Arch User Repository

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The Arch User Repository (AUR) is a community-driven repository for Arch users. It contains package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that allow you to compile a package from source with makepkg and then install it via pacman. The AUR was created to organize and share new packages from the community and to help expedite popular packages' inclusion into the community repository. This document explains how users can access and utilize the AUR.

A good number of new packages that enter the official repositories start in the AUR. In the AUR, users are able to contribute their own package builds (PKGBUILD and related files). The AUR community has the ability to vote for packages in the AUR. If a package becomes popular enough — provided it has a compatible license and good packaging technique — it may be entered into the community repository (directly accessible by pacman or abs).

Warning: AUR packages are user produced content with no official support. Any use of the provided files is at your own risk.

Contents

Getting started

Users can search and download PKGBUILDs from the AUR Web Interface. These PKGBUILDs can be built into installable packages using makepkg, then installed using pacman.

  • Ensure the base-devel package group is installed in full (pacman -S --needed base-devel).
  • Glance over the #FAQ for answers to the most common questions.
  • You may wish to adjust /etc/makepkg.conf to optimize for your processor prior to building packages from the AUR. A significant improvement in compile times can be realized on systems with multi-core processors by adjusting the MAKEFLAGS variable. Users can also enable hardware-specific optimizations in GCC via the CFLAGS variable. See makepkg for more information.

It is also possible to interact with the AUR through SSH: type ssh aur@aur.archlinux.org help for a list of available commands.

History

In the beginning, there was ftp://ftp.archlinux.org/incoming, and people contributed by simply uploading the PKGBUILD, the needed supplementary files, and the built package itself to the server. The package and associated files remained there until a Package Maintainer saw the program and adopted it.

Then the Trusted User Repositories were born. Certain individuals in the community were allowed to host their own repositories for anyone to use. The AUR expanded on this basis, with the aim of making it both more flexible and more usable. In fact, the AUR maintainers are still referred to as TUs (Trusted Users).

Between 2015-06-08 and 2015-08-08 the AUR transitioned from version 3.5.1 to 4.0.0, introducing the use of Git repositories for publishing the PKGBUILDs. Existing packages were dropped unless manually migrated to the new infrastructure by their maintainers.

Git repositories for AUR3 packages

The AUR Archive on GitHub has a repository for every package that was in AUR 3 at the time of the migration. Alternatively, there is the aur3-mirror repository which provides the same.

Installing packages

Installing packages from the AUR is a relatively simple process. Essentially:

  1. Acquire the build files, including the PKGBUILD and possibly other required files, like systemd units and patches (often not the actual code).
  2. Verify that the PKGBUILD and accompanying files are not malicious or untrustworthy.
  3. Run makepkg -si in the directory where the files are saved. This will download the code, resolve the dependencies with pacman, compile it, package it, and install the package.
Note: The AUR is unsupported, so any packages you install are your responsibility to update, not pacman's. If packages in the official repositories are updated, you will need to rebuild any AUR packages that depend on those libraries.

Prerequisites

First ensure that the necessary tools are installed by installing the base-devel group in full which includes make and other tools needed for compiling from source.

Note: Packages in the AUR assume that the base-devel group is installed, i.e. they do not list the group's members as dependencies explicitly.

Next choose an appropriate build directory. A build directory is simply a directory where the package will be made or "built" and can be any directory. The examples in the following sections will use ~/builds as the build directory.

Acquire build files

Locate the package in the AUR. This is done using the search field at the top of the AUR home page. Clicking the application's name in the search list brings up an information page on the package. Read through the description to confirm that this is the desired package, note when the package was last updated, and read any comments.

