AUR helpers

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Revision as of 03:43, 13 March 2018 by Morganamilo (talk | contribs) (Expand the 'split package' column definition to include common cases that AUR helpers fail to handle correctly.)
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  • AUR helpers are not supported by Arch Linux. It is recommended to become familiar with the manual build process in order to be prepared to troubleshoot problems on one's own.
  • AUR helpers can replicate pacman(8) usage for the official repositories, such as pacman -Syu. This usage may deviate from pacman in various ways; it is thus not supported or recommended.

AUR helpers are written to automate certain tasks for the Arch User Repository.


Build and search

Note: This list does not include details on functionality or maintainer status. See #Comparison table.

This is a list of helper utilities that search, download and/or build packages.

  • argon — Graphical frontend to pacaur. || argonAUR
  • aura — A package manager for Arch Linux written in Haskell. (Forum page) || aura-binAUR (binary)
  • auracle — An AUR client written in C++. || auracle-gitAUR
  • aurel — Search, vote and download AUR packages from Emacs. (Forum page) || aurel-gitAUR
  • aurget — pacman-like interface to the AUR, without wrapping pacman commands. || aurgetAUR
  • aurman — AUR helper written in python || aurman-gitAUR
  • aurquery — Caching wrapper around the AUR's RPC interface using the python3-aur library. || python3-aurAUR
  • aurutils — Helper tools for the AUR. (Forum page) || aurutilsAUR
  • bauerbill — Powerpill/pacman extension with support for building packages from ABS and AUR. (Forum page) || bauerbillAUR
  • burgaur — A front-end for cower written in Python. || burgaurAUR
  • cower — AUR search and download agent written in C, which also checks for updates and package dependencies. (Forum page) || cowerAUR
  • naaman — An AUR helper written in Python 3. || naamanAUR
  • pacaur — An AUR helper that minimizes user interaction. (Forum page) || pacaurAUR
  • pacget — A wrapper around pacaur to mimic yaourt's search feature. || pacgetAUR
  • packer — Wrapper for pacman and the AUR. (Forum page) || packerAUR
  • pakku — Pacman wrapper with AUR support. || pakkuAUR
  • pbget — Retrieve source files from the Arch SVN and CVS web interface, the AUR, and the ABS rsync server. || pbgetAUR
  • pikaur — Pacman wrapper written in Python. || pikaur-gitAUR
  • PKGBUILDer — An AUR helper with dependency support written in Python 3. || pkgbuilderAUR
  • prm — An AUR and ABS helper. || PKGBUILD
  • repoctl — Tool to help manage local repositories (AUR support). || repoctlAUR
  • spinach — An AUR helper written in Bash || spinachAUR
  • trizen — A wrapper for the AUR written in Perl. || trizenAUR
  • wrapaur — A pacman and AUR wrapper written in bash.
|| wrapaurAUR
  • yaah — Yet another AUR helper || yaahAUR
  • yaourt — A wrapper for the AUR and regular packages. || yaourtAUR
  • yay — AUR helper written in Go. || yayAUR or yay-binAUR (binary)


  • aur-out-of-date — Uses hoster APIs to check AUR packages for upstream changes || aur-out-of-dateAUR
  • pkgbuild-watch — Looks for changes on the upstream web pages || pkgbuild-watchAUR
  • pkgbuildup — Helps AUR package maintainers automatically update PKGBUILD files. Supports a template variable syntax. || pkgbuildup-gitAUR
  • pkgcheck — Uses rules in PKGBUILDs to parse upstream version information or looks for changes by checksumming the web page || Repository: GitHub
  • 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 || pkgoutofdate-gitAUR


  • haskell-archlinux — Library to access the AUR and package metadata from the Haskell programming language || haskell-archlinuxAUR
  • python3-aur — Python 3 modules for accessing AUR package information and automating AUR interactions. || python3-aurAUR

Comparison table

The columns have the following meaning:

  • Secure: 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.
  • Clean build: does not export new variables that can prevent a successful build process.
  • 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: A project is considered to support split packages if it has the 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.
  • Git clone: uses git-clone(1) instead of downloading tarballs which is deprecated.
  • Maintained: A project is considered maintained if it fullfills all of the following criteria:
– it is not discontinued by the author in favor of a different project or otherwise;
– it has seen general activity in the last 6 months;
– existing issues on security and clean build (as described above) have been worked on in the last 6 months.
  • Syntax: P stands for Pacman-like, S for specific.
Name Written In Maintained Secure Clean build Reliable parser Reliable solver Split packages Git clone Shell completion Syntax Specificity
aura Haskell Yes Yes Yes Yes No No [1] No bash, zsh P Downgrade, ABS, powerpill support, multilingual, requires ArchHaskell
auracle C++ Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes N/A No N/A S No automatic builds
aurel Emacs Lisp Yes Yes N/A Yes N/A N/A No N/A S Emacs integration, no automatic builds
aurget Bash No Optional Yes No No No [2] No bash, zsh P sort by votes
aurman Python Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes bash P batch interaction, fetch pgp keys, sort by popularity, deep search
aurutils Bash/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes zsh S vifm, PCRE, local repository, package signing, systemd-nspawn support, sort by votes/popularity
bauerbill Python Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes bash, zsh P/S Trust management, ABS support, extends Powerpill
burgaur Python/C No [3] Optional, with mc Yes No No No No None P Wrapper for cower
cower C No [4] Yes N/A Yes N/A N/A No bash/zsh S No automatic builds, regex support, sort by votes/popularity
naaman Python No No Yes No No No Yes bash P/S -
pacaur Bash/C No [5] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes bash, zsh P/S multilingual, sort by votes/popularity, batch interaction
packer Bash No No Yes No No No No None P -
pakku Nim Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes bash P Pacman-like user interface
pbget Python Yes Yes N/A Yes N/A N/A Yes None S No automatic builds
pikaur Python Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes bash, fish, zsh P/S dynamic users, multilingual, sort by votes/popularity, batch interaction
PKGBUILDer Python Yes Optional Yes Yes Yes Partial [6] Yes None P Automatic builds by default, use -F to disable; multilingual
prm Bash No Yes [7] N/A Yes N/A N/A Yes None S No automatic builds, ABS support
repoctl Go Yes Yes N/A Yes [8] N/A N/A No zsh S No automatic builds, local repository support
spinach Bash No Yes [9] Yes No No No No None S -
trizen Perl Yes Yes Yes Yes [10] Yes Yes [11] Yes [12] bash, zsh P AUR comments
wrapaur Bash No Yes Yes No No No Yes None S Mirror updates, print news and AUR comments
yaah Bash Yes Yes N/A Yes N/A N/A Optional bash S No automatic builds
yaourt Bash/C No No (yaourt -Si) [13] [14] No [15] No No [16] No [17] Optional bash, zsh, fish P Backup, ABS support, AUR comments, multilingual
yay Go Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No bash, zsh, fish P sort by votes, batch interaction
  • Pacman 4.2. introduced architecture specific fields. [18] AurJson merges these fields to their generic counterparts, such as depends and makedepends: FS#48796. Helpers relying on the RPC may use the below workarounds to retrieve dependencies:
– Retrieve specific fields from .SRCINFO: bauerbillAUR [19], pkgbuilderAUR [20]
– Strip the lib32- prefix on i686 systems: aurutilsAUR [21], pacaurAUR [22], trizenAUR [23]