Arch Linux on the Pi

The following steps describe how to download the Arch Linux operating system, transfer it to your SD Card and start using it on the Pi. Arch Linux leaves a lot for you to do to install exactly what you want so is not intended for beginners. At present there is no easy way of installing Lazarus and we have had mixed results with the Free Pascal compiler.

  1. Start your Internet browser and go to http://www.utorrent.com/downloads to install a Bit Torrent Client.
    This allows you to use BitTorrent links for downloading large files. These share the downloading and prevent overloading of the servers for the RaspberryPi site.
  2. Download a zipped binary containing an Arch Linux (hard float) OS from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
  3. Unzip the .zip file and make a note of where it is stored.
  4. Download the zipped Image Writer for Windows from https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer
  5. Unzip the zipped Image Writer for Windows to a folder that you can locate easily.
    (Our win32diskimager-binary containing the executable is in the Program Files (x86) folder).
  6. With an SD card in the card reader/writer (or in a USB card reader/writer to connect to a USB port), execute the Image Writer to copy the Arch Linux .img file to your card.
  7. Edit config.txt (e.g. with Notepad) to configure the output for your screen. We appended the lines hdmi_group=2 and hdmi_mode=16
    The first line indicates a digital monitor. The second gives a 1024 x 768 pixel display at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. (This was the highest resolution we achieved without any horizontal black lines or flickering).
  8. Connect your mouse, keyboard, Internet cable, USB hub (with power off) and screen to your Pi, and firmly press in the SD card.
  9. Connect the power cable and power-up the Pi and hub.
  10. Press Enter if necessary and log on as root with password root.
  11. Expand the file system root to fill available space by inputting the following (taken from this page on the Arch Linux ARM forum) at the command prompt.
    1. fdisk /dev/mmcblk0
    2. d
    3. 2
    4. n
    5. p
    6. 2
    7. Enter
    8. Enter
    9. w
    (This will not actually take place until you boot up again).
  12. At the command prompt type reboot so that the file system root will be expanded.

Follow the steps on the next page to install some applications that will make it easier for you to use the OS (a GUI, web browser and text editors) and Free Pascal.

Programming - a skill for life!

Setting up the Raspberry Pi, installing Lazarus, use of the GPIO port (with and without PiFace), web servers and remote control