There are several methods for acquiring the build files:

  • Option 1: Clone the git repository that is labelled as the "Git Clone URL" in the "Package Details". This is the preferred method.
$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/package_name.git
An advantage of this method is that you can easily get updates to the package via git pull.
  • Option 2: Download the build files with your web browser by clicking the "Download snapshot" link under "Package Actions" on the right hand side. This will download a compressed file, which must be extracted (preferably in a directory set aside for AUR builds)
$ tar -xvf package_name.tar.gz
  • Similarly, you can download a tarball from the terminal (and extract it):
$ curl -L -O https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/snapshot/package_name.tar.gz

Build and install the package

Change directories to the directory containing the package's PKGBUILD.

$ cd package_name
Warning: Carefully check the PKGBUILD, any .install files, and any other files in the package's git repository for malicious or dangerous commands. If in doubt, do not build the package, and seek advice on the forums or mailing list. Malicious code has been found in packages before. [1]

View the contents of all provided files. For example, to use the pager less to view PKGBUILD do:

$ less PKGBUILD
Tip: If you are updating a package, you may want to look at the changes since the last commit.
  • To view changes since the last git commit you can use git show.
  • To view changes since the last commit using vimdiff, do git difftool @~..@ vimdiff. The advantage of vimdiff is that you view the entire contents of each file along with indicators on what has changed.

Make the package. After manually confirming the contents of the files, run makepkg as a normal user:

$ makepkg -si
  • -s/--syncdeps automatically resolves and installs any dependencies with pacman before building. If the package depends on other AUR packages, you will need to manually install them first.
  • -i/--install installs the package if it is built successfully. Alternatively the built package can be installed with pacman -U package.pkg.tar.xz.

Other useful flags are

  • -r/--rmdeps removes build-time dependencies after the build, as they are no longer needed. However these dependencies may need to be reinstalled the next time the package is updated.
  • -c/--clean cleans up temporary build files after the build, as they are no longer needed. These files are usually needed only when debugging the build process.
Note: The above example is only a brief summary of the build process. It is highly recommended to read the makepkg and ABS articles for more details.

Feedback

The AUR provides various means for users to communicate with package maintainers, provided they have setup an account on the AUR Web Interface.

Commenting on packages

Comments allow users to provide suggestions or respond to updates and maintainers to respond to users or make announcements. The Python-Markdown syntax is supported, which provides basic Markdown syntax for formatting. Maintainers may pin comments by clicking the thumbtack button in their top-right corner.

Note:
  • The markdown implementation has some occasional differences with the official syntax rules.
  • Commit hashes to the Git repository of the package and references to Flyspray tickets are converted to links automatically.
  • Long comments are collapsed and can be expanded on demand.
Tip: Avoid pasting patches or PKGBUILDs into the comments section; they quickly become obsolete and just end up needlessly taking up lots of space. Instead email those files to the maintainer, or use a pastebin.

Voting for packages

One of the easiest activities for all Arch users is to browse the AUR and vote for their favourite packages. All packages are eligible for adoption by a TU for inclusion in the community repository, and the vote count is one of the considerations in that process; it is in everyone's interest to vote!

While logged in, on the AUR page for a package you may click "Vote for this package" under "Package Actions" on the right. It is also possible to vote from the commandline with aurvoteAUR, aurvote-gitAUR, aur-auto-vote-gitAUR, or aurvote-utilsAUR.

Alternatively, if you have set up ssh authentication, you can directly vote from the command line using your ssh key and avoid having to save or type in your AUR password.

ssh aur@aur.archlinux.org vote <PACKAGE_NAME>

Flagging packages out-of-date

While logged in, on the AUR page for a package you may click "Flag package as out-of-date" under "Package Actions" on the right. You should also leave a comment indicating details as to why the package is outdated, preferably including links to a release announcement or a new release tarball. Also try to reach out to the maintainer directly by email. If there is no response after two weeks, you may file an orphan request.

Note: VCS packages are not considered out-of-date when the pkgver changes, do not flag them as the maintainer will merely unflag the package and ignore you.

Sharing and maintaining packages

Note: Please see Talk:Arch User Repository#Scope of the AUR4 section before making changes to this section.

