User:Allan/Pacman Hooks

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Reason: pacman has hooks (Discuss in User talk:Allan/Pacman Hooks#)


This feature is now implemented. The page has been locked. All discussion to the pacman-dev mailing list. The discussion page will be ignored...

The Dream

We will one day live in a world where we no longer have to suffer the tedium of repeated tasks in pacman install files. The future will arrive bearing the stuff of legends... Things that have been talked about in quiet whispers for decades. Pacman hooks!


Hook files are placed in /usr/lib/pacman/hooks or /etc/pacman.d/hooks. Those in /etc override those in /usr/lib. An empty file or a symlink to /dev/null in /etc disables the hook in /usr/lib.

Hook files require the .hook suffix.

Hook Format


Description = Add info files to the info directory
Requires = install-info
Type = PostTransaction

File = /usr/share/info/*
Exec = install-info %f usr/share/info/dir &>/dev/null

Detailed options

[Hook] section

Description: (Optional) Brief description of the hook

Requires: (Optional) Required software for hook to run (TODO: is this needed? Is there a use case where the hook will not be provided by the software)

(TODO: Output: provide string for pacman to output when running hook)

Type: PreRemove|PostRemove|PreInstall|PostInstall|PreTransaction|PostTransaction

  • Before the installation/upgrade of the package (PreInstall)
  • After the installation/upgrade of the package (PostInstall)
  • Before the removal of the package (PreRemove)
  • After the removal of the package (PostRemove)
  • At the beginning of the transaction (PreTransaction)
  • At the end of the transaction (PostTransaction)

Before/After: (Optional) Control the ordering of the hook (TODO: Use lexical ordering of files rather than this?) (TODO: Use a priority field instead. Interger from -20 to 20. Default to 0)

[Target] Section

File: File or list of files that trigger a hook.


Package: Package or list of packages that trigger the hook.

Exec: the command to be run during the upgrade. Can use the following replacements (will be quoted):

%f: the triggering file - if more than one triggers, the command is looped
%F: the list of triggering files
%p: the triggering package - if more than one triggers, the command is looped
%P: the list of triggering packages

(TODO: issues with maximum command line length) (TODO: StandardOutput=null|console StandardError= ... instead of piping output) (TODO: Enforce absolute paths)

Additional Configuration

During ./configure the system hooks directory is specified with --with-hooksdir defaulting to EPREFIX/lib when unspecified. The override directory is not configurable beyond using --sysconfdir.

Implementation Notes

  • File hooks are still run when install scriptlets are run and not directly after the file.
  • New hooks need to be detected and activate on install.

Old Versions for Reference