Archbox Makes It Easy To Install Software From Arch Linux On Other Linux Distributions (Using A Chroot Environment)

Archbox Arch Linux

Archbox is a set of scripts that make it easy to install Arch Linux inside a chroot environment on other Linux distributions, and integrate it with your existing Linux installation.

The developer notes that this was created to make the Arch Linux repositories and AUR available on other Linux distributions:

Ever since I'm running some niche distros like Void, Solus, I had a problem finding software I need in their not-so-large repositories, also I don't like how flatpak and snap work. So i decided to create an Arch Linux chroot environment everytime I distrohop. Why Arch Linux? They have really, really good repositories, oh and don't mention how big AUR is.

So using this, you'll be able to install and use any Arch Linux package, be it from the official repositories or AUR, on other Linux distributions, and integrate it with your current Linux installation. All, without losing any performance since this is running on the host kernel.

Besides installing Arch Linux in a chroot environment, Archbox also provides integration / options for easily running graphical applications on the chrooted environment, autostarting systemd services on boot, running commands on boot, adding environment variables for the chroot jail, adding applications installed in the Arch Linux chroot jail to the applications menu (or launch them using Rofi), and more.

You might also like: Groot Simplifies Entering Chroot On Any Linux Distribution

This is archbox-desktop, a GUI created using Zenity that's part of Archbox, which allows adding .desktop entries for applications installed in the Arch Linux chroot, to your main Linux installation menu:

The Archbox developer has included instructions for installing, configuring and using this in the Archbox project description, so there's not much more I can add. However, I do have some notes:

  • To install the chroot environment, you'll need to run sudo archbox --create <archlinux tarball download link>. You can find the Arch Linux tarball download link by going to the Arch Linux downloads page, scroll down to the HTTP Direct Downloads section, click on a mirror, and then make sure you copy the link to the .tar.gz file, and not the ISO, torrent, etc.
  • For running Archbox without a password (required if for example you want to integrate the applications installed in the chroot environment with your host system applications menu), the Archbox instructions mention "You may want to add this if you don't want to use Archbox without password". In fact, these instructions are for running Archbox without a password (Archbox requires a password by default). Also, the group wheel listed there is not used by all Linux distributions; for example on Ubuntu you'll need to use the sudo group there, instead of wheel
  • Completely removing Archbox: The instructions don't mention this, but to remove the Arch Linux chroot files, after unmounting everything in the chroot environment, remove the /var/archlinux folder. That's where all the chroot environment files reside. Archbox also installs 2 executables (archbox and archbox-desktop) in /usr/local/bin, and some others in the /usr/local/share/archbox directory. There's also the /etc/archbox.conf file which you can remove if you want to completely get rid of everything installed by Archbox. You may also want to remove any desktop files installed by Archbox from ~/.local/share/applications/archbox

[[Edit]] The developer has updated the Archbox project page to include what I wrote in the notes above.

This being said, head over to the Archbox GitHub project page for more information, installation instructions and various tweaks. Make sure you read the known issues before installing it.