I'm trying to install Arch-Linux from a USB stick. I copied the iso onto the stick using Unetbootin and made changes to the syslinux file as per the wiki. But the installation throws up a "mount: you need to specify a filesystem type" error.

  • 2
    Use dd to create the image...
    – jasonwryan
    Oct 9, 2014 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


You probably forgot to format your partitions first. Assuming /dev/sda is your hard drive (where you wish to install Arch) :

$ fdisk /dev/sda
[create your partitions using fdisk]

More information about fdisk here. Then just use mkfs to format them all. Here are two examples creating ext4 filesystems.

$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
$ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
$ # ...

After this, mount should be able to detect your filesystems correctly.

$ mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
$ mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/home
$ # ...

Otherwise, just specify them explicitly:

$ mount -text4 /dev/sda1 /mnt
$ mount -text4 /dev/sda2 /mnt/home
$ # ...

From the man page:

-t, --types vfstype
          The argument following the -t is used to indicate the filesystem
          type.   The  filesystem  types  which  are  currently  supported
          include:  adfs,  affs,  autofs,  cifs,  coda,  coherent, cramfs,
          debugfs, devpts, efs, ext, ext2, ext3, ext4, hfs, hfsplus, hpfs,
          iso9660,  jfs, minix, msdos, ncpfs, nfs, nfs4, ntfs, proc, qnx4,
          ramfs, reiserfs, romfs, squashfs,  smbfs,  sysv,  tmpfs,  ubifs,
          udf,  ufs,  umsdos,  usbfs,  vfat, xenix, xfs, xiafs.

Yet, if everything before that has been done correctly, it should not be necessary.

Edit: it seems like your facing this mount problems earlier than expected. You should probably have a look at this other answer here. Just read the first part: Booting safely on a USB image. Just make sure you copied the ISO correctly (I don't recommend Unetbootin), and that your USB drive isn't messed up. Also make sure your ISO was successfully downloaded by checking its size and maybe its md5 checksum.

  • I'm transitioning from ubuntu to Arch Linux, there are drives with the ext format. This happens before the installation even goes to step 1. Oct 9, 2014 at 16:19
  • There are no actual steps when installing Arch Linux. You must follow the instructions in the installation guide. Oct 9, 2014 at 16:20
  • I did but either I'm too dense or the required info isn't there. The error comes up right after the the boot-up, after selecting Arch-Linuxx86_64. Would an image of the the process help or am I explaining it clearly with this? Oct 9, 2014 at 16:24
  • @KarthikMohan Oh, my bad, I thought the mount error occurred later, while installing. I added a little bit more to my answer, I think it could be relevant to your case. Oct 9, 2014 at 16:28

Arch Wiki doesn't recommend using Unetbooting for writing ISO on a flash drive.

Please, use # dd bs=4M if=/path/to/archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx && sync for performing this operation under existing Linux, or find other options here

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