An Easy Way to Install Arch Linux on a Virtual Box VM

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is actually a couple of simple links to good sites that were helpful for installing Arch Linux on my desktop at home (Mac (21.5-inch, Late 2009) 3.06 GHz, 16 Mb RAM). Side note – RAM is super-cheap right now, and I just upgraded this machine from 4 Gb to 16 Gb for about $70. This is a huge performance difference on my old-ish Mac. The VM and everything else wants about 7 gig just sitting around, so the extra memory is helpful.

I am trying to make a replica of the server that one of  my teammates is using to serve an application we’re working on (which will be another exciting post 😐 ). His is an Arch Linux OS on a Raspberry Pi, 32 bit version. To develop some modules for this web app concurrently I wanted to replicate the server environment as closely as I could.

Mostly I used a great instruction page from Columbia Universityhttp://www.cs.columbia.edu/~jae/4118-LAST/arch-setup-2015-1.html. They occasionally direct us to the Arch Linux Beginner’s guide: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_guide.

Assume you have Oracle’s handy (FREE!) VirtualBox application already on your machine. It’s a good idea to download the ISO disk image of Arch Linux from their repository before you start from  https://www.archlinux.org/download/. Make a new VM with Arch as the OS and it’s ready to roll. Just follow the instructions on the Columbia site to get your system up and running quickly. There are a lot of extra complications that you don’t need to worry about if you’re just setting up a mock server for experimenting. Obviously, in a professional setting, you’ll follow the proper protocols for integration that your organization requires.

I will have to do a follow-up post talking about starting up our server and all the goodies we loaded on it (Ruby! Mongo! Postfix!). Mostly, getting Arch loaded with all of its partitioning and disk mounts was enough for one evening’s work.