Installing Arch Linux on Virtual Box

From GlassTTY
Jump to: navigation, search

This article describes the steps I took to install Arch Linux on Virtual Box. The details below follow on from a basic installation as describes in the Arch Wiki (


Install as per the Wiki by downloading the 'Live' .iso image and using the following options;

  • MBR boot
  • single partition
  • locale /usr/share/zoneinfo/GB
  • Network Manager
  • GRUB

Ensure that /etc/locale.gen has the language uncommented.

Update all packages.

   pacman -Suy

Add Users

Follow the instructions here to add a user.


Follow the instructions here to install a SUDO user.


If during the installation, the locales are not correctly configured, Gnome Terminal may not open once system is in GUI Mode. For this reason consider installing XTerm as a means to temporarily access the command line when in Gnome. This can be removed once it is confirmed that Gnome Terminal is working as expected.

   pacman -S xterm


Install Gnome

   pacman -S gnome
   pacman -S gnome-extra

Install XOrg

   pacman -S xorg

Install the Gnome Desktop Manager (GDM)

   pacman -S gdm
   systemctl start gdm.service
   systemctl enable gdm.service

Virtual Box Guest Additions

Install the guest utils and select the virtualbox-guest-modules-arch

  pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

Set the framebuffer to the resolution of the host e.g. if the host is 1440x900 check that this exists.

   pacman -S hwinfo
   hwinfo --framebuffer

If the resolution doesn't appear in the list add it from the host command line

   MacBookAir:etc john$ VBoxManage setextradata "Arch Linux" "CustomVideoMode1" "1440x900x24" 

Re-check using hwinfo to ensure the resolution is now present.

   hwinfo --framebuffer

Edit /etc/default/grub to include a kernel parameter in the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT list, e.g:

   GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet video=1360x768"

Execute the following to commit these changes.

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

Folder Sharing

To make a host folder available in the guest OS simply use the VirtualBox GUI to select a folder to share, give it a name and then deselect Auto Mount and Read Only.

In the guest OS use a command such as the following. In this example the share is named 'vboxshare' and the linux mount point is ~/vboxshare. The command specifies the user with the uid of 1000.

   sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000 vboxshare ~/vboxshare


Install Tor

   pacman -S tor

Install Tor browser from AUR

   cd ~/builds
   curl -L -O
   tar -xvf tor-browser-en.tar.gz
   cd tor-browser-en

Install with

   makepkg -srfci

If the following message appears;

   tor-browser-linux64-7.0.6_en-US.tar.xz ... FAILED (unknown public key D1483FA6C3C07136)
   ==> ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!

This simply means that the public key to verify the signature is missing. To fix this use gpg to import the missing public key from a keyserver e.g.

   gpg --recv-keys D1483FA6C3C07136