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.

  • 3
    Did you mount {/proc,/sys/,/dev} as per the wiki entry for chroot?
    – jasonwryan
    Apr 6, 2013 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, 2013 at 22:59
  • But shouldn't my Arch partition be independent from the others?
    – Gradient
    Apr 6, 2013 at 23:15
  • 3
    Did you copy /etc/resolv.conf into the chroot? Otherwise the chrooted programs don't know your DNS settings.
    – t-8ch
    Apr 7, 2013 at 9:42
  • Try updating your package database: pacman -Sy. You may also want to try generating a new mirror list.
    – user26112
    Apr 7, 2013 at 12:01

4 Answers 4


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

  • I've edited it slightly so that it doesn't sound like a comment and removed the flag :-) Aug 15, 2014 at 19:03
  • Right, thank you. I'm still not entirely used to the conventions on this site :)
    – Brean
    Aug 16, 2014 at 10:40

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.


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.


I had a similar problem. What I did wrong was just changing root, without checking the wiki entry for chroot and thus not mounting the temporary filesystems required. Following the guide did the trick. Who'd have guessed? haha

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