Dual Booting Windows & Arch Linux

Having spent far too much time reinstalling my desktop this weekend, I thought it best to write up the process.

Before continuing, boot into the machine’s BIOS to enable UEFI booting and disable Secure Boot.

Windows 10

  1. Download the latest image and install it on a flash drive.
  2. Ensure that the machine boots with this flash drive in UEFI mode.
  3. Follow the wizard and delete all existing partitions.
  4. Create a new partition for Windows, leaving suitable unallocated space for Linux.
  5. Wait for the installation to complete and then disable fast startup.

Arch Linux


Run cgdisk /dev/sdX to view the partitions on the primary hard disk. You should see the following partitions from the Windows installation:

1   529.0 MiB   Windows RE              Basic data partition
2   100.0 MiB   EFI system partition    EFI system partition
3   16.0 MiB    Microsoft reserver      Microsoft reserved partition
4   97.0 GiB    Microsoft basic data    Basic data partition
    140.8 GiB   free space

Navigate the text based partition editor and claim the remaining free space:

4   ...
5   140.8 GiB   Linux filesystem        root


Encrypt the root partition and open the new LUKS device:

cryptsetup -c aes-xts-plain64 -y --use-random luksFormat /dev/sdX5
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdX5 luks


Setup a physical volume (PV) with a volume group (VG) and two logical volumes (LV):

pvcreate /dev/mapper/luks
vgcreate vg0 /dev/mapper/luks
lvcreate --size 8G vg0 --name swap
lvcreate -l +100%FREE vg0 --name root

mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/vg0-root
mkswap /dev/mapper/vg0-swap

Mount the root volume, enable the swap and mount the EFI partition created by Windows:

mount /dev/mapper/vg0-root /mnt
swapon /dev/mapper/vg0-swap
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sdX2 /mnt/boot



pacstrap /mnt base base-devel grub efibootmgr intel-ucode dialog wpa_supplicant linux linux-firmware lvm2 dhcpcd
pacstrap /mnt zsh vim git

File System Table (fstab)

genfstab -pU /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Add the following line to /mnt/etc/fstab:

tmpfs	/tmp	tmpfs	defaults,noatime,mode=1777	0	0


arch-chroot /mnt

System Clock

ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc --utc


echo $HOSTNAME > /etc/hostname


Uncomment en_GB.UTF-8 UTF-8 in /etc/locale.gen and run:



Set the root password:


Add a new user and set their password:

useradd -m -g users -G wheel -s /bin/zsh $USERNAME
passwd $USERNAME

Enter visudo:


Uncomment the following line:

## Uncomment to allow members of group wheel to execute any command
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL


Edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and add encrypt and lvm2 to HOOKS before filesystems.

Regenerate the initramfs with the linux preset:

mkinitcpio -p linux

Install a bootloader:

bootctl --path=/boot install

Edit /boot/loader/loader.conf and replace the contents with the following:

default arch
timeout 3
editor 0

Add a bootloader entry in /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf:

title Arch Linux
linux /vmlinuz-linux
initrd /initramfs-linux.img
options cryptdevice=UUID=${UUID}:volume root=/dev/mapper/vg0-root rw

Replace ${UUID} with the UUID of your root partition. If you use vim to edit the file above, run the following command to automatically read this in:

:read ! blkid /dev/sdX5


umount -R /mnt
swapoff -a


If the PC boots directly to Windows, you may need to edit the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). Open a powershell instance with administrator privileges and run the following command:

bcdedit /set "{bootmgr}" path "\EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI"


Several additional components are required to make the system usable. In this section I will list the dependencies to get Wayland up and running with the Sway window manager. Access Arch Linux from the boot menu and login.

sudo pacman -S wayland waybar xorg-server-xwayland sway termite dmenu

Before starting, copy the example config to your user’s home directory:

mkdir -p ~/.config/sway
cp /etc/sway/config ~/.config/sway/

Run sway from the command line or add this to autostart.


git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git
cd yay
makepkg -si