Access the Unstable Repositories

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Overview

Warning: Software downloaded and installed from the Testing branch will, by nature, not have been fully tested, and may be unstable.
Warning: Software downloaded and installed from the Unstable branch may break your system! They should therefore only be used by more experienced users and Manjaro testers. Less experienced users may wish to switch to the Testing branch instead.
note: Please refer to System Maintenance Section for important information.

One of the many features that sets Manjaro apart from other Arch-based distributions is that it uses its own dedicated software branches, rather than relying on those provided by Arch itself. In fact, to ensure continued stability and reliability, Manjaro actually uses three distinct branches:

  • Stable branch: the packages that come to stable have gone through roughly a couple of weeks testing by the users of the Unstable/Testing repos, before they get the packages. These packages are usually free of any problems.
  • Testing branch: These users are the next line of defense. Being a larger number of users than those using Unstable, they refine the work done prior to them installing the packages with their feedback.
  • Unstable branch: which usually runs inside of 3 days behind Arch package releases & are modified as necessary to suit Manjaro. Those that use Unstable need to have the skills to get themselves out of trouble when they upgrade into it. They are the Manjaro users who are most likely to need to use such skills. Due to the feedback from the users of the Unstable repo, most bugs are found & fixed for the rest of Manjaro's users. Although the very latest software will be located here, using the unstable branch may consequently break your system!

Summing up, unstable packages are tested in the unstable branch. Once they are a bit stable, they are moved to the testing branch, where more tests will be realized to ensure the package is ready to be submitted to the stable branch.

note: Please be aware that the unstable branch comes directly from Arch Linux's stable branch.

Changing to another branch

Tip: Why not become and active part of the Manjaro community by becoming a tester? Just let us know of any bugs by reporting them via our feedback form.

In order to access a branch, you need to change your pacman-mirrors configuration.

You should substitute the value colored in green (for illustrative purposes only) to one of the following: stable, testing, unstable.

sudo pacman-mirrors --api --set-branch {branch}

After you changed the branch, rebuild the mirrorlist and update your packages:

sudo pacman-mirrors --fasttrack 5 && sudo pacman -Syyu

Questions

How do I go back after changing to one of the testing branches?

Going back to the stable branch is easy. All you have to do is to repeat the above, and use stable as the branch value.

Be aware that after switching to a more stable branch you will receive messages from pacman, informing about newer packages installed than available in the repo. Don't be alarmed as the situation will resolve itself when the packages reaches your current branch.