Users can share PKGBUILDs using the Arch User Repository. It does not contain any binary packages but allows users to upload PKGBUILDs that can be downloaded by others. These PKGBUILDs are completely unofficial and have not been thoroughly vetted, so they should be used at your own risk.

Submitting packages

Warning: Before attempting to submit a package you are expected to familiarize yourself with Arch packaging standards and all the articles under "Related articles". Verify carefully that what you are uploading is correct. Packages that violate the rules may be deleted without warning.

If you are unsure in any way about a package or the build/submission process even after reading this section twice, submit the PKGBUILD for review.

Rules of submission

When submitting a package to the AUR, observe the following rules:

  • Submitted PKGBUILDs must be in compliance with the licensing terms of the content to be packaged. In cases where it is mentioned that "you may not link" to downloads, i.e. contents that are not redistributable, you may only use the file name itself as the source. This means and requires that users already have the restricted source in the build directory prior to building the package. When in doubt, ask.
  • Submitted PKGBUILDs must not duplicate applications in any of the official repositories. Check the official package database; if the package exists, do not submit a duplicate. If the official package is out-of-date, flag it as such. If the official package is broken, or lacking a standard feature, please file a bug report.
The only exception to this is for packages with extra features enabled and/or patches in comparison to the official ones, in which case pkgbase should be different to express that. For example, a package for GNU screen containing the sidebar patch could be named screen-sidebar. Additionally the provides=('screen') array should be used in order to avoid conflicts with the official package.
  • Check the AUR if the package already exists. If it is currently maintained, changes can be submitted in a comment for the maintainer's attention. If it is unmaintained or the maintainer is unresponsive, the package can be adopted and updated as required. Do not create duplicate packages.
  • Make sure the package you want to upload is useful. Will anyone else want to use this package? Is it extremely specialized? If more than a few people would find this package useful, it is appropriate for submission.
The AUR and official repositories are intended for packages which install generally software and software-related content, including one or more of the following: executable(s); config file(s); online or offline documentation for specific software or the Arch Linux distribution as a whole; media intended to be used directly by software.
  • Do not use replaces in an AUR PKGBUILD unless the package is to be renamed, for example when Ethereal became Wireshark. If the package is an alternate version of an already existing package, use conflicts (and provides if that package is required by others). The main difference is: after syncing (-Sy) pacman immediately wants to replace an installed, 'offending' package upon encountering a package with the matching replaces anywhere in its repositories; conflicts, on the other hand, is only evaluated when actually installing the package, which is usually the desired behavior because it is less invasive.
  • Please add a comment line to the top of the PKGBUILD file which contains information about the current maintainers and previous contributors, respecting the following format. Remember to disguise your email to protect against spam. Additional or unneeded lines are facultative.
If you are assuming the role of maintainer for an existing PKGBUILD, add your name to the top like this
# Maintainer: Your Name <address at domain dot tld>
If there were previous maintainers, put them as contributors. The same applies for the original submitter if this is not you. If you are a co-maintainer, add the names of the other current maintainers as well.
# Maintainer: Your name <address at domain dot tld>
# Maintainer: Other maintainer's name <address at domain dot tld>
# Contributor: Previous maintainer's name <address at domain dot tld>
# Contributor: Original submitter's name <address at domain dot tld>

Authentication

For write access to the AUR, you need to have an SSH key pair. The content of the public key needs to be copied to your profile in My Account, and the corresponding private key configured for the aur.archlinux.org host. For example:

~/.ssh/config
Host aur.archlinux.org
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/aur
  User aur

You should create a new key pair rather than use an existing one, so that you can selectively revoke the keys should something happen:

$ ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/aur
Tip: You can add multiple public keys to your profile by separating them with a newline in the input field.

Creating package repositories

If you are creating a new package from scratch, establish a local Git repository and an AUR remote by cloning the intended pkgbase. If the package does not yet exist, the following warning is expected:

$ git clone ssh://aur@aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase.git
Cloning into 'pkgbase'...
warning: You appear to have cloned an empty repository.
Checking connectivity... done.
Note: The repository will not be empty if pkgbase matches a deleted package.

