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#1 2013-01-15 19:33:31

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Installation without internet connection

Is it possible to install archlinux without an internet connection?

I want to do the installation on an old laptop, a Dell Inspiron 2500, that does not have an ethernet port or a wireless interface. The laptop boots from the CD that was made from the downloaded iso and the required partitions have been set up but when I look at the pacstrap script an internet connection seems to be  assumed.

Any comments or suggestions appreciated.

Best regards

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#2 2013-01-15 19:40:36

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,252

Re: Installation without internet connection

You can import the packages you need on USB drives.

You might get an external hard drive, connect it to a machine that does have connectivity, install to that drive using a chroot (or directly, for that matter), then move the drive to the crippled laptop, copy the drive to the internal drive.

Or; remove the drive from the laptop.  Move it to a machine with connectivity.  Install Arch to the drive.  Move the drive back to the crippled laptop.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Like you, I have no idea what you are doing, but I am pretty sure it is wrong...Jasonwryan
----
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#3 2013-01-16 03:10:08

fschiff
Member
Registered: 2011-10-06
Posts: 71

Re: Installation without internet connection

bombadill wrote:

Any comments or suggestions appreciated.

Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, implying that you have a reliable internet access, so for this hardware, a solid stable (ie. old packages) distribution might be called for.  I suggest Debian or Slackware or PC-BSD.

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#4 2013-01-16 03:50:55

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Installation without internet connection

I have to agree with the post above. You will not be able to see the benefits of Arch Linux without a consistent internet connection. I think for what you are trying to install on a traditional release cycle would be much much more suitable.

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#5 2013-01-16 10:24:01

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you all for your responses.

The overall intention was to develop a temperature measuring system, using 1 wire components (see http://www.maximintegrated.com/products/1-wire/), on a Raspberry Pi and to use the laptop installation as an introduction to this.

The laptop itself is a Dell Inspiron 2500, from 2001, with 128MB RAM and a 10GB hard disk so a version of linux that needs a lot of resources will not be suitable; before archlinux I tried kubuntu but the response was too slow to be usable.

Of the three suggested alternatives Slackware seems to be the most appropriate.

As before any comments or suggestions much appreciated.

Best regards.

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#6 2013-01-16 10:29:04

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,835

Re: Installation without internet connection

Hmm... I don't see how installing Arch on unsuitable 12 year old hardware serves as an introduction to installing the unofficial ARM port of Archlinux on a RPi. If it's just the installation process you're looking for, use a VM to familiarise yourself with it.

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#7 2013-01-16 12:26:13

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Installation without internet connection

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Of … .5Bcore.5D

Note: This repository used to be included in the core installation media, so you could build a fully working base system without Internet access. This is no longer the case. Internet access is now required in order to install a new system. See here if you would like to create a local repository with packages from [core] or from any of the other repositories.


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#8 2013-01-16 16:47:39

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you both for your responses.

Firstly, thanks to DSpider for the note clearly saying that an internet connection is required for a new system; I will try installing to the laptop hard disk via another PC that has an internet connection.

Secondly, in response to tomk's "Hmm...", as I have no experience of using archlinux I hoped that an installation on the laptop would be a relatively simple way of getting a feel for it. The other motivation being a loose version of wanting to see how an old laptop would cope with some current software.

Finally, with regard to using a VM could you suggest a location where additional information on this option might be found?

Best regards.

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#9 2013-01-16 17:06:22

Gyroplast
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-09-03
Posts: 166
Website

Re: Installation without internet connection

bombadill wrote:

Firstly, thanks to DSpider for the note clearly saying that an internet connection is required for a new system; I will try installing to the laptop hard disk via another PC that has an internet connection.

Fortunately, this is not the case, as this "clear note" points to another wiki page showing you how it's done, anyway. wink

What isn't possible anymore without an internet connection is a complete offline installation from a standard ArchLinux medium alone. It is no problem, as I can personally attest, to install ArchLinux offline, as long as you "register" your own, custom package repository (which may be a clone of [core] if you like) in the /etc/pacman.conf during installation, before running pacstrap. Creating your own repo from a bunch of downloaded packages is annoyingly simple, so there's no reason not to do it for an installation. The installer shell is pretty complete, so just mount yourself silly with external media.

You may also include any other packages from [extra] or even the AUR in your "own" repository right way, and install it all in one swoop with pacstrap. No need to start with a "minimum base" here.

A VM is a good idea to try this out first, though.

Best regards,
  Gyro


"That's the problem with good advice. Nobody wants to hear it."
-- Dogbert

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#10 2013-01-16 17:19:21

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you for your response and for clarifying the clarification ...

I noticed the link but decided that the first part was the significant bit.

Instead of moving the hard disk I will try a custom package repository.

Best regards.

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#11 2013-01-16 17:36:42

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,835

Re: Installation without internet connection

VM = Virtual Machine. You need to install virtualisation software e.g. VirtualBox, VMWare, etc, on your current system (the host) and then install an Arch system (the guest) inside that. Arch-specifc info about this is in our wiki.

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#12 2013-01-17 16:19:15

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Ok and thank you for your help.

Best regards

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#13 2013-01-18 11:25:15

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

I would appreciate some additional assistance on how to use the installation CD as a custom repository, as I havn't been able to find specific instructions on how to do this.

