Arch User Repository

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The Arch User Repository (AUR) is a community-driven repository for Arch users. It contains package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that allow you to compile a package from source with makepkg and then install it via pacman. The AUR was created to organize and share new packages from the community and to help expedite popular packages' inclusion into the community repository. This document explains how users can access and utilize the AUR.

A good number of new packages that enter the official repositories start in the AUR. In the AUR, users are able to contribute their own package builds (PKGBUILD and related files). The AUR community has the ability to vote for or against packages in the AUR. If a package becomes popular enough — provided it has a compatible license and good packaging technique — it may be entered into the community repository (directly accessible by pacman or abs).

Getting started

Users can search and download PKGBUILDs from the AUR Web Interface. These PKGBUILDs can be built into installable packages using makepkg, then installed using pacman.

  • Ensure the base-devel package group is installed (pacman -S --needed base-devel).
  • Glance over the #FAQ for answers to the most common questions.
  • You may wish to adjust /etc/makepkg.conf to optimize for your processor prior to building packages from the AUR. A significant improvement in compile times can be realized on systems with multi-core processors by adjusting the MAKEFLAGS variable. Users can also enable hardware-specific optimizations in GCC via the CFLAGS variable. See makepkg for more information.

It is also possible to interact with the AUR through SSH: type ssh aur@aur.archlinux.org help for a list of available commands.

History

In the beginning, there was ftp://ftp.archlinux.org/incoming, and people contributed by simply uploading the PKGBUILD, the needed supplementary files, and the built package itself to the server. The package and associated files remained there until a Package Maintainer saw the program and adopted it.

Then the Trusted User Repositories were born. Certain individuals in the community were allowed to host their own repositories for anyone to use. The AUR expanded on this basis, with the aim of making it both more flexible and more usable. In fact, the AUR maintainers are still referred to as TUs (Trusted Users).

Between 2015-06-08 and 2015-08-08 the AUR transitioned from version 3.5.1 to 4.0.0, introducing the use of Git repositories for publishing the PKGBUILDs.

Searching

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: AUR search takes '%' literally (Discuss in Talk:Arch User Repository#AUR search takes '%' literally)

The AUR web interface can be found at https://aur.archlinux.org/, and an interface suitable for accessing the AUR from a script can be found at https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc.php.

Queries search package names and descriptions via a MySQL LIKE comparison. This allows for more flexible search criteria (e.g. try searching for tool%like%grep instead of tool like grep). If you need to search for a description that contains %, escape it with \%.

Installing packages

Installing packages from the AUR is a relatively simple process. Essentially:

  1. Acquire the build files, including the PKGBUILD and possibly other required files, like systemd units and patches (often not the actual code).
  2. Verify that the PKGBUILD and accompanying files are not malicious or untrustworthy.
  3. Run makepkg -si in the directory where the files are saved. This will download the code, resolve the dependencies with pacman, compile it, package it, and install the package.

Prerequisites

First ensure that the necessary tools are installed by installing the base-devel group which includes make and other tools needed for compiling from source.

Note: Packages in the AUR assume that the base-devel group is installed, i.e. they do not list the group's members as dependencies explicitly.

Next choose an appropriate build directory. A build directory is simply a directory where the package will be made or "built" and can be any directory. The examples in the following sections will use ~/builds as the build directory.

Acquire build files

Locate the package in the AUR. This is done using the search feature (text field at the top of the AUR home page). Clicking the application's name in the search list brings up an information page on the package. Read through the description to confirm that this is the desired package, note when the package was last updated, and read any comments.

There are several methods for acquiring the build files:

  • Clone the git repository that is labeled as the "Git Clone URL" in the "Package Details":
$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/package_name.git
An advantage of this method is that you can easily get updates to the package via git pull.
  • Download the build files with your web browser by clicking the "Download snapshot" link under "Package Actions" on the right hand side. This will download a compressed file, which must be extracted (preferably in a directory set aside for AUR builds)
$ tar -xvf package_name.tar.gz
  • Similarly, you can download a tarball from the terminal (and extract it):
$ curl -L -O https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/snapshot/package_name.tar.gz

Build and install the package

Change directories to the directory containing the package's PKGBUILD.

