Powerpill

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Introduction

Powerpill is a Pacman wrapper that uses parallel and segmented downloading to try to speed up downloads for Pacman. Interally it uses Aria2 and Reflector to achieve this. Powerpill can also use Rsync for official mirrors that support it. This can be efficient for users who already use full bandwidth when downloading from a single mirror. Pacserve is also supported via the configuration file and will be used before downloading from external mirrors. Example: One wants to update and issues a pacman -Syu which returns a list of 20 packages that are available for update totally 200 megs. If the user downloads them via pacman, they will come down one-at-a-time. If the user downloads them via powerpill, they will come down simultaneously in many cases several times faster (depending on one's connection speed, the availability of packages on servers, and speed from server/load, etc.)

A test of pacman vs. powerpill on one system revealed a 4x speed up in the above scenario where the pacman downloads averages 300 kB/sec and the powerpill downloads averaged 1.2 MB/sec.

Installation

You can get it from AUR powerpillAUR

Configuration

Powerpill has a single configure file /etc/powerpill/powerpill.json you can edit to your liking. Refer to the powerpill.json man page for details.

Using Reflector

By default, Powerpill is configured to use Reflector to retrieve the current list of mirrors from the Arch Linux server's web API and use them for parallel downloads. This is to make sure that there are enough servers in the list for significant speed improvements.

Basic Usage

For most operations, powerpill works just like pacman since it is a wrapper script for pacman.

System Updating

To update your system (sync and update installed packages) using powerpill, simply pass the -Syu options to it as you would with pacman:

# powerpill -Syu

Installation of packages

To install a package and its deps, simply use powerpill with the -S option as you would with pacman:

# powerpill -S package

You may also install multiple packages with it the same way you would with pacman:

# powerpill -S package1 package2 package3

External resources