If you already have a package, initialize it as a Git repository if it isn't one, and add an AUR remote:

$ git remote add label ssh://aur@aur.archlinux.org/pkgbase.git

Then fetch this remote to initialize it in the AUR.

Note: Pull and rebase to resolve conflicts if pkgbase matches a deleted package.

Publishing new package content

Warning: Your commits will be authored with your global Git name and email address. It is very difficult to change commits after pushing them (FS#45425). If you want to push to the AUR under different credentials, you can change them per package with git config user.name "..." and git config user.email "...".

To upload or update a package add at least PKGBUILD and .SRCINFO then any new or modified .install files, patches or other local source files; commit with a meaningful commit message, and finally push the changes to the AUR.

Tip: To keep the working directory and commits as clean as possible, create a gitignore(5) that excludes all files and force-add files as needed.

For example:

$ makepkg --printsrcinfo > .SRCINFO
$ git add -f PKGBUILD .SRCINFO
$ git commit -m "useful commit message"
$ git push
Note:
  • After modifying a package, except for very minor changes (such as fixing a typo) that would not require re-installation of the package, update its version accordingly.
  • Regenerate .SRCINFO after updating such PKGBUILD metadata in order to publish it in the AUR.
  • If .SRCINFO was not added before your first commit, add it by rebasing with --root or filtering the tree so the AUR will permit your initial push.

Maintaining packages

  • Check for feedback and comments from other users and try to incorporate any improvements they suggest; consider it a learning process!
  • Please do not leave a comment containing the version number every time you update the package. This keeps the comment section usable for valuable content mentioned above.
  • Please do not just submit and forget about packages! It is the maintainer's job to maintain the package by checking for updates and improving the PKGBUILD.
  • If you do not want to continue to maintain the package for some reason, disown the package using the AUR web interface and/or post a message to the AUR Mailing List. If all maintainers of an AUR package disown it, it will become an "orphaned" package.

Other requests

Deletion, merge, and orphan requests can be created by clicking on the "Submit Request" link under "Package Actions" on the right hand side. This will send a notification email to the current maintainer and to the aur-requests mailing list for discussion. A Trusted User will then either accept or reject the request.

Deletion

You may request to unlist a pkgbase from the AUR. A short note explaining the reason for deletion is required, as well as supporting details (like when a package is provided by another package, if you are the maintainer yourself, it is renamed and the original owner agreed, etc).

Note:
  • It is not sufficient to explain why a package is up for deletion only in its comments because as soon as a TU takes action, the only place where such information can be obtained is the aur-requests mailing list.
  • Deletion requests can be rejected, in which case if you are the maintainer you will likely be advised to disown the package to allow adoption by another maintainer.
  • After a package is "deleted", its git repository remains available for cloning.

Merge

You may request to delete a pkgbase and transfer its votes and comments to another pkgbase. The name of the package to merge into is required.

Note: This has nothing to do with 'git merge' or GitLab's merge requests.

Orphan

You may request that a pkgbase be disowned. These requests will be granted after two weeks if the current maintainer did not react.

Promoting packages to the community repository

When AUR packages receive enough community interest and the support of a Trusted User, they may be adopted into the community repository (maintained by the TUs), from which binary packages can be installed using pacman.

Usually, at least 10 votes are required for something to move into community. However, if a TU wants to support a package, it will often be found in the repository.

Sufficient votes are not the only requirement; there has to be a TU willing to maintain the package. TUs are not required to adopt a package even if it has thousands of votes.

Usually, when a very popular package stays in the AUR it is because:

  • Arch Linux already has another version of a package in the repositories.
  • Its license prohibits redistribution.
  • It helps retrieve user-submitted PKGBUILDs (AUR helpers).

See also Rules for Packages Entering the community Repo.