Warning: Carefully check all files. Carefully check the PKGBUILD and any .install file for malicious commands. PKGBUILDs are bash scripts containing functions to be executed by makepkg: these functions can contain any valid commands or Bash syntax, so it is totally possible for a PKGBUILD to contain dangerous commands through malice or ignorance on the part of the author. Since makepkg uses fakeroot (and should never be run as root), there is some level of protection but you should never count on it. If in doubt, do not build the package and seek advice on the forums or mailing list.
$ cd package_name
$ less PKGBUILD
$ less package_name.install

Make the package. After manually confirming the integrity of the files, run makepkg as a normal user:

$ makepkg -si
  • -s/--syncdeps automatically resolves and install any dependencies with pacman before building. If the package depends on other AUR packages, you will need to manually install them first.
  • -i/--install installs the package if it is built successfully. Alternatively the built package can be installed with pacman -U package.pkg.tar.xz.

Other useful flags are

  • -r/--rmdeps removes build-time dependencies after the build, as they are no longer needed. However these dependencies may need to be reinstalled the next time the package is updated.
  • -c/--clean cleans up temporary build files after the build, as they are no longer needed. These files are usually needed only when debugging the build process.
Note: The above example is only a brief summary of the build process. It is highly recommended to read the makepkg and ABS articles for more details.

Feedback

The AUR Web Interface has a comments facility that allows users to provide suggestions and feedback on improvements to the PKGBUILD contributor. Avoid pasting patches or PKGBUILDs into the comments section: they quickly become obsolete and just end up needlessly taking up lots of space. Instead email those files to the maintainer, or even use a pastebin.

One of the easiest activities for all Arch users is to browse the AUR and vote for their favourite packages using the online interface. All packages are eligible for adoption by a TU for inclusion in the community repository, and the vote count is one of the considerations in that process; it is in everyone's interest to vote!

Sharing and maintaining packages

Note: Please see Talk:Arch User Repository#Scope of the AUR4 section before making changes to this section.

Users can share PKGBUILDs using the Arch User Repository. It does not contain any binary packages but allows users to upload PKGBUILDs that can be downloaded by others. These PKGBUILDs are completely unofficial and have not been thoroughly vetted, so they should be used at your own risk.

Submitting packages

Warning: Before attempting to submit a package you are expected to familiarize yourself with Arch packaging standards and all the articles under "Related articles". Verify carefully that what you are uploading is correct. Packages that violate the rules may be deleted without warning.

If you are unsure in any way about the package or the build/submission process even after reading this section twice, submit the PKGBUILD to the AUR mailing list, the AUR forum on the Arch forums, or ask on our IRC channel for public review before adding it to the AUR.

Rules of submission

When submitting a package to the AUR, observe the following rules:

