AurJson

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The AurJson interface is a lightweight remote interface for the AUR. It utilizes HTTP GET queries as the request format, and json as the response data exchange format.

Note: This article describes v5 of the RPC Interface API, as released with AUR v4.2.0 on February 15, 2016.

API usage

The RPC interface has two major query types:

  • search
  • info

Data is returned in json encapsulated format.

Query types

As noted above, there are two query types:

  • search
  • info

search

Package searches can be performed by issuing requests of the form:

/rpc/?v=5&type=search&by=field&arg=keywords

where keywords is the search argument and field is one of the following values:

  • name (search by package name only)
  • name-desc (search by package name and description)
  • maintainer (search by package maintainer)

The by parameter can be skipped and defaults to name-desc. Possible return types are search and error.

If a maintainer search is performed and the search argument is left empty, a list of orphan packages is returned.

Examples:

Search for foobar:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=search&arg=foobar

Search for packages maintained by john:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=search&by=maintainer&arg=john

Search with callback:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=search&arg=foobar&callback=jsonp1192244621103

info

Package information can be performed by issuing requests of the form:

/rpc/?v=5&type=info&arg[]=pkg1&arg[]=pkg2&…

where pkg1, pkg2, … are the exact matches of names of packages to retrieve package details for.

Possible return types are multiinfo and error.

Examples:

Info for single foobar package:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=info&arg[]=foobar

Info for multiple foobar and bar packages:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=info&arg[]=foo&arg[]=bar

Return types

The return payload is of one format, and currently has three main types. The response will always return a type so that the user can determine if the result of an operation was an error or not.

The format of the return payload is:

{"version":5,"type":"ReturnType","resultcount":0,"results":ReturnData}

ReturnType is a string, and the value is one of:

* search
* multiinfo
* error

The type of ReturnData is an array of dictionary objects for the search and multiinfo ReturnType, and an empty array for error ReturnType.

error

The error type has an error response string as the return value. An error response can be returned from either a search or an info query type.

Example of ReturnType error:

{"version":5,"type":"error","resultcount":0,"results":[],"error":"Incorrect by field specified."}

search

The search type is the result returned from a search request operation. The actual results of a search operation will be the same as an info request for each result. See the info section.

Example of ReturnType search:

{"version":5,"type":"search","resultcount":2,"results":[{"ID":206807,"Name":"cower-git", ...}]}

info

The info type is the result returned from an info request operation.

Example of ReturnType multiinfo:

 {
    "version":5,
    "type":"multiinfo",
    "resultcount":1,
    "results":[{
        "ID":229417,
        "Name":"cower",
        "PackageBaseID":44921,
        "PackageBase":"cower",
        "Version":"14-2",
        "Description":"A simple AUR agent with a pretentious name",
        "URL":"http:\/\/github.com\/falconindy\/cower",
        "NumVotes":590,
        "Popularity":24.595536,
        "OutOfDate":null,
        "Maintainer":"falconindy",
        "FirstSubmitted":1293676237,
        "LastModified":1441804093,
        "URLPath":"\/cgit\/aur.git\/snapshot\/cower.tar.gz",
        "Depends":[
            "curl",
            "openssl",
            "pacman",
            "yajl"
        ],
        "MakeDepends":[
            "perl"
        ],
        "License":[
            "MIT"
        ],
        "Keywords":[]
    }]
 }
 

jsonp

If you are working with a javascript page, and need a json callback mechanism, you can do it. You just need to provide an additional callback variable. This callback is usually handled via the javascript library, but here is an example.

Example Query:

https://aur.archlinux.org/rpc/?v=5&type=search&arg=foobar&callback=jsonp1192244621103

Example Result:

/**/jsonp1192244621103({"version":5,"type":"search","resultcount":1,"results":[{"ID":250608,"Name":"foobar2000","PackageBaseID":37068,"PackageBase":"foobar2000","Version":"1.3.9-1","Description":"An advanced freeware audio player (uses Wine).","URL":"http:\/\/www.foobar2000.org\/","NumVotes":39,"Popularity":0.425966,"OutOfDate":null,"Maintainer":"supermario","FirstSubmitted":1273255356,"LastModified":1448326415,"URLPath":"\/cgit\/aur.git\/snapshot\/foobar2000.tar.gz"}]})

This would automatically call the JavaScript function jsonp1192244621103 with the parameter set to the results of the RPC call.

Reference clients

Sometimes things are easier to understand with examples. A few reference implementations (jQuery, python, ruby) are available at the following url: https://github.com/cactus/random/tree/2b72a1723bfc8ae64eed6a3c40cb154accae3974/aurjson_examples

Associated code

  • The python3-aurAUR package provides python modules for interacting with the remote AUR JSON interface, among other AUR services. See python3-aur for details.
  • jshon parses, reads and creates JSON from the command-line. See jshon for details.