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Arch Linux virtual machine

·3 mins·
Arch Linux is registered trademark of the Arch Linux project

Arch Linux with Black Arch repositories #

Small and customised Arch Linux-based virtual machine can be used in many courses. This Linux distribution might have a different package manager than many have used, but it has an excellent wiki for possible problem situations and is good for learning. See Arch Linux Wiki.

The virtual machine has only a minimal amount of tools pre-installed in case you don’t have enough space on a hard drive. The package ecosystem is large, and the desired pre-build package will be most likely to be found if you are willing to install tools by yourself. It will also offer the latest available versions of the tools all the time.

Look for packges from

All of the repositories are pre-configured.

Image information #

The image uses Gnome Desktop Environment as default and includes some core packages, e.g. browser, the code editor and some programming languages.

  • Username: arch
  • Password: arch

x86_64 Linux, Intel Macbooks, and Windows systems #

Image is distributed in OVA format for x86_64 architectures. This image is intended for VirtualBox or VMware.

VirtualBox guest additions are included. For VMware, you need to configure open-vm-tools by yourself to allow a shared clipboard and other utilities.

OVA files can be directly imported into VirtualBox or VMware. You must configure basics, e.g. RAM and CPU core amount. At least 4GB ram and 2 cores are recommended.

If you face a freezing screen on the start-up in VirtualBox, change the display driver to another one.

M1/M2 Macbooks #

For ARM-based M1/M2 Macbooks, the image is distributed in qcow2 format. The ARM image uses Arch Linux ARM (unofficial) as a base, and package availability might differ for x86_64 version.

Use UTM.

Download the qcow2 image. It does not have marked file extension. You need to create a dummy virtual machine at first (not emulation and not preconfigured!), and then replace the empty virtual hard drive with the downloaded one.

The image is UEFI bootable.

Black Arch repositories #

You can directly install Black Arch tools if you need some special ones, from the collection of 2800+ tools.

Only a few are preinstalled to save disk space.

See their tools section for available tools.

Installing packages #

Update the package index

sudo pacman -Sy

Install package (You can look from here for official packages and for penetration testing tools.)

sudo pacman -S <package-name>

Remove package

sudo pacman -R <package-name>

Remove package and its dependencies

sudo pacman -Rcns <package-name>

Upgrade all packages

sudo pacman -Syu

Clean all the packages which have no dependencies (however, might remove something you need as well!)

sudo pacman -Qdtq

Clean package cache

sudo pacman -Scc

Installing AUR packages #

Arch Linux has a large user-supplied package ecosystem, which is located in a different repository. See Usually, you need some kind of helper for installing these packages.

yay helper has been pre-installed for installing AUR packages.

Install AUR package (Note, that sudo is not included in the initial command, when compared to pacman)

yay -S <aur-package-name>

Remove AUR package

yay -R <aur-package-name>

Upgrade all packages