  • The submitted PKGBUILDs must not build applications already in any of the official binary repositories under any circumstances. Check the official package database for the package. If any version of it exists, do not submit the package. If the official package is out-of-date, flag it as such. If the official package is broken or is lacking a feature, then please file a bug report.
Exception to this strict rule may only be packages having extra features enabled and/or patches in comparison to the official ones. In such an occasion the pkgname should be different to express that difference. For example, a package for GNU screen containing the sidebar patch could be named screen-sidebar. Additionally the provides=('screen') array should be used in order to avoid conflicts with the official package.
  • Check the AUR if the package already exists. If it is currently maintained, changes can be submitted in a comment for the maintainer's attention. If it is unmaintained or the maintainer is unresponsive, the package can be adopted and updated as required. Do not create duplicate packages.
  • Make sure the package you want to upload is useful. Will anyone else want to use this package? Is it extremely specialized? If more than a few people would find this package useful, it is appropriate for submission.
The AUR and official repositories are intended for packages which install generally software and software-related content, including one or more of the following: executable(s); config file(s); online or offline documentation for specific software or the Arch Linux distribution as a whole; media intended to be used directly by software.
  • Do not use replaces in an AUR PKGBUILD unless the package is to be renamed, for example when Ethereal became Wireshark. If the package is an alternate version of an already existing package, use conflicts (and provides if that package is required by others). The main difference is: after syncing (-Sy) pacman immediately wants to replace an installed, 'offending' package upon encountering a package with the matching replaces anywhere in its repositories; conflicts, on the other hand, is only evaluated when actually installing the package, which is usually the desired behavior because it is less invasive.
  • Submitting binaries should be avoided if the sources are available. The AUR should not contain the binary tarball created by makepkg, nor should it contain the filelist.
  • Please add a comment line to the top of the PKGBUILD file which contains information about the current maintainers and previous contributors, respecting the following format. Remember to disguise your email to protect against spam. Additional or unneeded lines are facultative.
If you are assuming the role of maintainer for an existing PKGBUILD, add your name to the top like this
# Maintainer: Your Name <address at domain dot tld>
If there were previous maintainers, put them as contributors. The same applies for the original submitter if this is not you. If you are a co-maintainer, add the names of the other current maintainers as well.
# Maintainer: Your name <address at domain dot tld>
# Maintainer: Other maintainer's name <address at domain dot tld>
# Contributor: Previous maintainer's name <address at domain dot tld>
# Contributor: Original submitter's name <address at domain dot tld>

Authentication

For write access to the AUR, you need to have an SSH key pair. The content of the public key needs to be copied to your profile in My Account, and the corresponding private key configured for the aur.archlinux.org host. For example:

~/.ssh/config
Host aur.archlinux.org
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/aur
  User aur

You should create a new key pair rather than use an existing one, so that you can selectively revoke the keys should something happen:

$ ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/aur
Tip: You can add multiple public keys to your profile by seperating them with a newline in the input field.

Creating a new package

In order to create a new, empty, local Git repository for a package, simply git clone the remote repository with the corresponding name. If the package does not exist on AUR yet, you will see the following warning:

$ git clone ssh://aur@aur.archlinux.org/package_name.git
Cloning into 'package_name'...
warning: You appear to have cloned an empty repository.
Checking connectivity... done.
Note: When a package on the AUR is deleted, the git repository is not deleted so it is possible for a deleted package's repository to not be empty when cloned if someone is creating a package with the same name.

If you have already created a git repository, you can simply create a remote for the AUR git repository and then fetch it:

$ git remote add remote_name ssh://aur@aur.archlinux.org/package_name.git
$ git fetch remote_name

where remote_name is the name of the remote to create (e.g., "origin"). See Git#Using remotes for more information.

The new package will appear on AUR after you push the first commit. You can now add the source files to the local copy of the Git repository. See #Uploading packages.

Warning: Your AUR commits will be authored according to your git user name and email address and it is very difficult to change commits after you push them (see FS#45425). If you want to push to AUR under a different name/email, you can change them for this package via git config user.name [...] and git config user.email [...]. Review your commits before pushing them!

Uploading packages

Tip: To prevent untracked files from commits and keep a clean working directory as possible, exclude all files with .gitignore and force-add files instead. See dotfiles#Using gitignore.

The procedure for uploading packages to the AUR is the same for new packages and package updates. You need at least PKGBUILD and .SRCINFO in the top-level directory to push your package to AUR.

To upload, add the PKGBUILD, .SRCINFO, and any helper files (like .install files or local source files like .patch) to the staging area with git add, commit them to your local tree with a commit message with git commit, and finally publish the changes to the AUR with git push.

