You're still using the command line, but the standard packages are much easier to install.

Arch Linux gets a shiny new feature: a guided installation tool that streamlines the Arch Linux installation process. New versions of Arch Linux ship with the new installation guide known as archinstalllater in April 2021.

Arch Linux is finally getting a guided installer

One of the main reasons against using Arch Linux over the years has been for its installer. For many newcomers to Linux and even some regular users, the Arch Linux installation process comes in very handy.

That statement obviously precludes the existence of excellent Arch-based distributions like Manjaro or EndeavorOS, which make installation and setup a lot easier with the introduction of – you guessed it – guided installers.

Related: Should You Install Arch Linux? Top reasons to install an Arch-based distribution

The new Archinstall package optimizes some of the most common aspects of installing a new operating system, including:

  • Select a hard drive and set a hard drive password

  • Clean and format hard drive using GPT (GUID Partition Table)

  • Installs a basic version of Arch Linux

  • Install standard packages like Nano, Wget, and Git

  • Includes the option to install a fantastic window manager

Before you jump for joy, you should know that the new installation guide does not include a graphical user interface. It's still a command line tool, but the difference lies in the ease of use and access that the Arch installation brings to the table.

Related: The Best Linux Distributions for Developers

Arch Linux Installer: Good Or Bad?

The general response to the new Arch Linux installer has been positive. Comments on the Phoronix forum indicate that the Arch development team, which simplifies at least some installation steps, can only be a good thing for the distribution.

I think that's great too – I appreciate how Arch can be as advanced or as simple as you want with minimal compromise. Sure, even this guided installer isn't the most glamorous or easy to use, but honestly, if you can't handle it, you generally won't be able to handle Arch. So it's a great way for newbies to get into Arch without getting too frustrated or overwhelmed.

However, some users are not so sure, arguing that "forums are flooded with users who don't know what they have installed". It's a valid point, but there are already several posts on certain forums where users don't know how to install Arch. This may not be as big of a problem as the poster thinks it is. In fact, other commentators are referring to precisely this point.

The forum is already full of people unable to do simple things that they can do with other distros. And the same forum is full of people hitting the noobs (new users) and closing their posts

Overall, this is a good move for Arch Linux that will help more people use a Linux distribution traditionally associated with Linux power users. Of course, if all else fails, there are the above Arch-based distributions to fall back on.

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About the author

Gavin Phillips
(809 articles published)

Gavin is the Junior Editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the Editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing Using Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.

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