Arch User Repository

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Overview

Warning: Use the AUR at your own risk! Support will not be provided by the Manjaro team for any issues that may arise relating to software installations from the AUR.


Although Manjaro is one-hundred percent Arch Linux compatible —being based on Arch Linux itself— it is not possible to access their official repositories for use in Manjaro. Instead, Manjaro uses its own repositories in order to ensure that any software packages that are accessible, such as system updates and applications, have been fully tested and are stable before release.

With that said, it is still possible to access additional software packages from the Arch User Repository (AUR). The AUR is managed by the Arch Linux user community itself. Although this repository is unofficial, software packages first placed here can ultimately make their way into Arch Linux's official (community) repository if they become popular enough. Unfortunately, as a community maintained repository, using the AUR does still present potential risks and problems. Risks, such as, the AUR providing:

  • Multiple versions of the same packages.
  • Out of date packages.
  • Broken or only partially working packages.
  • Improperly configured packages which download unnecessary dependencies, or do not download necessary dependencies, or both.
  • Malicious packages (although extremely rare) .


As such, although much of the software packages provided by the AUR should work, do not expect the installation process to always be quite as straight-forward as when you are using the official Manjaro repositories. On occasion, it may be necessary to manually identify and install dependencies yourself (such as, after an aborted installation attempt). Again, there is no guarantee that any installed software will work properly, if at all.

Accessing the AUR

All the necessary software needed to access and use the AUR should have already been pre-installed for you in Manjaro (since 0.8.4). If you installed your system with an earlier release of Manjaro, it may be necessary to install these packages manually. They are:

1. The base-developer group of packages: Rather than downloading pre-compiled software packages for installation, you will instead be downloading the instructions for Manjaro to build and compile them on your system. The base-developer group package is required to do this.

2. yaourt: This is used to search and download from the AUR, rather like pacman is used to search and download from Manjaro's official repositories. Just like pacman it will also automatically find and download the necessary dependencies for downloaded software as well, provided that the software packages themselves have properly stated which dependencies are needed.

To install the base-developer group and yaourt, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo pacman -S base-devel yaourt

Searching for and Installing Software From the AUR

Tip: It is strongly recommended to first visit the AUR website and examine the relevant page(s) for any and all software intended to be installed. These pages contain comments from both existing users and package developers, which may provide valuable information (such as, warnings and/or solutions to problems). The AUR website can be found here

Yaourt must be used in the terminal and is itself very similar to pacman to use; furthermore, as with pacman, it is not necessary to specify precise or complete package names in order to search for or download software. To search for and install software packages from the AUR, the syntax is:

yaourt [software package name]

For example, if wishing the download the Avant Window Navigator (a popular dock/toolbar), simply entering 'avant' will yield a list of potential matches to browse and select from. While the use of the sudo command is a convention when using pacman to install files (for example: sudo pacman -S [software package name]), it is not necessary to use this with yaourt.

yaourt avant
Yaourtsearch.png

As illustrated, a search for the Avant Window Navigator undertaken has resulted in ten possible matches being listed. Any combination of listed packages can be downloaded by simply entering their numbers. For example, entering 3 would install the package avant-window-navigaor-bzr. Adding 5 after this would also install extra applets for for this package:

==> Enter No of packages to be installed (ex: 1 2 3 or 1-3)
==> -------------------------------------------------------
3 5
Tip: The numbers at the end of each line are user votes for each package. The higher the number, the more popular the package. Note that option '3' has the highest number of votes by far!


Yaourtdownload.png

Once the number(s) of your chosen software package(s) have been entered, and the installation process has begun, user comments from the AUR website will also be displayed. You may also be presented with a standard warning that the download package is unsupported and potentially dangerous.

You may also be asked if you wish to Edit PKGBUILD. Unless you know what you are doing, always type n for 'no' when asked. The purpose of this option is to allow experienced users to inspect the instructions that will be used to build the package(s) to be installed. As dependencies may also have to be installed first in the process, it is possible to be prompted to edit these as well.

Although you should just keep entering 'no' to these prompts, be aware that you will also be prompted on occasion to continue the installation as well. So make sure you read each prompt properly before entering anything, else you could end up aborting the installation by accident!

Installing from the AUR by hand

Packages from the AUR can also be installed by hand (manually)

To do that follow the steps given below:

  • Download the tarball from the AUR preferably to ~/Downloads

(just click on the tarball from your browser and you should get it)


  • Make a sub-directory in downloads called builds:
mkdir ~/Downloads/builds

-- Move the tarball to builds (foo is the name of the package you've downloaded):

mv foo.tar.gz builds

-- Change directory to the builds folder-

cd builds

-- Untar the tarball

tar -xvf foo.tar.gz

-- Move into the new sub-directory

cd <foo>


  • To make/compile the package, run:
makepkg -s

This will build the package and pull in any dependencies needed. Note: it won't pull a dependency from the AUR, only from the Manjaro Repos.

If you run

  ls

you'll probably find a few new files. You're interested in the one that ends with .pkg.tar.xz (usually)


  • The final event is running $sudo pacman -U on that file-
sudo pacman -U foo.pkg.xz

And you've done it...the safest way to install from the AUR.


This is essentially what most install scripts do for you.

Note: Instead of using sudo pacman -U foo.pkg.xz can also use:

makepkg -i 


You can ask for support for installing by hand at the following link-[1]

(Courtesy bloomode for the tutorial).

Upgrading the packages installed from the AUR

The following command will upgrade all packages downloaded from the AUR.

yaourt -Syua

Support

Following is a link to this page's forum counterpart where you can post any related feedback: [2]

See Also

Pacman

Pacman Tips