How to work with AUR

Probably when you started using an Arch Linux (or Arch based system like Manjaro, EndeavourOS, ArcoLinux, etc) you were seen a lot of mysterious words in manuals and guides like AUR. Maybe you already tried to work with it, but you felt defeat. So let’s explain it a step-by-step.

First of all. What the heck is AUR?

AUR it’s an abbreviation of Arch User Repository. Probably you already know an utility called pacman. That is a core package of your distribution — your package manager. Maybe you use some graphical utilities like pamac, if you prefer a more «intuitive» and «easiest» way to perform your system maintenance, that’s does not matter. It still just a GUI for pacman. That’s pacman uses repositories provided by

/etc/pacman.conf

I will made another note which would explain about pacman (Of course If you don’t know, stay tune).

But these repos contains only most popular software and if you want to install something like DaVinci Resolve you should use a non-official one.

And how you can think from this abbreviation — AUR is an another repository. The core feature of this repository is literally everyone can host a PKGBUILD file which is necessary to ABS — Arch Build System. That’s mean in AUR you can find almost all software you want to use, but also that’s mean nobody will care about security of these packages, so be careful and does not use AUR if privacy is your main target.

Okay but how I can use it?

Official way is manual download and compile every things you want from this repository. But we will do it only one time because it not secure. You should keep all your system up to date due to software vulnerabilities. The most easiest way to do that is install an AUR-helper. In my opinion the most powerfull and preferable one is yay.

At first open your terminal and change your current directory to temporary one. Just use a command below:

cd /tmp/

Now make sure that you have a git installed. If it doesn’t or you not sure use command below:

sudo pacman -S git

Make sure that you use a capital S because all commands in Linux are case sensitive.

Now let’s clone a yay repository. You probably want to use precompiled version, if you doesn’t — just use «yay» instead of «yay-bin».

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay-bin.git

After you download a PKGBUILD file open a downloaded directory. For this use a command listed below. If you cloned a sourced one, just open a yay directory.

cd yay-bin

Now run this command to install yay:

makepkg -si

And after that you probably will get an installed application.

How to use it?

yay have same arguments as pacman. So if you know how to use pacman — you already know how to use yay. But yay is more powerfull tool. It can replace you a pacman. yay can work not only with AUR it also works with main official repos.

Some usage examples:

How to update your database:

yay -Sy

*Little note, you probably should use a «yay -Syy» to avoid some issues.

How to update your system (pacman and AUR packages):

yay -Syu

*Little note, you probably should use a «yay -Syyu» to avoid some issues.

How to find a package:

yay -Ss packagename

How to install a package:

yay -S packagename

How to delete a package without dependencies:

yay -R packagename

How to remove a package with dependencies:

yay -Rs packagename

How to list explicitly installed packages:

yay -Qe

How to list all packages no longer required as dependencies (orphans):

yay -Qdt

How to delete all orphans with their dependencies:

yay -Qtdq | yay -Rns -

Some usage tricks

You probably don’t wanna see a «Show difference», «Make a clean build», «Edit a PKGBUILD», «Remove make dependencies» entries every time when you staring a system upgrade or installing a new package.

There’s a little tweak that disable these annoying functions:

yay --nodiffmenu --nocleanmenu --noeditmenu --noremovemake --save

Troubleshooting

If you got an error like this one:

One or more files did not pass the validity check!

You should use that command:

yay -S --mflags --skipinteg packagename

If you got an error contain PGP/GPG or keyring while installing package just do this command (like always with double dashes):

sudo pacman-key --populate archlinux

and

yay -S archlinux-keyring

Problem should be fixed.