Arch Linux laptop, UEFI, encrypted disk and hibernation

June 8, 2019

Based on this Gist, with hibernation added.

Installer USB

Download the latest ISO and dd it to your USB drive as per the official documentation.

With GNU/Linux (replace /dev/sdx with the proper drive):

dd if=archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=4M status=progress oflag=sync

Then boot on the USB.


Based on the install guide.

Connect to Wi-Fi if necessary.


Partition disk. I will go with a 256 MiB mixed EFI and boot partition, and the rest for a LUKS container, containing a 8 GiB swap (the size of my RAM to support hibernation) and the rest for the system.

Based on encrypting an entire system.

fdisk /dev/sdx
Command: n
Partition number: (default)
First sector: (default)
Last sector: +256M

Command: t
Partition type: 1 # EFI System

Command: n
Partition number: (default)
First sector: (default)
Last sector: (default)

Command: w
mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sdx1
cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sdx2
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdx2 luks
pvcreate /dev/mapper/luks
vgcreate vg0 /dev/mapper/luks
lvcreate -L 8G vg0 --name swap
lvcreate -l 100%FREE vg0 --name root
mkfs.ext4 /dev/vg0/root
mkswap /dev/vg0/swap

Mount partitions.

mount /dev/vg0/root /mnt
swapon /dev/vg0/swap
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt/boot

Install the base system together will necessary packages.

pacstrap /mnt base base-devel grub efibootmgr dialog wpa_supplicant

efibootmgr is necessary for GRUB to add the EFI boot entry, dialog for wifi-menu to work and wpa_supplicant for WPA.

I also tend to add zsh, vim and git here as well but they’re not strictly necessary.

Then, generate /etc/fstab.

genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
vim /mnt/etc/fstab

Change relatime to noatime on the root partition to reduce SSD wear.

Add tmpfs /tmp tmpfs rw,noatime,nodev,nosuid 0 0 if you want to keep /tmp in RAM.

chroot in the system.

arch-chroot /mnt

Setup the timezone (Montreal for me), and synchronize hardware clock.

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Montreal /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc

Uncomment the locale you desire in /etc/locale.gen (en_CA.UTF-8 for me, to have 24-hour clock format).

echo 'LANG=en_CA.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf'

Set the hostname.

echo myhostname > /etc/hostname

Edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf to add encrypt and lvm2 to HOOKS before filesystems. Also add resume after filesystems to support resuming from hibernation.

# Before
HOOKS=(base udev autodetect modconf block filesystems keyboard fsck)

# After
HOOKS=(base udev autodetect modconf block encrypt lvm2 filesystems resume keyboard fsck)
mkinitcpio -p linux

Setup the root password.


Edit /etc/default/grub to configure the encrypted disk by adding cryptdevice=/dev/sdx2:luks:allow-discards (again, replace /dev/sdx with the proper drive) to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX. I also added resume=/dev/vg0/swap for supporting hibernation (resuming from swap).

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="cryptdevice=/dev/sdx2:luks:allow-discards resume=/dev/vg0/swap"

Install GRUB and generate its configuration. Since I decided to have a shared EFI and boot partition, I need to tell GRUB that the EFI directory is /boot.

grub-install --efi-directory=/boot
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Teardown and reboot.

umount -R /mnt
swapoff -a

Post installation

Connect to Wi-Fi if necessary.


Automatically connect to available known networks on the Wi-Fi interface (replace wlp2s0 with your Wi-Fi interface).

systemctl enable netctl-auto@wlp2s0

Enable time synchronization.

systemctl enable systemd-timesyncd

Add user and set password.

useradd -m -G wheel -s /usr/bin/zsh val
passwd val

Install the packages you need. Here’s my personal selection.

For some reason PulseAudio will require a reboot to work.


Enable Bluetooth.

systemctl enable bluetooth

In practice I usually don’t enable Bluetooth and I systemctl start bluetooth and systemctl stop bluetooth as I need it.


I add the following to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf to have the touchpad work the way I like it to (natural scrolling and having the whole surface clickable).

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "libinput clickfinger"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "ClickMethod" "clickfinger"
        Option "NaturalScrolling" "true"

Auto hibernate after sustained suspend

If you want to have the system hibernate after being suspended for some time (3 hours by default as per /etc/systemd/sleep.conf HibernateDelaySec), run the following:

ln -s /usr/lib/systemd/system/systemd-suspend-then-hibernate.service /etc/systemd/system/systemd-suspend.service

The advantage of this solution is anything that would normally just suspend will suspend then hibernate, which is an easy way to make sure that in any case the system will hibernate if suspended for more than 3 hours to save battery.

Hack from this Reddit thread.

Final touch

After logging in with my regular user, I finish the configuration by cloning and installing my dotfiles.

git clone
cd dotfiles
make i3 i3blocks zsh vim git net x11 compton xfce4-terminal

Lastly, in Firefox I add the Vimium-FF and uBlock Origin extensions.

And here you go, a somewhat minimalist Arch Linux setup with everything needed to have a smooth laptop experience!