Installing Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi with Wireless


I am building a hi-fi for the Land Rover using a Raspberry Pi as an MP3 player and interface server. It also contains a DAB radio development board and a self-designed board to act as a pre-amp for source selection and volume as well as controlling the power to the Pi.

Installing Arch Linux

The Arch Linux for ARM team have a great guide to installing on the Pi in the installation section. You will need to follow the guide specific to the type of Pi you are installing on, in my case B+.

Once you have installed the OS onto the SD card its time to boot. After boot, I updated the system.

pacman -Syu

Setting the locale

Edit the file /etc/locale.gen and uncomment your locale, en_GB.UTF-8 in my case. Then regenerate the locales


Set the Language for subsequent reboots by editing the file /etc/locale.conf to include:


Enabling wifi

I needed to get the wifi network working. Although the drivers for the USB wifi dongle I was using were included in the install, wpa_supplicant was not installed, which meant I could not get it to join my WPA protected network.

Unfortunately this is a bit "chicken and egg" as I needed a network connection to be able to use the network card. Back to the Ethernet cable...

After logging in I did the following to get the wifi working:

  • Install some additional packages:
pacman -S wpa_supplicant crda
  • setup the initial wpa_supplicant config file with the following lines which will allow wpa_cli to create the connection config:
  • Setup the wifi manually:
wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c wpa_supplicant.conf

Follow the prompts through wpa_cli and it will put a network section into your wpa_supplicant.conf file.

I am not too familiar with systemd, so have been around the houses here. I copied the network section into a new file called /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant-wlan0.conf, then enabled this interface-specific config, and dhcp for the interface using systemd:

systemd enable wpa_supplicant@wlan0
systemd enable dhcpcd@wlan0

After a reboot I had a working wireless interface...

I followed a couple of guides to get this working, neither of which were very complete. Although I now have a working config I am not sure this is the best way of getting networking up. Maybe take a look at netctl...

After managing to get the wifi working I came across this page, which gives a potentially simpler method. However, I haven't tried it...

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