Tutorial: BlackArch Full Install on USB 3.0

October 25, 2016 | Views: 19132

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Necessary tools:

  • One USB 3.0 stick with at least 100G to be able to install all your tools and personal scripts
  • Another USB any type or DVD/CD, this is for the install
  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Latest blackarch live cd iso file HERE

Why? I do pen testing and Linux forensics and I always keep USB drives with clean and secure USB sticks handy.  I prefer USB# because of the speed; you won’t even notice you are working from a USB.  You can also use a usb2.x but it’s not nearly as fast and efficient, so your system’s speed will be compromised.


Step 1: Burn the downloaded blackarch GNU/Linux live ISO into the generic USB stick or CD/DVD, this will create a live CD/USB for you to boot into.

sudo dd bs=512M if=file.iso of=/dev/sdX

Change X for the target drive, usb or cd/dvd letter, example /dev/sdd

Step 2: Go to your laptop or desktop and boot into the BlackArch GNU/Linux live cd. 

Step 3: When booted, login with username root and password blackarch right click on the desktop for a menu, find “terminals” and open one.


Warning: Make sure you do write down the device name before performing the following step. If not, you could delete the local HD instead of writing to the USB.

Step 4: Connect your USB 3.x stick into your desktop or laptop, make sure it detects it and write down the device name. run dmsg to find out the device name

For the latest version of blackarch-install, you can configure the network.  Even though this is out of scope, a simple DHCP command should do.

Then:  sudo pacman -S blackarch-install-scripts

Now let’s start the installation: sudo blackarch-install

From here on, you can simply follow the instructions on the blackarch website.

When it asks for which device to do the installation onto, enter the USB 3.x stick device, for example, /dev/sdb

Just follow the installation instructions HERE. They are very easy, just make sure you install to the correct device.

Note 1: If you’re running this on VirtualBox later on, you will probably have to run “VBoxClient-all && xrandr –output VGA-0 –auto” so the resolution automatically changes when incrementing the window size.

Note 2: More to be added, contact me for suggestions. handle @cfernandez; channel(“#blackarch”) on @freenode

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  1. by the way, you cant log in to change anything. once it boots it says theres a read error with the usb device. cant do anything…

    • Hey hmm you must be doing something wrong, I build like 1000 of this for people and friends, in any case I need to update this, I am actually building a TAILS alike usb with blacharch will prob document the steps sooner than later.. follow us on hispagatos.org since our collective post there more.

  2. BTW there are some typos in the article is USB3 not USB# etc…

  3. 100GB pen drive?? where can i get one of those?

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