For example:

$ makepkg --printsrcinfo > .SRCINFO
$ git add PKGBUILD .SRCINFO
$ git commit -m "useful commit message"
$ git push
Tip: If you initially forgot to commit the .SRCINFO and added it in a later commit, the AUR will still reject your pushes because the .SRCINFO must exist for every commit. To solve this problem you can use git rebase with the --root option or git filter-branch with the --tree-filter option.

Maintaining packages

  • Check for feedback and comments from other users and try to incorporate any improvements they suggest; consider it a learning process!
  • Please do not leave a comment containing the version number every time you update the package. This keeps the comment section usable for valuable content mentioned above. AUR helpers are suited better to check for updates.
  • Please do not just submit and forget about packages! It is the maintainer's job to maintain the package by checking for updates and improving the PKGBUILD.
  • If you do not want to continue to maintain the package for some reason, disown the package using the AUR web interface and/or post a message to the AUR Mailing List. If all maintainers of an AUR package disown it, it will become an "orphaned" package.

Other requests

  • Disownment requests and removal requests can be created by clicking on the "Submit Request" link under "Package Actions" on the right hand side. This automatically sends a notification email to the current package maintainer and to the aur-requests mailing list for discussion. Trusted Users will then either accept or reject the request.
  • Disownment requests will be granted after two weeks if the current maintainer did not react.
  • Merge requests are for when one package is replacing another one. Users still have to resubmit a package under a new name and may request merging of the old version's comments and votes. This has nothing to do with 'git merge' and is not similar to github's merge requests.
  • Removal requests require the following information:
    • Reason for deletion, at least a short note
      Notice: A package's comments does not sufficiently point out the reasons why a package is up for deletion. Because as soon as a TU takes action, the only place where such information can be obtained is the aur-requests mailing list.
    • Supporting details, like when a package is provided by another package, if you are the maintainer yourself, it is renamed and the original owner agreed, etc.
    • For merge requests: Name of the package base to merge into.

Removal requests can be disapproved, in which case you will likely be advised to disown the package for a future packager's reference.

Git repositories for AUR3 packages

Note: aur-mirror is no longer available

The AUR Archive on GitHub has a repository for every package that was in AUR 3 during the migration to AUR 4.

Web interface translation

See i18n.txt in the AUR source tree for information about creating and maintaining translation of the AUR web interface.

FAQ

What is the AUR?

The AUR (Arch User Repository) is a place where the Arch Linux community can upload PKGBUILDs of applications, libraries, etc., and share them with the entire community. Fellow users can then vote for their favorites to be moved into the community repository to be shared with Arch Linux users in binary form.

What kind of packages are permitted on the AUR?

The packages on the AUR are merely "build scripts", i.e. recipes to build binaries for pacman. For most cases, everything is permitted, subject to the abovementioned usefulness and scope guidelines, as long as you are in compliance with the licensing terms of the content. For other cases, where it is mentioned that "you may not link" to downloads, i.e. contents that are not redistributable, you may only use the file name itself as the source. This means and requires that users already have the restricted source in the build directory prior to building the package. When in doubt, ask.

How can I vote for packages in the AUR?

Sign up on the AUR website to get a "Vote for this package" option while browsing packages. After signing up it is also possible to vote from the commandline with aurvoteAUR, aurvote-gitAUR or aur-auto-vote-gitAUR.

Alternatively, if you have set up ssh authentication as above, you can directly vote from the command line using your ssh key. This means that you won't need to save or type in your AUR password.

ssh aur@aur.archlinux.org vote <PACKAGE_NAME>

You can vote for all installed AUR packages with the following.

for i in $(pacman -Qqm); do echo Voting for $i; ssh aur vote $i; done

What is a Trusted User / TU?

A Trusted User, in short TU, is a person who is chosen to oversee AUR and the community repository. They are the ones who maintain popular PKGBUILDs in community, and overall keep the AUR running.

What is the difference between the Arch User Repository and the community repository?

The Arch User Repository is where all PKGBUILDs that users submit are stored, and must be built manually with makepkg. When PKGBUILDs receive enough community interest and the support of a TU, they are moved into the community repository (maintained by the TUs), where the binary packages can be installed with pacman.

