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I have Ubuntu installed on my computer. I decided to install Arch linux, but I skipped the part about Grub installation as it is already installed. Seeing that Arch does not show up in Grub's menu list, I decided to install it in Arch. I mounted Arch's partition in Ubuntu and I chrooted into it. I issued the command pacman -S grub-bios and got the following :

error: could not open file: /etc/mtab: No such file or directory
error: could not determine filesystem mount points
error: failed to commit transaction (unexpected error)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.

/etc/mtab is a symlink to /proc/self/mounts, but there is nothing in the /proc folder.

What am I doing wrong?

As a complement, am I going in the right direction to make Arch appear in Grub's list? EDIT : I was able to make Arch appear in Grub's list from Ubuntu by doing sudo mount /dev/sdaX (replace X with Arch's partition number) before sudo update-grub.

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Did you mount {/proc,/sys/,/dev} as per the wiki entry for chroot? – jasonwryan Apr 6 '13 at 22:55
Yes, I now get a series of errors like this : error: failed retrieving file 'grub-bios-2.00-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from mirror.cinosure.com : Could not resolve host: (nil); Unknown error – Gradient Apr 6 '13 at 22:59
But shouldn't my Arch partition be independent from the others? – Gradient Apr 6 '13 at 23:15
Did you copy /etc/resolv.conf into the chroot? Otherwise the chrooted programs don't know your DNS settings. – t-8ch Apr 7 '13 at 9:42
Try updating your package database: pacman -Sy. You may also want to try generating a new mirror list. – Evan Teitelman Apr 7 '13 at 12:01
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Remember to arch-chroot and not simply chroot - that way /proc will be populated and pacman will function as expected.

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I've edited it slightly so that it doesn't sound like a comment and removed the flag :-) – garethTheRed Aug 15 '14 at 19:03
Right, thank you. I'm still not entirely used to the conventions on this site :) – Brean Aug 16 '14 at 10:40

Per OP's edit, he got Arch to appear in GRUB by manually mounting his Arch partition and then rerunning sudo update-grub in Ubuntu.

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Do you have IPv6 enabled? I'm unable to use pacman with IPv6 enabled on any of my machines. You should try to disable it.

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