Step by step to install Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi 2

Hello everyone, today I am playing with my old Raspberry Pi 2 device. Its been untouched for some times and I want to make it usable. There are several Linux distribution that support Raspberry Pi 2, i.e Raspbian, Ubuntu MATE and some more. But here I want to install Arch Linux on my Raspberry Pi 2. Is that possible? YES, there is a special Arch Linux made for ARM devices called ArchLinuxARM. Arch Linux ARM can be installed on Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi 2, Pi 3 and some other ARM devices.

What is Arch Linux ARM ?

Arch Linux ARM is a distribution of Linux for ARM computers. We provide targeted kernel and software support for soft-float ARMv5te, hard-float ARMv6 and ARMv7, and ARMv8 AArch64 instruction sets on a variety of consumer devices and development platforms. Our collaboration with Arch Linux brings users the best platform, newest packages, and installation support. (Official Arch Linux ARM)

OK enough talking and now I will guide you how to install Arch Linux ARM on my Raspberry Pi 2. There is an official guide for Pi 2 here. But I modify the steps a bit. Also, this Arch Linux ARM does not shipped with any desktop environment. You may install it manually afterward.

Steps to install Arch Linux ARM on Raspberry Pi 2

To install Arch Linux ARM on Raspberry Pi 2, we need a Linux computer. This guide will not work if you are using Windows. For Windows users you may try use Image Writer Tool or Rufus to copy the Arch Linux ARM to SD card but again, I haven’t test it on Windows.

Step 1. Prepare Partitions on SD Card

First of all, we will delete and recreate partitions on the SD card. I hope you know a bit about fdisk command on Linux. Login as root, do not use sudo.

1. Start fdisk (change mmcblk0 with your actual device)

2. At fdisk prompt, delete any existing partitions and create a new one. I follow exactly the same as on the official website.

  1. Type o. This will clear out any partitions on the drive.
  2. Type p to list partitions. There should be no partitions left.
  3. Type n, then p for primary, 1 for the first partition on the drive, press ENTER to accept the default first sector, then type +100M for the last sector.
  4. Type t, then c to set the first partition to type W95 FAT32 (LBA).
  5. Type n, then p for primary, 2 for the second partition on the drive, and then press ENTER twice to accept the default first and last sector.
  6. Write the partition table and exit by typing w.

3. Create and mount the FAT system (partition 1)

4. Create EXt4 system on partition 2 and mount it

Step 3. Download and extract Arch Linux ARM

Step 4. Move boot files to the first partition

Step 5. Unmount root and boot

Now insert the SD card to Raspberry Pi 2 and boot it. The default user for Arch Linux ARM is alarm, password: alarm. The root password is root.

Enjoy Arch Linux ARM on your Raspberry Pi 2.


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