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First, I am new to Arch Linux. I have installed Arch Linux on my system and now when I try to install something using pacman, it gives me an error that the key 'xxxxxxx' was not found.

I Googled and found out I should have run pacman-key --init.
Now when I run pacman-key --init, it seems to go on for ever. I waited for more than 45 minutes, but still no result. I think it has something to do with generating Entropy.

Any idea what is wrong?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Nothing is wrong. As the Arch Wiki notes:

For this initialization entropy is required. Moving your mouse around, pressing random characters at the keyboard or running some disk-based activity (for example in another console running ls -R / or find / -name foo) should generate entropy. If your system does not already have sufficient entropy, this step may take hours; if you actively generate entropy it will complete much more quickly.

You can read more about entropy in the Linux Kernel on Wikipedia.

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I ran the ls -R / many times in another terminal session (while running pacman-key), but no result. – John Smith Jun 20 '12 at 7:05
Try something else that generates IO; redirecting output to a file and editing in vi is what I did last time around... – jasonwryan Jun 20 '12 at 7:10
I did ls -R / > somefile and then vi somefile. Then I deleted a line and wrote the buffer to the disk (dd and :w) repeatedly. It completed very soon! Thank you. – John Smith Jun 21 '12 at 4:02

You do not need vi or edit file , if you run ls -R / | xargs -I {} echo {}

Run that commad , and on new session run pacman-key --init

You get key less than 5 minutes

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