Arch Linux Adds an Easy-to-Use Guided Installer

By Bill Toulas / April 5, 2021

Arch Linux has finally decided to add a comfortable-to-use guided installer and let people install the otherwise beloved distribution on their machines in a few minutes. Previously, the team behind the project has refused to offer an official installer, pointing users to third-party solutions, lengthy instructions, and not so helpful forum threads. After all, this is a distro for power users, so there’s definitely a bar keeping newcomers and noobs out.

The new installer, using the package name ‘archinstall,’ offers a step-by-step guided installation procedure that should last for no longer than five minutes, according to Michael Larabel, who gave it a spin. Users select their desired language and the graphical user interface of choice, set a root account password, define the file-system parameters, and then let the installer do the drive partitioning with the given options. Network interface configuration, package updates, and every other basic thing are all handled by the installer.

Source: Phoronix

Of course, the installer doesn’t feature eye-candy GUI elements as it’s still console-based, but this is a huge step forwards compared to not having any automation at all. Possibly, the Arch team was looking for something reliable, lean, and speedy - as otherwise, they could have forked any other GUI installer used by other Arch-based distributions.

Source: Phoronix

Speaking of which, the lack of an easy-to-use installer seems to be what forced large numbers of people to use distributions like Manjaro, Antergos (now discontinued), EndeavourOS, and other Arch forks. Arch Linux is one of the most beloved Linux distributions, valued for its power, versatility, stability, cutting-edge features, and speed. To harness this awesomeness, though, one would have to go through a tedious installation process, which is simply not possible for many.

With ‘archinstall,’ Arch is not sailing away from the philosophy of putting the user in charge of every aspect of the installation but rather offers something that can automate the most stodgy bits. In the end, those who want to go deeper into the specifics and fiddle with everything can still do it. For this reason, we welcome the decision to add even an unpolished, console-based installer on Arch. Maybe Gentoo is next?

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