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I am confused about which is the proper formatting to use within mkinitcpio.conf ... I have noticed sometimes double quotes are used and other times parentheses to close off the users desired hooks, modules, etc. settings.

Example:

HOOKS="base udev autodetect block filesystems"

HOOKS=(base udev autodetect block filesystems)

So which format is the right one to use?

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This is the old style:

HOOKS="base udev autodetect block filesystems"

And this is the current new style:

HOOKS=(base udev autodetect block filesystems)

see also arrayize config vars in mkinitcpio.conf

This change was done in 2017, so you should see the old style only in older installs.

Both styles work so don't worry too much about it.

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