Arch User Repository
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 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).
PKGBUILDs are completely unofficial and have not been thoroughly vetted. Any use of the provided files is at your own risk.
- Ensure the
pacman -S --needed base-devel).
package group is installed in full (
- Glance over the #FAQ for answers to the most common questions.
- You may wish to adjust
/etc/makepkg.confto optimize the build process to your system prior to building packages from the AUR. A significant improvement in package build times can be realized on systems with multi-core processors by adjusting the
MAKEFLAGSvariable, by using multiple cores for compression, or by using different compression algorithm. Users can also enable hardware-specific compiler optimizations via the
CFLAGSvariable. See makepkg#Tips and tricks for more information.
It is also possible to interact with the AUR through SSH: type
ssh email@example.com help for a list of available commands.
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
Existing packages were dropped unless manually migrated to the new infrastructure by their maintainers.
Git repositories for AUR3 packages
Installing and upgrading packages
Installing packages from the AUR is a relatively simple process. Essentially:
- Acquire the build files, including the PKGBUILD and possibly other required files, like systemd units and patches (often not the actual code).
- Verify that the
PKGBUILDand accompanying files are not malicious or untrustworthy.
makepkg -siin 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.
First ensure that the necessary tools are installed by installing the group in full which includes and other tools needed for compiling from source.
--neededflag when installing the group to skip packages you already have instead of reinstalling them.
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 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 for a package:
- Clone its git repository, labeled "Git Clone URL" in the "Package Details" on its AUR page. This is the preferred method, an advantage of which is that you can easily get updates to the package via
$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/package_name.git
- Download a snapshot, either by clicking the "Download snapshot" link under "Package Actions" on the right hand side of its AUR page, or in a terminal:
$ curl -L -O https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/snapshot/package_name.tar.gz
tar -xvf package_name.tar.gz
Acquire a PGP public key if needed
Check if a signature file in the form of .sig or .asc is part of the PKGBUILD source array, if that is the case, then acquire one of the public keys listed in the PKGBUILD validpgpkeys array. Refer to makepkg#Signature checking for more information.
Build and install the package
Change directories to the directory containing the package's PKGBUILD.
$ cd package_name
PKGBUILD, any .install files, and any other files in the package's git repository for malicious or dangerous commands. If in doubt, do not build the package, and seek advice on the forums or mailing list. Malicious code has been found in packages before. 
View the contents of all provided files. For example, to use the pager less to view
$ less PKGBUILD
- To view changes since the last git commit you can use
- To view changes since the last commit using vimdiff, do
git difftool @~..@ vimdiff. The advantage of vimdiff is that you view the entire contents of each file along with indicators on what has changed.
Make the package. After manually confirming the contents of the files, run makepkg as a normal user:
$ makepkg -si
--syncdepsautomatically resolves and installs any dependencies with pacman before building. If the package depends on other AUR packages, you will need to manually install them first.
--installinstalls the package if it is built successfully. Alternatively the built package can be installed with
pacman -U package_name.pkg.tar.xz.
Other useful flags are
--rmdepsremoves 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.
--cleancleans up temporary build files after the build, as they are no longer needed. These files are usually needed only when debugging the build process.
In the directory containing the package's PKGBUILD you must first update the files and changes by using the command
$ git pull
$ makepkg -si
to update the package.
Commenting on packages
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.
Voting for packages
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!
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 AUR, AUR or AUR.
Alternatively, if you have set up ssh authentication, you can directly vote from the command line using your ssh key. This means that you will not need to save or type in your AUR password.
$ ssh firstname.lastname@example.org vote package_name
Flagging packages out-of-date
First, you should flag the package out-of-date indicating details on why the package is outdated, preferably including links to the release announcement or the new release tarball.
You should also try to reach out to the maintainer directly by email. If there is no response from the maintainer after two weeks, you can file an orphan request. See AUR submission guidelines#Requests for details.
pkgverchanges and are not to be flagged in this case.
Debugging the package build process
- Ensure your build environment is up-to-date by upgrading before building anything.
- Ensure you have the group installed.
- Use the
makepkgto check and install all dependencies needed before starting the build process.
- Try the default makepkg configuration.
- See Makepkg#Troubleshooting for common issues.
If you are having trouble building a package, first read its PKGBUILD and the comments on its AUR page.
It is possible that a
PKGBUILD is broken for everyone. If you cannot figure it out on your own, report it to the maintainer (e.g. by posting the errors you are getting in the comments on the AUR page). You may also seek help in the AUR Issues, Discussion & PKGBUILD Requests forum.
The reason might not be trivial after all. Custom
MAKEFLAGS can cause failures. To avoid problems caused by your particular system configuration, build packages in a clean chroot. If the build process still fails in a clean chroot, the issue is probably with the
See Creating packages#Checking package sanity about using
namcap. If you would like to have a
PKGBUILD reviewed, post it on the aur-general mailing list to get feedback from the TUs and fellow AUR members, or the Creating & Modifying Packages forum. You could also seek help in the IRC channel #archlinux-aur on Freenode.
Web interface translation
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 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?
See #Voting for packages.
What is a Trusted User / TU?
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 should I do?
In the meantime, you can try updating the package yourself by editing the PKGBUILD locally. Sometimes, updates do not require changes to the build or package process, in which case simply updating the
source array is sufficient.
Foo in the AUR does not compile when I run makepkg; what should I do?
You are probably missing something trivial, see #Debugging the package build process.
ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!; what should I do?
Most likely you do not have the required public key(s) in your personal keyring to verify downloaded files. See Makepkg#Signature checking for details.
How do I create a PKGBUILD?
I have a PKGBUILD I would like to submit; can someone check it to see if there are any errors?
There are several channels available to submit your package for review; see #Debugging the package build process.
How to get a PKGBUILD into the community 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
- Its license prohibits redistribution
- It helps retrieve user-submitted PKGBUILDs. AUR helpers are unsupported by definition.
How can I speed up repeated build processes?
What is the difference between foo and foo-git packages?
Many AUR packages come in "stable" release and "unstable" development versions. Development packages usually have a suffix denoting their Version Control System and are not intended for regular use, but may offer new features or bugfixes. Because these packages only download the latest available source when you execute
pkgver() in the AUR does not reflect upstream changes. Likewise, these packages cannot perform an authenticity checksum on any VCS source.
Why has foo disappeared from the AUR?
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)
How can I obtain a list of all AUR packages?