incredibly high propensity to learn and troubleshoot on your own with much less help than many so-called ‘newbs’ are used to.”

I was ready to come out all guns blazing after reading this, but the rest of your post makes some valid points so I’ll let it slide ;)

Arch is my distro of choice – kinda like Gentoo without all of the recompiling – and one of the reasons for this is the excellent documentation the Arch guys put together, especially the guides. While it may be true that there’s less interactive help for newbies, you couldn’t ask for a better documented system to play around with.

Having said that, your point about newb friendliness, or even friendliness for people who don’t want to craft their OS from the ground up, is well put. I’m just happy that Arch is available for the Raspberry Pi! Seems like a great fit.

Kudos to pepedog!

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Andrew Joy avatar

Ahh Arch ARM on the pie amazing. My Pi is on the way I am so happy I can play with that, on the other end of the scale my second GTX480 is also on the way I am a lucky man.

Also if anyone is looking for good applications for the pi you should check out many useful apps that are very very lightweight. Also if you want an easy to use lightweight window manager check out all respect to the suckless guys but i pref i3 over dwm and wmii

using these kind of applications involves a steeper learning curve than a fully fledged desktop environment but I think it makes you more productive and gets you into a good mindset of one tool that works well for one job a good mindset to get young programmers into IMHO.

Nathan Hulse avatar

Great work, pepedog! Reading the discussion on the Arch ARM board, I wasn’t expecting this quite so soon!

Arch Linux is as good as it gets from an educational perspective; installing it gives those new to GNU/Linux a good introduction to the basic anatomy of the operating environment, without the need to compile everything from source.

It also happens to a damn fine distro; simple, coherent, with a massive selection of packages. Just a shame breakage is a common hazard if you choose to keep all installed packages up-to-date ;D

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[…] one yourself. Please note that this distribution may not be suitable for beginners.”The Arch Linux ARM is currently on a rolling-release cycle enabling ti to be updated daily via small packages, instead […]

domibe avatar

Very well done guys, and can’t wait to see and try your incredible job !
So long RPi !

BlackMamba avatar

Help please with a couple of questions :)

I have never used Linux, so to practise before my Pi arrives I have downloaded the emulator Qemu for Windows. Will the downloadable Archlinux or Debian images work with this emulator?

It seems from reading this thread that as a pure beginner who is used to using a graphical interface (long time since I even used DOS) I may be better with Debian, or should I wait for the Fedora release?

A bit off topic but I am also looking at a powered USB hub and I have found a reasonably priced one that says it is compatible with Linux 9, so my question is what versions are the Archlinux or Debian downloads?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

Andrew Joy avatar

Now not many people will agree with me but i would say as a beginner you should use arch. Now arch does not come with a GUI or with any programs and thats a good thing.

Just think how long windows or OSX takes to learn there are so many applications and ways of doing things is very confusing. so to are full desktop environments in linux.

People always forget that just because you are a new users it does not mean you cannot read or are stupid. Quite the opposite in fact new users are more likely to read documentation and have no preconceptions about the correct way to approach a task , you have no bad habits or bias.

Anyone who is willing to learn will pick up a simple distro like arch more quickly than they would a complex system like the full desktop environments fedora and Debian provide, there is less to learn so you can learn it faster.

Learning to use a small set of tools and learn them well and understanding there operation is more effective than understanding a little about lots of tools.

BlackMamba avatar

Thank you for your reply Andrew Joy. I didn’t respond earlier as I thought there might be more comments. I was hoping to reply via my Qemu/debian install but it is so slow it is like wading through molasses LOL

A general thank you to everyone who has published anything about Qemu, as I think I have read it all LOL

Now I have the debian distro worked out I am going to try the Archlinux one, then install LXDE as a GUI, so wish me luck ;)

Does anyone know if the powered hub i mentioned in my original post will work with the three Raspberry Pi distros? (I am going to try the Fedora distro once I have my Pi in my sweaty little mitt as I am worried that trying it under Qemu will expand it to fit my whole hard drive LOL – told you I was a complete newbie to linux)

Thank you once again for your help.

Thank you to anyone who can help me with the hub question.

FlixBox avatar

Is there anyone out there that is developing this device to be used as a smart TV – retro-fit box?

I would be interested in working with you on financing and sourcing products and customers re this and taking it to a commercial enterprise.

Please get in touch in you are working on this type of device.

JamesH avatar

See the forum and threads on XMBC.

Also, take a look at the Roku 2 which uses the same SoC.

menelic avatar

While I’m looking forward to having lots of variety when it comes to distributions and systems for the RPI I have to second OrionFyre concerning newbie issues with specilaist distributions. Having installed Linux in many different contexts on two continents I can say that the ubuntu community with its vast documentation resources and different documentatoin styles is unmatched – and the most appealing for beginners. I really hope that some of the enthusiasm expressed here will be channeled into creating a compatible ubuntu spin. I am aware of the cannonical ARM version decision, but I still hope that it will be made possible by the comunity.

[…] distribuciones de Linux ya preparadas para este dispositivo como pueden ser ArchLinux, Debian o Fedora Remix y que incluyen software como el servidor web apache. También permiten la […]

mrthom avatar

It is possible to set less than 32 MB for GPU memory? I am mainly not gonna use the graphic environment. Can I use the GPU as a secondary CPU, like OpenCL/CUDA?

[…] 6th, 2012Ashleigh Quick how to for getting ArchLinux up and running on […]

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hi thiiiiiiiiiis pi thingy is cool avatar

hi thiiiiiiiiiis pi thingy is cool

pixelmasochist avatar

What Makes me so happy about this is arch is a minimal, simple and elegant (not easy, lets straighten that up!) distro. I use it on my main desktop for pretty much everything, but the true power will be realised for me in getting enlightenment ( running on it, I’d preobably still use e16 as it’s a far more mature codebase, but as soon as e17 stabalises it would suit something like the raspi to the ground. The EFL (Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) are built small, don’t rely on gnome/kde to function and this device seems like what they were built for, just need to get one now :)

Sarah avatar

When I type pacman it starts a silly video game. How can I get the pacman to start like in this article?

loser avatar

My English is pool , I hope that you can know what I mean. I insert archlinux to the SD by Win32DiskImager.exe. But the /dev/root just used 2G space, so I can’t use the left. I know the debain can use command rapsi-config, but I don’t how to do on archlinux. Now I have only Windows 7, what should I do?

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