Difference between revisions of "AUR helpers"

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(clarify wording for RUA "inspections" Download and build)
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Revision as of 15:39, 31 October 2018

Warning: AUR helpers are not supported by Arch Linux. You should become familiar with the manual build process in order to be prepared to troubleshoot problems.
Note: Do not edit this article prior to discussion in Talk:AUR helpers.

AUR helpers automate certain usage of the Arch User Repository. Most AUR helpers can search for packages in the AUR and retrieve their PKGBUILDs – others additionally assist with the build and install process.

Pacman only handles updates for pre-built packages in its repositories. AUR packages are redistributed in form of PKGBUILDs and need an AUR helper to automate the re-build process. However, keep in mind that a rebuild of package may be required when its shared library dependencies are updated, not only when the package itself is updated.

Since AUR helpers are unsupported, they are not present in the official repositories.


The columns have the following meaning:

File review
Does not source the PKGBUILD at all by default; or, alerts the user and offers the opportunity to inspect the PKGBUILD manually before it is sourced. Some helpers are known to source PKGBUILDs before the user can inspect them, allowing malicious code to be executed. Optional means that there is a command line flag or configuration option to prevent the automatic sourcing before viewing.
Diff view
Ability to view package differences on inspection. Besides the PKGBUILD, this includes changes to files such as .install or .patch files.
Git clone
Uses git-clone(1) by default to retrieve build files from the AUR.
Reliable parser
Ability to handle complex packages by using the provided metadata (RPC/.SRCINFO) instead of PKGBUILD parsing, such as aws-cli-gitAUR.
Reliable solver
Ability to correctly solve and build complex dependency chains, such as ros-lunar-desktopAUR.
Split packages
Ability to correctly build and install:
  • Multiple packages from the same package base, without rebuilding or reinstalling multiple times, such as clionAUR
  • Split packages which depend on a package from the same package base, such as libc++AUR and libc++abiAUR.
  • Split packages independently, such as python-pyalsaaudioAUR and python2-pyalsaaudioAUR.
Clean build
Does not export new variables that can prevent a successful build process.
Batch interaction
Ability to prompt before the build process, in particular:
  1. Inspection of package files or their differences;
  2. Summary of package upgrades;
  3. Resolution of package conflicts and installations.
An asterisk denotes functionality specifically enabled by the user.
Shell completion
Tab completion is available for the listed shells.
  • Table rows are sorted by column values, where Yes or N/A take precedence over Partial or Optional and No, or alphabetically if values are equal.
  • Optional means that a feature is available, but only through a command-line argument or configuration option. Partial means that a feature is not fully implemented, or that it partially deviates from the given criteria.

Search and download

Name Written in File review Git clone Reliable parser Reliable solver Shell completion Specificity
auracle-gitAUR C++ Yes Yes Yes Yes bash print build order
pbgetAUR Python Yes Yes Yes
yaahAUR Bash Yes Optional Yes bash
cowerAUR C Yes No Yes bash, zsh regex support, sort by votes/popularity
package-queryAUR C Yes No search only
repoctlAUR Go Yes No Yes zsh local repository support
Emacs Lisp Yes No Yes Emacs integration

Download and build

Name Written in File review Diff view Git clone Reliable parser Reliable solver Split packages Clean build Batch interaction Shell completion Specificity
aurutilsAUR Bash/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1 zsh vifm, local repository, package signing, clean chroot support, sort by votes/popularity
bauerbillAUR Python Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1 bash, zsh trust management, ABS support, extends powerpill, bb-wrapper for pacman wrapping
PKGBUILDerAUR Python Optional No Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes 1* automatic builds by default, use -F to disable; multilingual, pb-wrapper for pacman wrapping
ruaAUR Rust Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes 1 bash, zsh, fish tar artifact inspections (SUID, install file etc), isolated build, offline build
repofishAUR Bash Optional Yes Yes No No No Yes 1* automatic builds by default, use check or update to disable; local repository support
aurgetAUR Bash Optional No No No No No Yes bash, zsh sort by votes
Python Optional No Yes Yes Partial Partial Yes 1* bash automatic builds by default, use --fetch to disable; use -d to enable the solver
Bash Yes No No No No No Yes
Python/C Optional No No No No No Yes wrapper for cower