Foo in the AUR is outdated; what do I do?

For starters, you can flag packages out-of-date. If it stays out-of-date for an extended period of time, the best thing to do is email the maintainer. If there is no response from the maintainer after two weeks, you can file an orphan request. When we are talking about a package which is flagged out of date for more than 3 months and is in general not updated for a long time, please add this in your orphan request.

In the meantime, you can try updating the package yourself by editing the PKGBUILD - sometimes updates do not require any changes to the build or package process, in which case simply updating the pkgver or source array is sufficient.

Note: VCS packages are not considered out of date when the pkgver changes, so please do not flag them as the maintainer will merely unflag the package and ignore you. AUR maintainers should not commit mere pkgver bumps.

Foo in the AUR does not compile when I run makepkg; what should I do?

You are probably missing something trivial.

  1. Upgrade the system before compiling anything with makepkg as the problem may be that your system is not up-to-date.
  2. Ensure you have both base and base-devel groups installed.
  3. Try using the -s option with makepkg to check and install all the dependencies needed before starting the build process.

Be sure to first read the PKGBUILD and the comments on the AUR page of the package in question. The reason might not be trivial after all. Custom CFLAGS, LDFLAGS and MAKEFLAGS can cause failures. It is also possible that the PKGBUILD is broken for everyone. If you cannot figure it out on your own, just report it to the maintainer e.g. by posting the errors you are getting in the comments on the AUR page.

How do I create a PKGBUILD?

The best resource is the wiki page about creating packages. Remember to look in AUR before creating the PKGBUILD as to not duplicate efforts.

I have a PKGBUILD I would like to submit; can someone check it to see if there are any errors?

If you would like to have your PKGBUILD critiqued, post it on the aur-general mailing list to get feedback from the TUs and fellow AUR members. You could also get help from the IRC channel, #archlinux-aur on irc.freenode.net. You can also use namcap to check your PKGBUILD and the resulting package for errors.

How to get a PKGBUILD into the community repository?

Usually, at least 10 votes are required for something to move into community. However, if a TU wants to support a package, it will often be found in the repository.

Reaching the required minimum of votes is not the only requirement, there has to be a TU willing to maintain the package. TUs are not required to move a package into the community repository even if it has thousands of votes.

Usually when a very popular package stays in the AUR it is because:

  • Arch Linux already has another version of a package in the repositories
  • The package is AUR-centric (e.g. an AUR helper)
  • Its license prohibits redistribution

See also DeveloperWiki:Community repo candidates and Rules for Packages Entering the community Repo.

How can I speed up repeated build processes?

If you frequently compile code that uses GCC - say, a Git or SVN package - you may find ccache, short for "compiler cache", useful.

What is the difference between foo and foo-git packages?

Many AUR packages are presented in regular ("stable") and development versions ("unstable"). A development package usually has a suffix such as -cvs, -svn, -git, -hg, -bzr or -darcs. While development packages are not intended for regular use, they may offer new features or bugfixes. Because these packages download the latest available source when you execute makepkg, a package version to track possible updates is not directly available for these. Likewise, these packages cannot perform an authenticity checksum, instead it is relied on the maintainer(s) of the Git repository.

See also System maintenance#Use proven software packages.

Why has foo disappeared from the AUR?

Packages may be deleted, if they did not fulfill the #Rules of submission. See the aur-requests archives for the reason for deletion.

If the package used to exist in AUR3, it might not have been migrated to AUR4. See the #Git repositories for AUR3 packages where these are preserved.

How do I find out if any of my installed packages disappeared from AUR?

The simplest way is to check the HTTP status of the package's AUR page:

$ comm -23 <(pacman -Qqm | sort) <(curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.gz | gzip -cd | sort)

If you use an AUR helper, you can shorten this script by replacing the curl command with whatever command queries the AUR for a package.

How can I obtain a list of all AUR packages?

See also