Installing Arch Linux on an Acer ES1-111

The task: remove Windows completely and boot into Arch Linux.

I am not responsible for any issue with another system as a result of this guide. This worked perfectly for me – but proceed at your own risk.

Steps:

1. Download the Arch ISO and Run from a USB

Using Mac OSX, download the Arch ISO , format a USB as MS-DOS (FAT), unmount the partition and copy across the Arch ISO to the USB using the dd terminal command:

dd if=arch linux.iso of=/dev/sdx

2. Format and partition the drives

Eject from the Macbook and boot the laptop from the USB (F12).

Use cgdisk to format the existing partitions, then re-partition, verify and write creating space for a root, boot and swap. I used 512MiB for the boot, 2GB for swap and the remainder for root – seen here in cfdisk.

dav

3. Set up the root, EFI & swap partitions

Format what will be the root partition as ext4, the boot as FAT32 and make swap:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p3

mkfs.vfat -F32 /dev/mmcblk0p1

mkswap /dev/mmcblk0p2

swapon /dev/mmcblk0p2

Mount mmcblk0p3 as /mnt, then mount mmcblk0p2 as /mnt/boot after making this directory.

4. Install Arch Linux OS to root via Ethernet

Plug in an Ethernet cable and ping a website to check if you’re connected. I had some issues with the drivers, fixed via:

ethtool -s enp3s0 autoneg off

dhcpcd

Install the Arch OS to /mnt

pacstrap /mnt base base-devel

Confirm the installation and let that run to completion.

5. Modify initial root setup

Once install is complete, login to /mnt as root

arch-chroot /mnt

There are four initial points of setup to execute here: password, set localtime, set hostname & set language. These steps are covered really clearly in this guide but don’t follow the guide into bootloader setup, as former ‘gummiboot’ bootloader is now pre-installed in the Arch package and easy to setup.

6. Install and setup a bootloader (bootctl)

bootctl install

After installing the bootloader, you’ll want to create and open arch.conf

nano /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf

And populate the file

title  Arch Linux

linux /vmlinuz-linux

initrd /initramfs-linux.img

options root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rw

Make sure the file is pointing to the root partition. Save via CTRL + O, exit via CTRL + X.

Okay, now… this part took me a while to find out.. copying the EFI bootloader to the directory the startup points to by default:

cd EFI

mkdir Microsoft

cd Microsoft

mkdir Boot

cp /EFI/Boot/BOOTX64.efi /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

Finally

mkinitcpio -p linux

7. Generate fstab, unmount & reboot

Exit chroot and generate an fstab file for a breakdown of your partitions’ setup

genfstab -U /mnt > /mnt/etc/fstab

Unmount

umount -R /mnt

Reboot, remove the USB and boot into Arch! Yay.

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