jnsgruk / architect

Simple Arch Linux bootstrap project

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This project not finished, but currently a simple set of shell scripts/templated files to bootstrap an Arch Linux system. It is fairly minimal, and quite opinionated.

My primary use case for this is building my own machines, but also quickly building virtual machines with different configs for testing new desktop releases etc. I tend to use libvirt and virt-manager, so any VM detection is based on that assumption.

By default, the script will:

  • Partition a disk (ext4 or btrfs, optionally encrypted with LVM-on-LUKS)
  • Install a few basic packages
  • Install and configure systemd-boot (UEFI systems) or grub (BIOS systems)
  • Configure locale/timezone/keyboard layout
  • Detect requirement for, and if necessary install microcode packages
  • Create a non-root user and enable sudo access
  • Install and enable NetworkManager
  • Install yay
  • Install a Desktop Environment (Gnome, Plasma, XFCE or Mate)
  • Install and configure Plymouth with flicker-free boot

Getting Started

To use this script, boot into the Arch ISO and run:

# Download the stage1.sh script
$ curl -sLo architect.sh https://jnsgr.uk/architect
# Install using defaults
$ /bin/bash architect.sh

To install with other configuration files or presets:

# Install using config file downloaded to live ISO environment
$ /bin/bash architect.sh /path/to/config.yml

# Install using config file available at a URL
$ /bin/bash architect.sh https://somedomain.com/your_config.yml

With no arguments, the installer will use the default preset. Default values are:

hostname: archie
username: user

  locale: en_GB.UTF-8
  timezone: Europe/London
  keymap: uk

  disk: /dev/vda
  # Choose either ext4 or btrfs
  filesystem: btrfs
  # If set to true, disk is encrypted with LVM-on-LUKS
  encrypted: false
  # Swapfile size in MiB. Set to zero to disable swap
  swap: 1024

  # Desktop environment. Options: none, gnome, plasma, xfce, mate
  desktop: gnome
  # Install appropriate desktop extras like gnome-extra, kde-applications, xfce4-goodies
  desktop-extras: true
  # Choose to install the Plymouth boot-splash
  plymouth: true
  # Install a collection of extra fonts for the desktop
  fonts: true
  # Install bluetooth and bluetooth audio support
  bluetooth: true
  # List of packages to install
    - git
    - base-devel

  # Choose the branch of Architect to clone during install
  branch: master
  # Option to disable the provisioning stage
  disable_stage3: false
  # Enable "set -x" in scripts for debugging
  debug: false
  # Unmount drives and reboot after install
  reboot: true

It is possible to specify a smaller config file to just override specific values in the defaults, for example:

username: bob
hostname: archbox

Install Stages Description

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the pre-chroot setup. It includes the following:

  • Keyboard layout setup
  • Partitioning and disk encryption if enabled
  • Mounting new filesystem under /mnt
  • Running pacstrap to install base packages into new filesystem
  • Runs arch-chroot and invokes stage 2

Stage 2

Stage 2 happens inside the chroot environment. It includes the following:

  • Setup locale
  • Set hostname
  • Configure and generate initramfs
  • Install processor microcode if required
  • Configure a swapfile
  • Install and configure bootloader
  • Change root password
  • Create a non-root user
  • Configure sudo for non-root user
  • Invoke stage 3 if enabled

Once stage 2 is complete, the bare minimum install is complete. You can disable stage 3, reboot and enjoy your very minimal Arch Linux setup.

Stage 3

Stage 3 aims to raise the install from "minimum viable arch" to a more usable system:

  • Install more packages
  • Install and configure the yay AUR helper
  • Install and configure a desktop environment (Gnome, Plasma, XFCE or Mate)
  • Install and configure Plymouth


I'm planning to keep this project relatively minimal, but will consider adding features if requested through Github Issues or otherwise. Feel free to submit pull requests!

Currently planned features...

  • Add option to provide URL to post-provision script
  • Install a sane set of fonts, cursors, themes, etc. if desktop if specified
  • Configure bluetooth and audio properly if desktop specified
  • Install and configure Plymouth with flicker-free boot
  • Configure TRIM properly if on a supported SSD
    • Detect SSD and TRIM support
    • Enable the fstrim weekly timer
  • Update disk partitioning to include:
    • btrfs
    • LVM/LUKS with btrfs
    • LVM/LUKS with ext4
  • Presets for desktop environments:
    • Configure/detect display drivers
    • Gnome
    • Plasma
    • XFCE
    • MATE
  • Migrate to systemd hooks in mkinitcpio?
  • Configure a less ugly lightdm greeter and sddm theme
  • Configure a swapfile
  • Non-EFI bootloader install with GRUB
  • Enable option settings with a JSON/YAML file
  • Enable customisation of installed packages
  • Install and configure yay
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Simple Arch Linux bootstrap project

License:MIT License


Language:Shell 100.0%