The CD is mounted to /mnt/repo and contains four directories, arch/, EFI/, isolinux/ and loader/. The question is which of these should be added to the [custom] section of /etc/pacman.conf.

The unedited version of the [custom] section of /etc/pacman.conf is as follows:

#[custom]
#Siglevel = Optional TrustAll
#Server = file:///home/custompkgs

I presume that all of the # symbols should be removed and mnt/repo replaces home/custompkgs along with the appropriate directory from the CD. Also, what should be entered on the second line?

Best regards.

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#14 2013-01-18 13:13:41

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,124

Re: Installation without internet connection

WonderWoofy wrote:

I have to agree with the post above. You will not be able to see the benefits of Arch Linux without a consistent internet connection. I think for what you are trying to install on a traditional release cycle would be much much more suitable.

It is a common misconception, that Arch without an internet connection is not a good idea. I've been without a real connection since October. I can only get updates at the university and I have two non-mobile systems. They are all updated once a week with little effort. Not only is it very easy to update a system without a direct connection, Arch has qualities to offer beyond the update cycle. Stop discouraging users with this mantra.

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#15 2013-01-21 20:14:36

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you for your response.

Attempting to install archlinux without an internet connection does seem to be a somewhat controversial subject, I can understand that for the sake of uniformity having a connection is better but on the other hand after downloading about 600MB of data it should surely be possible to just use it. However, as this is not the place for philosophy back to more mundane matters.

I have followed all the instructions that I can find and guessed the rest but have failed to complete the installation. The file pacman.conf was edited as follows:

[arch]
Siglevel = PackageRequired
Server = file:///mnt/repo/arch

The installation fails and indicates that a file called arch.db is required but cannot be found.

Any suggestions on the correct entries would be appreciated.

Best regards

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#16 2013-01-21 20:25:11

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,835

Re: Installation without internet connection

Did you run repo-add at any stage? That should have been part of the instructions.

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#17 2013-01-22 19:24:30

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you for your response.

I did not run repo-add and it seems that I also need to run makepkg in order to build a package database; in addition I need to know which files from the CD should be included.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that without considerably more knowledge than I currently possess about archlinux, doing an installation without an internet connection is not a practical option.

Best regards.

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#18 2013-01-22 19:44:04

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Installation without internet connection

Was there something unclear about the required steps from the article?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pa … _USB_stick


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#19 2013-01-22 20:23:33

Stebalien
Member
Registered: 2010-04-27
Posts: 1,218
Website

Re: Installation without internet connection

Just as an FYI, it is possible to run the Ethernet protocol over USB. If you have another computer with an internet connection, you could route your laptop's traffic through a USB cable and use that computer as a gateway. You'll have to figure out the details yourself.


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#20 2013-01-24 09:56:57

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you both for your responses.

The link supplied by DSpider does not lack clarity but it does not seem to directly apply to the setup that I am working on.

The commands that I executed initially were as follows:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/home

After this the first instruction in the supplied link gave the following:

cd ~/Packages
cd:cd:6: no such file or directory: /root/Packages

Also when I mount the CD there is no directory called Packages.

I seem to be missing something about how to make a package database from the installation CD.

Any comments appreciated.

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#21 2013-01-24 12:17:21

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,370
Website

Re: Installation without internet connection

cd ~
mkdir Packages

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#22 2013-01-24 14:21:18

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Installation without internet connection

The (implied) pre-requisites for the "cd /Packages" command if your only Arch Linux system is the LiveCD, are:

- Establish an internet connection.
- Choose a mirror from where you want to download from.
- Mount a partition somewhere that will hold the actual files (e.g. mount it in "/mnt").
- Create a "Packages" folder on the mounted partition (e.g. using "mkdir /mnt/Package").

See the Beginners' Guide for how to do these. Then "cd" to that "Packages" folder (or whatever you wanna name it), and run the rest of the commands from there to download the actual files and so on.


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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#23 2013-01-24 14:51:20

bombadill
Member
From: ..idir na sléibhte agus an trá
Registered: 2013-01-15
Posts: 14

Re: Installation without internet connection

Thank you for your response and for your patience.

The original point of this thread was to establish if an arch linux installation can be completed without an internet connection, so as an internet connection now seems to be a prerequisite - "Establish an internet connection" is it actually the case that installation is not possible without an internet connection?

Best regards

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#24 2013-01-24 15:10:24

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,835

Re: Installation without internet connection

Read the article again. Clearly, you need a working internet connection - unless you expect somebody to send the packages to you in the post?! The point is you don't need a connection on the machine you are installing. You are posting here in the forum, which means you are online.

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#25 2013-01-24 16:52:40

DSpider
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Installation without internet connection

If you were hoping to somehow magically extract a core install from the install CD, it's just not possible. It doesn't contain Xorg, or a DE/WM or any of that graphical stuff.

The idea is that you can use the LiveCD, on a machine with internet access (how else are you going to download them?), burn or transfer a "Packages" folder (or whatever you wanna call it) to a CD or USB stick and then do the install with this local repository, on whatever machine doesn't have internet access.

It's doable.


"How to Succeed with Linux"

I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).

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