Pacman wrappers

Warning: pacman(8) wrappers abstract the work of the package manager. They may (optionally or by default) introduce unsafe flags, or other unexpected behavior leading to a defective system.
Name Written in File review Diff view Git clone Reliable parser Reliable solver Split packages Clean build Unsafe flags Batch interaction Shell completion Specificity
pakkuAUR Nim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Sy 1 bash, zsh ABS support, AUR comments, fetch PGP keys
pikaurAUR Python Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Sy 1, 2, 3 bash, fish, zsh dynamic users, multilingual, sort by votes/popularity, print news, ignore errors
yayAUR Go Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Sy*
1, 2*, 3* bash, fish, zsh fetch PGP keys, sort by votes/popularity, prompt architecture
trizenAUR Perl Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes -Ud* 1* bash, fish, zsh automatic builds by default, use -G to disable; AUR comments
auraAUR Haskell Optional Partial No Yes No No Yes 1* bash, zsh automatic builds by default, use --dryrun to disable; downgrade support, multilingual
(no user support)
Python Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Sy*
1, 2*, 3* bash, fish fetch PGP keys, sort by votes/popularity, print news
Bash/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Ud
1, 3 bash, zsh multilingual, sort by votes/popularity
Bash Yes No Yes No No No Yes mirror updates, print news and AUR comments
Bash No No No No No No Yes
Bash/C No Optional Optional No No No No -Sy 2 bash, fish, zsh ABS support, print AUR comments, multilingual


  • Graphical AUR helpers are typically aimed at Arch-based distributions. Their use in Arch Linux may lead to a defective system, for example through unattended partial upgrades.
  • If a helper has known problematic behavior, it is colored with a red entry.
Name Written in GUI toolkit Notes
argonAUR Python GTK+ 3
cylonAUR Bash TUI
pamac-aurAUR Vala GTK+ 3 uses libalpm(3) instead of pacman(8)
pakku-guiAUR Python GTK+ 3
PkgBrowserAUR Python Qt 5 read-only browser for repository packages and AUR
octopiAUR C++ Qt 5 enabled on install notifier service regularly performs partial upgrades

Update notifiers

Name Package Written in GUI toolkit
aarchup aarchupAUR C GTK+ 2
arch-update gnome-shell-extension-arch-updateAUR JavaScript Clutter
kalu kaluAUR C GTK+ 3
pactray pactrayAUR Python GTK+ 3
Arch Updater plasma5-applets-kde-arch-update-notifier-gitAUR C++/QML Qt 5
updatehint updatehintAUR Bash GTK+ 3


  • haskell-archlinux — Library to access the AUR and package metadata from the Haskell programming language.
http://hackage.haskell.org/package/archlinux || haskell-archlinuxAUR
  • python3-aur — Python 3 modules for accessing AUR package information and automating AUR interactions.
http://xyne.archlinux.ca/projects/python3-aur || python3-aurAUR


  • aur-out-of-date — Uses hoster APIs to check AUR packages for upstream changes.
https://github.com/simon04/aur-out-of-date || aur-out-of-dateAUR
  • pkgbuild-watch — Looks for changes on the upstream web pages.
http://kmkeen.com/pkgbuild-watch || pkgbuild-watchAUR
  • pkgbuildup — Helps AUR package maintainers automatically update PKGBUILD files. Supports a template variable syntax.
https://github.com/fasheng/pkgbuildup || pkgbuildup-gitAUR
  • pkgoutofdate — Parses the source URL from PKGBUILDs and tries to find new versions of packages by incrementing the version number and sending requests to the web server.
https://github.com/anatol/pkgoutofdate || pkgoutofdate-gitAUR


  • aur4_import.sh — Splits a package from a git repository with multiple packages, adding/updating .SRCINFO for every commit
  • aur4_make_submodule.sh — Replaces a package in a bigger git repository with an AUR 4 submodule, including .SRCINFO
  • aurpublish — Helper script to manage and upload AUR packages using git-subtree(1). Uses githooks(5) to verify the PKGBUILD integrity, generate .SRCINFO automatically, and create a commit message template.
https://github.com/eli-schwartz/aurpublish || aurpublish