AUR Trusted User Guidelines

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Trusted Users (TU) are members of the community charged with keeping the AUR in working order. They maintain popular packages (communicating with and sending patches upstream as needed), and vote in administrative matters. A TU is elected from active community members by current TUs in a democratic process. TUs are the only members who have a final say in the direction of the AUR.

The TUs are governed using the TU bylaws

TODO list for new Trusted Users

  1. Read this entire wiki article.
  2. Read the TU Bylaws.
  3. Make sure your account details on the AUR are up-to-date.
  4. Add yourself to the Trusted Users page.
  5. Remind a bureaucrat to add your wiki account to the Arch Linux Trusted Users group.
  6. Subscribe to the public mailing list for Arch Linux development, arch-dev-public.
  7. Request subscription to the internal trusted user mailing list.
  8. Remind a BBS admin to change your account on forums.
  9. Ask some TU for the #archlinux-tu@freenode key and hang out with us in the channel. You do not have to do this, but it would be neat since this is where most dark secrets are spilled and where many new ideas are conceived.
    • If you need a bouncer, ask heftig for a Matrix invite.
    • Once in the channel, if you want an @archlinux/trusteduser/* cloak ask our group contacts to get you one.
  10. Create a PGP key for package signing or use your existing PGP key. Make sure the key also contains an encryption subkey so you can receive encrypted verification tokens.
  11. Send a signed email to Jelle van der Waa (
    • Attach one SSH public key. If you do not have one, use ssh-keygen to generate one. Check the Using SSH Keys wiki page for more information about SSH keys.
    • Ask him to whitelist you from arch-dev-public.
    • Tell him if you want an email.
    • Preferred username and e-mail address which initial password should be sent to in order to access dev interface (archweb). If you already have an account, ask to be added to the Trusted Users group.
    • Ask him to create an account on Arch Linux SSO for you and which username you want on that. He will also add you to the Trusted Users group on SSO.
  12. Ask your sponsor:
    • to give you TU status on the AUR.
    • to open a new task in the "Keyring" project of the bug tracker following the instructions in this message in order to have your PGP key signed by three master key holders.
  13. Install the devtools package.
  14. Configure your private ssh key for
  15. Ssh to (once you have permissions).
  16. If you are not upgraded to a Trusted User group on bug tracker in two days, report this as a bug to arch-dev-public.
  17. Start contributing!

The TU and the AUR

The TUs should also make an effort to check package submissions in the AUR for malicious code and good PKGBUILDing standards. In around 80% of cases the PKGBUILDs in the UNSUPPORTED are very simple and can be quickly checked for sanity and malicious code by the TU team.

TUs should also check PKGBUILDs for minor mistakes, suggest corrections and improvements. The TU should endeavor to confirm that all packages follow the Arch Packaging Guidelines/Standards and in doing so share their skills with other package builders in an effort to raise the standard of package building across the distribution.

TUs are also in an excellent position to document recommended practices.

Rewriting git history

In some cases rewriting the history of an AUR repository is required, for example when a user inadvertently uses their real name in a published commit. This can be automated with git-filter-branch(1).

To force push the new history, forward the AUR_OVERWRITE=1 environment variable to git-push(1). See [1] for details.

Warning: It is recommended to create a backup of the repository before rewriting history.
Modify committer or author identity

Use git filter-branch --env-filter with the GIT_AUTHOR_NAME, GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL, GIT_COMMITTER_NAME and GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL environment variables. For example:

git filter-branch --env-filter '
if test "$GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL" = ""; then
if test "$GIT_AUTHOR_NAME" = "Antoine de Saint-Exupéry"; then
Note: git-log(1) only displays the git author by default. Use git log --pretty=fuller to display the author and committer.

