Pacman Tips

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This is a quick reference page which lists the most common commands used by Pacman and various popular wrappers. Please keep in mind that commands are not thoroughly explained in this Wiki page. Look here for more command explanation: Pacman Overview.

You may need root priviliges (via "sudo") when performing most of the commands given below.

Improve download and database access speed

Ranking mirrors

This command will rank your mirrors by speed and will filter the out of date mirrors.

sudo pacman-mirrors -f 0 && sudo pacman -Syy
  • You should sync the database after running this command by using: pacman -Syy

Fasttrack your mirrorlist

Adding a number to -f command will return a number of up-to-date and responsive mirrors

 sudo pacman-mirrors -f 5 && sudo pacman -Syy
  • Check your version with pacman-mirrors -v
  • You should sync the database after running this command by using: pacman -Syy

Optimize the database access speed

For full benefit, run this command after syncing the database.

pacman-optimize && sync

Attention: This command defragments Pacman's database, which boosts performance on slow hard drives but is harmful on SSDs. So, do not use this command on SSDs!

Syncing and Updating

Sync the database

pacman -Sy
  • You can force sync the database using the following command. It means, the database will be synced even if it's up to date. This is useful when you changed something repository related and want to have the changes take effect.
pacman -Syy


Pacman can update your system with only one command:

pacman -Su

Although, it is usually better to sync your repo database first:

pacman -Syu

This command was recommend:

pacman -Syyu

Update & ignore a package

  • The following changes take place in pacman's configuration file: /etc/pacman.conf

Update & ignore a package group

  • Examples:

Installing Packages

  • It is always best to have the repo databases synchronized & then all packages installed on your system up to date before you install any new packages.
pacman -Syyu

Install a package

pacman -S package_name
  • If for example you are using the testing repo, & you have that repo listed below your other repos in /etc/pacman.conf which should mean that an older package will take priority over the younger one in the testing repo, you should use pacman like this:
pacman -S testing/package_name

Install packages as a group

pacman -S gnome
pacman -S kde

Force the installation of a package. Attention: Only for advanced users.

pacman -S --force package_name

Download a package without installation

pacman -Sw package_name

Install a downloaded or a local package

pacman -U /package_path/package_name.pkg.tar.xz
  • You can also use the URL:
pacman -U http://www.examplepackage/repo/examplepkg.tar.xz

Reinstall all packages

pacman -S $(pacman -Qqen)

To search which packages has been installed in a group

pacman -Sg gnome
pacman -Sg kde

Get a full package list with versions. This will create a file called pacman.laptop in your home folder.

pacman -Q > ~/pacman.laptop

Removing Packages

Remove a package

pacman -R package_name

Remove a package with dependencies that are not being used by other packages

pacman -Rs package_name

Remove a package with all dependencies. Attention: The -c flag can remove needed dependencies, too. Only for advanced users.

pacman -Rsc package_name
  • Remove a package and its configuration files too:
pacman -Rn package_name

Forcefully remove a dependency without removing any other package. Attention: Only for advanced users.

pacman -Rdd package_name

Cleaning Packages

See Maintaining /var/cache/pacman/pkg for System Safety for an in depth view on this topic.

Cleaning the cache

  • Leaves packages in your cache only for those packages which are currently installed on your system. Attention: This eliminates the possibility to Using Downgrade.
pacman -Sc
  • Clean cache completely and remove all packages. Attention: This eliminates the possibility to Using Downgrade.
pacman -Scc
  • A safer way to remove old package cache files is to remove all packages except for the latest three package versions:
paccache -rvk3

Cleaning orphan packages from the system. Also read Orphan Package Removal for further information.

pacman -Rsn $(pacman -Qdtq)

If you get this error, don't worry: it means you don't have orphaned packages to remove!

error: no targets specified (use -h for help)

Searching for Packages

Provides a description of searched for package & associated packages

pacman -Ss package_name

Provides a description of previously installed package

pacman -Qs package_name

Provides detailed summary of a package

pacman -Si package_name
  • Modified summary:
pacman -Qi package_name
  • with 'ii' you can see the backup files and the date that the package has been changed.
pacman -Qii package_name

Get a list of installed packages

pacman -Q

Find out which package owns a file

pacman -Qo /file_path

List all orphan packages with no dependencies

pacman -Qdt

List all installed packages from the AUR

pacman -Qem

View package dependencies. Use one of the following commands:

pactree package_name
pactree -c package_name
pactree -s -c package_name

AUR (Arch User Repository)

Following is info on three popular options for using the AUR, for a detailed list of their commands please look at their man pages:


Yaourt comes pre-installed with Manjaro so you normally won't have to install it. If you have removed it, this is how you install it again:

pacman -S base-devel yaourt
  • To use Yaourt to upgrade both official repos & AUR (only if new PKGBUILD files are available) use the following command:
yaourt -Syua
  • To use Yaourt to download and rebuild the latest AUR packages from their source (regardless of PKGBUILD files):
yaourt -Syua --devel

You can use all Pacman commands mentioned on this Wiki page with Yaourt, too. One command is different:

  • Removing orphaned packages is easier and more intuitive with Yaourt:
yaourt -Qdt


  • Uses some of the same commands as pacman but differs in that it checks both the official repos & AUR.
yaourt -S packer
  • Having installed 'packer' then you can run:
packer -S package_name
  • This will upgrade from both official repos & AUR:
packer -Syu


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