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Aura is a multilingual package manager for Arch Linux written in Haskell. It connects to both the official ABS repositories and to the Arch User Repository, allowing easy control of all packages on an Arch system. It allows all pacman operations and provides new custom ones for dealing with AUR packages. This differs from some other AUR helpers.


Aura's philosophy as a package manager can be viewed in more detail here. The main points are summarized below.

  • Aura is Pacman - All pacman operators and their sub-options are allowed.
  • ABS and AUR are separate - New aura-only operators are introduced for handling AUR packages.
  • Quiet Building - Makepkg output is suppressed by default. Unsuppress by using -x alongside -A.
  • Run as Root, Build as a User - Running makepkg as root or with sudo is dangerous. Aura builds packages with normal user privileges, even when run with sudo.
  • Know your System - Editing PKGBUILDs mid-build is not default behaviour. All package research should be done prior to building.
  • Downgradibility - Aura caches built package files, so they can be managed like any ABS package would. This includes downgrading with -C.
  • No Orphans - Aura provides several options for dealing with orphaned dependencies.
  • Multilingual - Aura provides multiple output languages.


Note: All of Aura's dependencies can be found in the [haskell-core] repository. These tend to be more recent than those in [extra], [community, and the AUR. Naturally, installing them this way is faster than building manually from the AUR. See here on how to add [haskell-core] as a repository.

Aura requires the following dependencies to build:

[extra] / [community] / [haskell-core] Dependencies

[haskell-core] / AUR Dependencies

Once all of these are installed, you can build auraAUR.

Aura-unique Operators

See the aura man page for more detailed descriptions.

  • -A - Perform actions involving the AUR. Default action builds and installs AUR packages.
  • -B - Manage the saving and restoring of the global package state. Default action stores a record of all installed packages.
  • -C - Perform actions involving the package cache. Default action downgrades packages. This is interactive.
  • -L - Perform actions involving the pacman log. Default action opens the log for read-only viewing.
  • -M - Perform actions involving the ABS tree. Default action manually builds from your local ABS tree.
  • -O - Perform actions involving orphaned dependencies. Default action lists orphaned dependencies.


Installing Packages

Install an AUR package:

aura -A (package)

Author's favourite. Upgrade all AUR packages, show PKGBUILD diffs, and remove unneeded makedeps after installation:

aura -Akua

Just sync the package database and upgrade all installed AUR packages:

aura -Ayu

Install with makepkg output unsuppressed:

aura -Ax (package)

Install and remove make dependencies afterwards:

aura -Aa (package)

Show a packages recent PKGBUILD changes when installing:

aura -Ak (package)

Look up information on an AUR package:

aura -Ai (package)

Checkout an AUR package's PKGBUILD:

aura -Ap (package)

Only download an AUR package's PKGBUILD:

aura -Ap package > PKGBUILD

Search the AUR via a regex:

aura -As (regex)

Saving/Restoring the Global Package State

Save the global package state:

aura -B

Restore a saved state. Downgrades upgraded packages, removes recently installed:

aura -Br

Remove old saved states. Saves `number` states and removes the rest.

aura -Bc (number)

Working with the Package Cache

Downgrade a package (this is interactive):

aura -C (package)

Search the package cache for package files via a regex:

aura -Cs (regex)

Backup the package cache:

aura -Cb (/path/to/backup/location/)

Reduce the package cache to contain only the 5 most recent versions of each package file:

aura -Cc 5

Working with the Pacman Log

View the pacman log:

aura -L

View log info on a package:

aura -Li

Search the log via a regex:

aura -Ls (regex)

Working with Orphan Dependencies

Display orphans:

aura -O

Adopt a package (shorthand for -D --asexplicit):

aura -O (package)

Uninstall all orphans:

aura -Oj

Multilingual Support

Aura supports multiple output languages. The current available languages (and their flags) are:

  • English (default) => --english
  • Japanese => --日本語 or --japanese
  • Polish => --polski or --polish
  • Croatian => --hrvatski or --croatian
  • German => --deutsch or --german
  • Spanish => --español or --spanish
  • Portuguese => --português or --portuguese
  • French => --français or --french
  • Russian => --русский or --russian
  • Italian => --italiano or --italian
  • Serbian => --српски or --serbian
Note: To use non-ASCII arguments, you will need a UTF-8 compatible terminal client, like urxvt.


GHC dependency is too big

There is a pre-built binary version of aura available as the aura-binAUR package in the AUR. No Haskell dependencies required.

Build failing at configuration step

If you get the following:

Configuring aura-1.x.x.x...
Setup: At least the following dependencies are missing:
curl -any, regex-pcre -any

Then you need to rebuild these two AUR packages, or install them out of [haskell-core]. This usually occurs after ghc upgrades, and has to do with ghc and all the haskell libraries being linked by special hash values for security purposes.

Searching both Repos and AUR simultaneously

If you want to search the official repositories and the AUR with one command you can do that with a simple bash function. Put the following in your ~/.bashrc:

function search() {
  aura -Ss $1; aura -As $1;

Here is a fish shell version:

function search
  aura -Ss $argv
  aura -As $argv

External Links