AUR Metadata

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In order to display information in the AUR web interface, the AUR's back-end code attempts to parse PKGBUILD files and salvage package name, version, and other information from it. PKGBUILDs are Bash scripts, and correctly parsing Bash scripts without executing them is a huge challenge, which is why makepkg is a Bash script itself: it includes the PKGBUILD of the package being built via the source directive. AUR metadata files were created to get rid of some hacks, used by AUR package maintainers to work around incorrect parsing in the web interface. See also FS#25210, FS#15043, and FS#16394.

How it works

By adding a metadata file called ".AURINFO" to source tarballs to overwrite specific PKGBUILD fields. .AURINFO files are parsed line-by-line. The syntax for each line is key = value, where key is any of the following field names:

  • pkgname
  • pkgver
  • pkgdesc
  • url
  • license
  • depends

Multiple depends lines can be specified to add multiple dependencies. This format closely matches the .PKGINFO format that is used for binary packages in pacman/libalpm. It can be extended by field name prefixes or sections to support split packages later.

Working with makepkg --source

Note that makepkg --source will not automatically include an .AURINFO file that you've created in the src tarball. You can fix this by adding .AURINFO to the source array in your PKGBUILD.

 source=(.AURINFO ...)
 md5sums=(SKIP ...)

What does not work

  • Split packages
  • Multiple architectures (x86_64 dependencies tend to be more numerous, so just put them)

pkgbuild_reflection and mkaurball

pkgbuild-introspection is a set of tools for generating .AURINFO files. One of the provided tools is mkaurball, which is a script that runs makepkg --source, generates an .AURINFO file, and inserts it into the resulting source package.

Tip: mkaurball is a wrapper for makepkg --source. When creating source packages for inclusion in the AUR, use mkaurball instead of running makepkg --source directly.

Install the package pkgbuild-introspection-gitAUR from the Arch User Repository.

See also