Arch Linux Installation (Part 4): Configuring system and GRUB

Configuring system.

It is advisable to customize the configuration files, I would have to configure them after installation completed anyway.

A list of configuration files.

Let’s start customizing the config files!

rc.conf: Changing hostname.

The default hostname was mylinux I think…Anyway I changed it to cyruslab instead, I walkthrough the rest of the IP configuration all were fine because I am using dhcp.

default fstab.

In the past I did not know what were these, now I know.

As shown there were 6 columns namely <file system> <dir> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>

<file system> first column: Devices, can be hard disk such as /dev/sda1, can be floppy drive such as /dev/fd0, can be CDROM such as /dev/cdrom0.

<dir> second column: default mount point.

<type> third column: Filesystem type such as ntfs, ext2,3,4,btfs.

<options> fourth column: Mount options –

a. default includes rw, suid, dev, exec, auto, nouser and async.

b. nodev: no device can be mounted.

c. nosuid: suid stands for set-user-identifier, nosuid disallows creation of user identifier as well as group identifier.

d. auto: device is mounted automatically.

e. noauto: device is not mounted automatically, device has to be mounted explicitly using mount command.

f. user: allows normal user to mount devices.

g. nouser: only allows root user to mount devices.

h. sync: input and output are done synchronously.

i. async: input and output are done asynchronously.

<dump> 5th column: Dump. 0 means dump ignores the device, default is 0, I chose 1. Dump can decide if the device needs to backup or not.

<pass> 6th column: fsck. 0 is no fsck, I changed to 1,2,3,4…. for fsck check sequence.

Enable dump and arrange the fsck sequence for all partitions.
Put in a nameserver.

Since I do not have an in-house name server, I used dns which belongs to google.

Use google nameserver.
Enable the repo server.

Ideally Australia is the better choice, however I decided to enable the Any section of the repo server for greater flexibility. These repo servers were commented, they are needed for pacman to download the application.

Choose a root password.

Chose the root password and done.

Install bootloader.

Now is the real part for installing the bootloader i.e. GRUB.

Check the grub config.

Grub is smart enough to figure out that my /root partition is in (hd0,4) which is /dev/sda5/. Grub legacy counts from 0 and not 1.

hd0 = /dev/sda

hd0,0 = /dev/sda1

hd0,1 = /dev/sda2

and so on….

Install grub to MBR.

The Master Boot Record (MBR) resides at the first sector of the hard drive, it is 512bytes in size for the entire sector. The bootloader takes 446 bytes the rest contains partition table. The practice is always to install boot loader to /dev/sda without any partition number, bootloader can be installed in the partition without any complaints however the result might be undesirable, I have never tried installing bootloader in partition.

Grub successfully installed.


Time to say Goodbye!

Installation is completed, now I can exit the installation.


Press OK, and then reboot from the shell.

The fun just started!

Now the fun just started….:)


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