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makepkg is used for compiling your own packages suitable for Pacman to use. It uses a script-based build system which can download and validate source files, check dependencies, configure build time settings, build the package, install the package into a temporary root, make customizations, generate meta-info and package the whole thing up. As you can see makepkg has a lot of features, the basics of which are described below.

Setting Things Up

If you want to use the ABS - The Arch Build System first obtain it by running as root:


You also need to install fakeroot if you want to build packages as a non-root user:

pacman -Sy fakeroot

Next you need to decide where you want to create your packages, for instance you could have them under your home directory under a separate folder. As your your normal user account make the directory (replace user below with your user name):

mkdir /home/user/packages

Its also recommended to create a separate group to to own the above set of folders, so as root (replace "user" at the end with your user name):

groupadd abs
usermod -G users,slocate,abs user

If you want to use ABS the following will allow your user account to access it (run as root):

chown root.abs /var/abs/local
chmod 775 /var/abs/local 

Building a Package

To build a package you either need to create one as described at The_Arch_package_making_HOW-TO_-_with_guidelines, or obtain one from AUR or ABS or some other source. You should be careful where you obtain your packages from and only install those from people and sources you trust.

Say you found an excellent package on AUR that you wanted to build and install (in this example we will use "rufus" the Python based bit torrent client). You can obtain the PKGBUILD and all files needed from here, click on the "Tarball" link.

cd /path/to/file
tar -zxf rufus.tar.gz
cd rufus

You will notice there are a number of files located under this directory including the PKGBUILD script that is used to build your package. To build this package just issue:


Which will then set up, download and attempt to build your package. If you don't have all the required dependencies installed makepkg will warn you before failing. To install these just issue the usual command as root to install packages:

pacman -Sy somepackage1 somepackage2

Note that these dependences will need to be in your configured repositories though, if they are not you will either have to configure a repository that contains the dependences or install them first using the above methods.

Once you have satisfied all the dependencies and your package builds successfully you should now have the rufus-0.7.0-1.pkg.tar.gz file in the directory you run makepkg in. To install it (as the root user) issue:

pacman -A rufus-0.7.0-1.pkg.tar.gz

Congratulations! You now have successfully installed your own package!

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