Arch terminology

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Revision as of 09:40, 14 April 2006 by Pressh (talk | contribs) (makepkg)
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Arch Terminology/Jargon for newbies

This page is intended to be a page to demystify common terms used among the Arch Linux community. Feel free to add or modify any terms, but please use that particular section's edit option. If you decide to add one, please put it in alphabetical order.


The Arch Build System (ABS for short) is useful to

  • Make new packages of software for which no packages are yet available
  • Customize/Modify existing packages to fit your needs (enabling or disabling options)
  • Re-build your entire system using your compiler flags, "a la gentoo" (And getting kernel modules working with your custom kernel!)

ABS is not necessary to use Arch Linux, but it is useful.

For more information see the ABS wiki


The ArchLinux User-Community Repository (AUR) is a community driven repository for Arch users. The AUR was initially conceived to organize the sharing of PKGBUILDs amongst the wider community and to expedite the inclusion of popular user-contributed packages into the [current] and [extra] repos via the AUR [community] repo.

It is called to be the birthplace of Arch's new packages. This is because in the AUR, the users contribute their own packages. The AUR community votes for or against them, and eventually, once a package has been voted high enough, a AUR Trusted User takes it to the [community] repository, which is accessible via pacman and ABS.

You can access the ArchLinux User-Community Repository here



Trusted User. This is someone who the other TU's have voted into place to manage the AUR and the [community] repository.

Trusted Users have the ability to mark a package as safe on the AUR, and if it has been voted as popular, move it into the [community] repository.

Trusted users follow the [AUR Trusted User Guidelines] and TU by-laws




custom/user repository














makepkg is the application that ArchLinux uses to build packages for use with pacman. makepkg will read the install instructions in a PKGBUILD file, and executes them.







Read The Fucking Manual. This is simple message is replied to a lot of new linux/arch users who ask about the functionality of a program, when it is clearly defined in

man program

It is often used when a user fails to make any attempt to find a solution to the problem themselves. If someone tells you this, they are not trying to offend you, they are just frustrated with your lack of effort.

The best thing to do if you are told to do this, is to do as above, and read the manual page:

  • Read the program man page, at a command line
man program-name
  • Search the wiki
  • Search the forum
  • Search Google





This is a very simple script that allows you to easily update your CVS and SVN packages without having to edit the PKGBUILDs manually to enter the date or revision number.

Simply run this script rather than makepkg in the build dir. This script completely removes the need for backtick execution to set the date or tag version in PKGBUILDs.

More detailed information can be found here