The KISS guide to get started with Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre.

The intention with this guide is to show a very simple way of how to boot Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre from an optical disk or a Live USB stick and then how to install it the easiest way possible onto your HDD. It will avoid controversies like what desktop environment is the best?, how many partitions do I need? and how many GB should my swap partition be? and so on. This guide will only provide the basic steps to get you started.

Download and verify the live image

Once you have downloaded the Live image as described you should verify it following these guidelines. Make sure to change your BIOS settings so that your computer will boot from your optical disk or USB stick.

Burn the image to your optical disk

To create a disk to use as your install medium, insert a blank or re-writable disk, CD or DVD, into your disk drive. Next, you will need to mount the disk.

# mount sr0

Provided your computer has a disk drive. Sr0 should the first or only, if you only have one disk drive, mount point of disk drives. You will need to address the correct destination for the command to work.

# dd if=~/hyperbola-milky-way-v0.2.1-dual.iso of=/dev/sr0 bs=2048 conv=noerror && sync

Write the image to your USB

If you don’t have an ISO writer, go (change directory) to the folder where you saved the downloaded Live image (probably the Downloads folder) and type the following into your terminal:

# dd if=hyperbola-milky-way-v0.2.1-dual.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=2048 && sync
Usually works fine, even though I’ve seen other commands; feel free to modify it.

To find out what’s the name of the USB device, type fdisk -l

You’ll probably see something like this:

Device             Boot    Start                  End              Sectors               Size        Id    Type
/dev/sda1                    2048                   8390655       8388608              4G           82    Linux swap /Solaris
/dev/sda2       *          8390656             976773167  968382512          461,8G   83    Linux
Device             Boot    Start                 End              Sectors                Size        Id    Type
/dev/sdb1       *           0                         1255423      1255424               613M      0     Empty
/dev/sdb2                     172                    63659           63488                   31M        ef    EFI (FAT-12/16/32)

From the above, sda is your HDD, and the sdb is your USB device where you’re going to write your Live image.

Also take a note of your partitions, you will come to need it when you’re creating the file system and mounting the root partition during the installation.

Once you’ve downloaded, verified and written the Live image to your USB device, you can move on to boot your computer from your USB.

Boot and install Hyperbola

Once your computer has successfully booted into the Live USB device, type the following into you terminal:

# cfdisk /dev/sda

This will bring up a graphical partitioning table, and will look somewhat like fig. 1 (see above). Use the Tab and arrow keys to navigate. This is assuming that you want Hyperbola installed on your HDD.

Delete all the partitions so that you only see Free Space.

Then make a new partition by choosing New and then make it Primary. Make this first partition a Swap. 1/4 of you computer’s memory should be enough. So with 8 GB of memory, your Swap would then be 2 GB. Then choose the End flag.

The rest of the space should be made Primary, then choose the Boot flag to make this partition bootable. Then choose Write and type ’yes’ to save your changes to disk. Then Quit.

You will then have something like this:

sda2 Boot  Primary  Linux
sda1             Primary  Linux  Swap / Solaris

Take note of the fact that the root partition that you soon will mount, is the bootable one (in this example the sda2) that you made from the rest of the space after creating the Swap partition.

Create a file system

If you’re not using an English keyboard, you can set your language by typing loadkeys followed by you language. Available keymap files can be found in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/ (you can omit the keymap path and file extension when using loadkeys). For Swedish users, type:

# loadkeys se.

To create the ext4 file system, type:

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2

Activate swap

# mkswap /dev/sda1
# swapon /dev/sda1

Mount the root partition

# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt

Install the base system

# pacstrap /mnt base

Generate an fstab

# genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Chroot and configure the base system

# arch-chroot /mnt



# nano /etc/locale.gen

Now choose your locale from what language you’re using. All locales are commented out (preceded by #) by default. Uncomment (remove the #) for your choice of locale. For US English, it should look like this:

# nano /etc/locale.gen
#en_SG ISO-8859-1
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
#en_US ISO-8859-1

After you’ve uncommented your language, run the command:

# locale-gen

Then create the /etc/locale.conf

# echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf 

Then export your chosen locale

# export LANG=en_US.UTF-8


As the locale, you need to setup the keymap in the file /etc/conf.d/keymaps:


If you have an advanced usage of your keymap, you can watch the other functionalities, documented in the comments. You can find all the available keymaps in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps. Then run:

# rc-update add keymaps default
This only applies for CLI, is you are using X11, this won't affect your graphical environment.

Time zone

Create a symbolic link /etc/localtime to your subzone file /usr/share/zoneinfo/Zone/SubZone:

# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Zone/SubZone /etc/localtime


# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Oslo /etc/localtime

If you get ln: failed to create symbolic link ’/etc/localtime’: File exists, then run:

# ln -s -f /usr/share/zoneinfo/Zone/SubZone /etc/localtime

Hardware clock

Set the hardware clock to UTC

# hwclock --systohc --utc


Usually it’s sufficient to set your hostname to localhost.

# echo localhost > /etc/hostname

Add the same hostname, i.e. localhost, to /etc/hosts.


# nano /etc/hosts
# <ip-address> <> <hostname>                localhost.localdomain     localhost localhost
::1                             localhost.localdomain     localhost localhost

Root password

Remember when you’re typing in your root password (as any password) into the terminal, it won’t show. Just carefully type in your chosen root password and repeat it when asked to.

# passwd


Finally follow these steps:

# pacman -S grub
# grub-install –target=i386-pc –recheck /dev/sda

(Here do NOT append a partition number, i.e. /dev/sdaX)

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Unmount the partitions and reboot

# exit
# umount -R /mnt
# reboot

Remember to remove your installation medium (your USB stick) before you reboot into your system. To log in, you type root and your password.

Congratulations! You have now installed Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre onto you computer.

And now for the fun part!


You will now have to create a user and get user privileges like sudo. And of course, you will have to install your favourite Desktop Environment (DE).

Talk about Beguinners guide