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#1 2021-10-16 11:15:43

skythedragon
Member
Registered: 2021-10-12
Posts: 16

[SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

tldr: When the installer asks what partitions it needs, set the partition you want to use for file storage to use the mount point /, and the efi partition to the mount point /boot

I want to use archinstall to install arch on my laptop and make it dual boot, however when selecting partitions it gets stuck in an infinite loop of "leave blank when done"

I found this post (https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=266072) which describes the exact issue, and suggests mounting the needed partitions to / and /boot

if I select the rel mountpoints to / and /boot it works for the most part, but at the end the installation it fails due to not finding "loader.conf" in /boot
Do I need to select a special partition to use for /boot?
(I assume / is the partition to use as the linux file system)

Last edited by skythedragon (2021-10-22 15:03:00)

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#2 2021-10-16 13:14:10

roccobaroccoSC
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Registered: 2021-10-04
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

I don't have any experience with archinstall because I install manually ( following the arch installation guide: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Installation_guide ).
I will give you a general explanation about those directories:

* /boot is where you place all files necessary to initially boot your system, including the later stage bootloader like Grub or Syslinux (the early stage is either on the Master Boot Record or in a EFI system partition) and your Kernel binary with an optional initrd image.
* / is where your system root is. When the kernel in /boot is loaded, it starts Linux at a specific root directory which will become your / directory when you login.

/ and /boot do not necessarily need to be on separate partitions. They might be in the same partition, then boot is simply a subdirectory of /. However, it is important that your early stage boot loader can mount and read from your /boot partition.
Normally /boot is kept on a simple, small and unencrypted partition, so that the boot loader can easily access it. Then when you load the kernel from /boot, it can do more complicated stuff and mount your / partition (for example, decrypt it, mount a ZFS pool or something else).

A very simple setup is to use Grub, put your /boot on a small ext2 partition (1 GB) and then put the / on a bigger ext4 formatted partition. You can add a swap partition of a couple of gig depending on your system and RAM.

I do not know what a loader.conf does. My system does not have any loader.conf in /boot but that's probably because you use a different bootloader. I do have Syslinux's configuration in /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg because I use Syslinux as a bootloader.

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#3 2021-10-16 13:30:16

skythedragon
Member
Registered: 2021-10-12
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Thanks for the reply, I use systemd boot as a bootloader, as that (or grub) is suggested by archinstall. I'll try again and see what the full error message is

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#4 2021-10-16 14:11:52

roccobaroccoSC
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Registered: 2021-10-04
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Then try installing with another bootloader, Grub is a very good alternative.

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#5 2021-10-16 14:14:53

WorMzy
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From: Scotland
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Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Mod note: Moving to archinstall subforum.


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#6 2021-10-16 14:20:42

roccobaroccoSC
Member
Registered: 2021-10-04
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

I think I got it. You probably have to manually create a loader.conf file for systemd-boot and you haven't.
The documentation is here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/System … figuration

Here is what they propose as example (ESP is where your EFI system partition is mounted):

# esp/loader/loader.conf

default  arch.conf
timeout  4
console-mode max
editor   no

Last edited by roccobaroccoSC (2021-10-16 14:21:12)

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#7 2021-10-16 20:11:19

skythedragon
Member
Registered: 2021-10-12
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Hmm, the loader was automatically generated when I used systemd-boot and formatted an entire drive (live usb)

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#8 2021-10-16 20:23:09

skythedragon
Member
Registered: 2021-10-12
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Maybe I should assign the efi partition to /boot?
According to gparted I do have one (260mb, ~40mb is used), and the live usb also has one (512mb there, created via archinstall)

I tried to install where I just had an extra (ext4) partition I assigned to /boot, but that seems to be wrong

Last edited by skythedragon (2021-10-16 20:35:12)

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#9 2021-10-22 15:01:46

skythedragon
Member
Registered: 2021-10-12
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Ok that worked

Assigning my existing efi partition to /boot and my ext4 partition to / allowed it to install!

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#10 2021-11-16 16:28:02

roccobaroccoSC
Member
Registered: 2021-10-04
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED]archinstall with existing partitions

Using your ESP as /boot is OK, this makes a few things simple. You *could* have separate ESP, /boot and / partitions also. It's your choice.
Also, you could put /boot inside your root partition, but then you must make sure your boot loader can detect ext4 filesystems. If you use GRUB, you need to configure it to load the ext4 module and that works.
Combining everything in a single partition is tricky, because EFI wants your ESP to be FAT16 and it's simply too small. If you use MBR and legacy boot then you don't need an ESP and you can have a single partition with everything on it with GRUB as bootloader.

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