Beginners Guide to Package Maintaining

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In this class, Students will:

1. Learn what a source package consists of and how they are installed and uninstalled on a Linux system.

2. Learn what an Arch Linux Package is, and how pacman and makepkg use them to install software.

3. Get a short introduction to bash and the specific variables and functions used in an Arch Linux PKGBUILD

4. Learn how to write their own PKGBUILD files by looking at the files in a source archive, checking the md5 sum, and using a PKGBUILD template. This would include ruby, cvs, git and other version controlled sources.

5. Learn how to upload packages to the AUR and how to find orphan packages and adopt them.


Before taking this class, students should have knowledge of

1. Basic commands used on a Linux System

2. Be familiar with the Linux directory hierarchy

3. How to unarchive files

4. How to use a text editor

5. Have some knowledge of file/directory permissions


1. An up-to-date Arch Linux Installation

2. An internet connection

Lesson 1: Installing from Source

Lesson 1 Resources

Lesson 1 Procedure

1. Have the students open a source archive, and look at the contents of the directory. What files and directories are there?

2. Open the readme file, the make file, etc and look at the contents

3. Explain what the files and directories do, how they are installed, and where the files go after installation.

4. A brief introduction to GNU Make and how to compile software

Lesson 2:

Lesson 3:

Complete Resources List

List all the resources used in the lessons

Suggested Reading


The Arch Build System (ABS)

GNU Make

See Also