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Arch Linux installation for complete beginner

by Kacper Kocot, 31.12.2020

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Arch Linux is often considered as hard distribution for beginners and in the IT world exists a false statement that "The best distrbution for beginners is Ubuntu or Linux Mint which are user friendly and these are the best". I, in turn, am convinced that Arch Linux is a very good distribution to start for people that have, at least, very minimal knowledge about computers. This tutorial is for people that never used Linux, but also for people that used Linux for a little bit of time, but in more Windows-like way, so - let's start!

An Introduction

If you used Linux for a bit of time, you can calmly skip this section, because here I will explain basics of Linux, it's file system, etc.

First of all, I am gonna explain a file structure, what other things are on Linux in comparsion to (for example) Windows.
File structure is a hierarchy of all files on the disk. It may contain directories, in Windows usually called folders, and subdirectories which is equivalent to subfolders. Directories and subdirectories may contain files, but also many other things which will be explained later.



Directory with subdirectories and a file.

If you for now used only Windows, your main disk was C:\ drive, if you plugged in USB sticks, Memory Cards and other external storage, you had also D:\, E:\, F:\, etc. These disks were main, primary directories which contained files and subdirectories. Every disk had a main directory which contained these things.
In Linux (and any other UNIX-based systems) on the other hand, you don't have drive letters like C:\ for your main drive, etc. Here we have something called rootfs. rootfs stands for root file system. You simply have one, primary directory that begins with / (which is not \ like in Windows), and which contains all of your PC's data. In this root directory you have other subdirectories like /lib, which contains all libraries, /bin which contains all executable binaries (programs) /tmp which contains temporary files (stored in RAM), and other directories.
Now you can ask - Wait, so where will be all my pendrives? Linux is UNIX-like operating system where everything is a file. Your camera will be a file, your current processor temperature will be a file, also all available disks will be files, from which you can get raw disk data, but you also can mount them.

Mounting is a very common thing when you are using external storage in UNIX. In Windows this thing is done automatically when you connect an external medium, in UNIX you must do it by writing a command. Of course, there are programs that works in the background which will mount disks automatically, but manually mounting disks is better for a few reasons:

If you have large music collection, you can make your main system partition which will be / and you can make second partition for music only, which will be always mounted in your ~/music. When you break your system partition, you can restore your music library from partition for music. Of course, if you are using external disk for your music collection, you can always do the same thing with your disk - when you accidentally burn your main disk, your music collection will be untouched, but you can use it like a normal folder in your home directory

In UNIX you also have your home directory which contain your personal data. Usually it's /home/your username, but you can change it to any other place. Your home directory is usually marked as ~, so if your username is for example sebastian, ~/vids is equivalent of /home/sebastian/vids.

One other thing for introduction - UNIX (and Linux) commands are often shortcuts for english words - common examples:

etc...

(to be continued...)