Verifying packages

If you are having trouble building a package, read its PKGBUILD and the comments on its AUR page. It is possible that a PKGBUILD is broken for everyone. If you cannot figure it out on your own, report it to the maintainer (e.g. by posting the errors you are getting in the comments on the AUR page). You may also seek help in the AUR Issues, Discussion & PKGBUILD Requests forum.

To avoid problems caused by your particular system configuration, build packages in a clean chroot. If the build process still fails in a clean chroot, the issue is probably with the PKGBUILD.

See Creating packages#Checking package sanity about using namcap to debug packages. If you would like to have a PKGBUILD reviewed, post it on the aur-general mailing list to get feedback from the TUs and fellow AUR members, or the Creating & Modifying Packages forum. You could also seek help in the IRC channel #archlinux-aur on Freenode.

Avoid common pitfalls:

  1. Ensure your build environment is up-to-date by upgrading before building anything.
  2. Ensure you have both base and base-devel groups installed.
  3. Use the -s option with makepkg to check and install all the dependencies needed before starting the build process.
  4. Try the default makepkg configuration.
  5. See Makepkg#Troubleshooting for common issues.

Web interface translation

See i18n.txt in the AUR source tree for information about creating and maintaining translation of the AUR web interface.

FAQ

What is the AUR?

The AUR (Arch User Repository) is a place where the Arch Linux community can upload PKGBUILDs of applications, libraries, etc., and share them with the entire community. Fellow users can then vote for their favorites to be moved into the community repository to be shared with Arch Linux users in binary form.

What kind of packages are permitted on the AUR?

For most cases, everything is permitted, subject to the #Rules of submission.

How can I vote for packages in the AUR?

See #Voting for packages.

What is a Trusted User / TU?

A Trusted User, in short TU, is a person who is chosen to oversee AUR and the community repository. They are the ones who maintain popular PKGBUILDs in community, and overall keep the AUR running.

What is the difference between the Arch User Repository and the community repository?

AUR packages are maintained by community members and provided in source format, while the packages in the community repository are maintained by the Trusted Users and provided in pre-compiled binary format. See #Promoting packages to the community repository for more information.

Foo in the AUR is outdated; what should I do?

See #Flagging packages out-of-date.

In the meantime, you can try updating the package yourself by editing the PKGBUILD locally. Sometimes, updates do not require changes to the build or package process, in which case simply updating the pkgver or source array is sufficient.

Foo in the AUR does not compile when I run makepkg; what should I do?

You are probably missing something trivial; see #Verifying packages.

ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!; what should I do?

See Makepkg#ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!.

How do I create a PKGBUILD?

Be sure to check the AUR to avoid duplicating efforts, then see creating packages.

I have a PKGBUILD I would like to submit; can someone check it to see if there are any errors?

There are several channels available to submit your package for review; see #Verifying packages.

How to get a PKGBUILD into the community repository?

See #Promoting packages to the community repository.

How can I speed up repeated build processes?

See Makepkg#Improving compile times.

What is the difference between foo and foo-git packages?

Many AUR packages come in "stable" release and "unstable" development versions. Development packages usually have a suffix denoting their Version Control System and are not intended for regular use, but may offer new features or bugfixes. Because these packages only download the latest available source when you execute makepkg, their pkgver() in the AUR does not reflect upstream changes. Likewise, these packages cannot perform an authenticity checksum on any VCS source.

See also System maintenance#Use proven software packages.

Why has foo disappeared from the AUR?

It is possible the package has been adopted by a TU and is now in the community repository.

Packages may be deleted if they did not fulfill the #Rules of submission. See the aur-requests archives for the reason for deletion.

If the package used to exist in AUR3, it might not have been migrated to AUR4. See the #Git repositories for AUR3 packages where these are preserved.

How do I find out if any of my installed packages disappeared from AUR?

The simplest way is to check the HTTP status of the package's AUR page:

$ comm -23 <(pacman -Qqm | sort) <(curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.gz | gzip -cd | sort)

How can I obtain a list of all AUR packages?

See also