Test drive

Want to try Darch quickly without committing too much effort? Try it out in a VM!

BEFORE PROCEEDING: Although this page is still valid, there is a much easier way to try out Darch, using pre-built VM images (vhd, vmdk, etc). Read this for more info.


  1. Any Linux-based distribution can be used as a guest operating system.
  2. Must be using grub2.

If you setup a VM with Arch as guest, you may use a variation of this script during the installation processes. This also installs Darch for you. If you go down this route, you can jump to Step 2: Obtaining recipes.

Step 1: Install Darch

If you are on Arch Linux, you can install it from the AUR. Otherwise, head over to the GitHub Releases and download the Darch binaries. There are two packages you can download.

  • darch-amd64-with-runtime.tar.gz - Contains Darch, but with containerd and runc baked into it.
  • darch-amd64.tar.gz - Contains just Darch.

If you download Darch without the runtime backed into it, you must manually install a valid version of containerd (>=1.0.1) and runc on your system.

After you extract/install the tarball, ensure that containerd is running (sudo systemctl start containerd).

To verify containerd is running, run sudo ctr version. To verify Darch can connect to it, run sudo darch images list.

To enable Darch boot entries in grub, run sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

That’s it! Darch is installed and running!

Step 2: Obtaining recipes

You can get images in 1 of 2 ways.

Option 1: Pre-built images

You may use my prebuilt Arch Linux images to test the waters.

sudo darch images pull pauldotknopf/darch-arch-base:latest && \
sudo darch stage upload pauldotknopf/darch-arch-base:latest

Also, you may use pauldotknopf/darch-arch-plasma:latest if you wish to boot into a KDE environment.

Option 2: Build your own

You can compile the images yourself. Normally, you’d want to utilize your own recipes, but you can use mine if you like.

git clone [email protected]:pauldotknopf/darch-recipes.git
cd darch-recipes
sudo darch images pull godarch/arch:latest
sudo darch recipes build base
sudo darch stage upload base

Step 3: Reboot!

That’s it! Reboot your VM to see the new grub entry!

Next, you may want to dig into hooks to setup persisted mount points (/home, /var/lib/games, etc) and custom /etc/hostname files.