The TU and [community], Guidelines for Package Maintenance

Rules for Packages Entering the [community] Repo

  • A package must not already exist in any of the Arch Linux repositories. You should take necessary precautions to ensure no other packager is in the process of promoting the same package. Double-check the AUR package comments, read the latest subject headings in aur-general, search all projects in the bugtracker, grep the Subversion log, and send a quick message to the private TU IRC channel.
  • Pacman wrappers, as a special exception, will never be permitted. If wanting to otherwise add an AUR helper, write an email to arch-dev-public with the proposed addition, and respect any objections provided by team members.
  • Only "popular" packages may enter the repo, as defined by 1% usage from pkgstats or 10 votes on the AUR.
  • Automatic exceptions to this rule are:
    • i18n packages
    • accessibility packages
    • drivers
    • dependencies of packages who satisfy the definition of popular, including makedeps and optdeps
    • packages that are part of a collection and are intended to be distributed together, provided a part of this collection satisfies the definition of popular
  • Any additions not covered by the above criteria must first be proposed on the aur-general mailing list, explaining the reason for the exemption (e.g. renamed package, new package). The agreement of three other TUs is required for the package to be accepted into [community]. Proposed additions from TUs with large numbers of "non-popular" packages are more likely to be rejected.
  • TUs are strongly encouraged to move packages they currently maintain from [community] if they have low usage. No enforcement will be made, although resigning TUs packages may be filtered before adoption can occur.
  • It is good practice to always bump the pkgrel by 1 (in other words, set it to n + 1) when promoting a package from AUR. This is to facilitate automatic updates for those who already have the package installed, so that they may continue to receive updates from the official channel. Another positive effect of this is that users are not warned that their local copy is newer, as is the case if a packager does reset the pkgrel to 1.

Accessing and Updating the Repository

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with DeveloperWiki:HOWTO Be A Packager.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Duplicate with some minor differences (Discuss in Talk:AUR Trusted User Guidelines#)

The [community] repository now uses devtools which is the same system used for uploading packages to [core] and [extra] to Thus most of the instructions in Packager Guide work without any change. Information which is specific for the [community] repository (like changed URLs) have been put here. The devtools require packagers to set the PACKAGER variable in makepkg.conf.

Initially you should do a non-recursive checkout of the [community] repository:

$ svn checkout -N svn+ssh:// svn-community

This creates a directory named "svn-community" which contains nothing but a ".svn" folder.

For checking out, updating all packages or adding a package see the Packager Guide.

To remove a package:

$ ssh /community/db-repo-remove community arch pkgname

Here and in the following text, arch should be x86_64 which is the only architecture supported by Arch Linux since i686 support has been deprecated.

Note: If you are editing packages of the any architecture you can simply run the x86_64 scripts which will also work.

When you are done with editing the PKGBUILD, etc., you should commit the changes (svn commit).

Build the package with the helper script extra-x86_64-build. If you want to upload to testing you need to build with the testing script testing-x86_64-build instead.

Sign the package with gpg --detach-sign *.pkg.tar.xz. If you are using a different PGP key for package signing you can add it to ~/.makepkg.conf with GPGKEY=<identifier>.

When you want to release a package, first copy the package along with its signatures to the staging/community directory on using scp and then tag the package by going to the pkgname/trunk directory and issuing archrelease community-arch. This makes an svn copy of the trunk entries in a directory named community-x86_64 indicating that this package is in the community repository for that architecture. Note that the staging directory is different from the staging repository and every package needs to be uploaded to the staging directory. This process can be automated with the communitypkg script, see the summary below.

Package update summary:

  • Update the package directory: svn update some-package.
  • Change to the package trunk directory: cd some-package/trunk.
  • Edit the PKGBUILD, make necessary changes, update hashes with updpkgsums.
  • Build the package: makechrootpkg or extra-x86_64-build. It is mandatory to build in a clean chroot.
  • Namcap the PKGBUILD and the binary pkg.tar.gz.
  • Commit, Sign, Copy and Tag the package using communitypkg "commit message". This automates the following:
    • Commit the changes to trunk: svn commit.
    • Sign the package: gpg --detach-sign *.pkg.tar.xz.
    • Copy the package and its signature to scp *.pkg.tar.xz *.pkg.tar.xz.sig
    • Tag the package: archrelease community-x86_64.
  • Update the repository: ssh /community/db-update.

Also see the Miscellaneous section in the Packager Guide and SSH keys#ssh-agent.

Disowning packages

If a TU cannot or does not want to maintain a package any longer, a notice should be posted to the AUR Mailing List, so another TU can maintain it. A package can still be disowned even if no other TU wants to maintain it, but the TUs should try not to drop many packages (they should not take on more than they have time for). If a package has become obsolete or is not used any longer, it can be removed completely as well.

If a package has been removed completely, it can be uploaded once again (fresh) to UNSUPPORTED, where a regular user can maintain the package instead of the TU.

Moving packages from unsupported to [community]

Follow the normal procedures for adding a package to community, but remember to delete the corresponding package from unsupported!

Moving packages from [community] to unsupported

Remove the package using the instructions above and upload your source to the AUR.

Moving packages from [community-testing] to [community]

$ ssh /community/db-move community-testing community <package>

Deleting packages from unsupported

There is no point in removing dummy packages, because they will be re-created in an attempt to track dependencies. If someone uploads a real package then all dependents will point to the correct place.

Remote build on

Warning: The following procedures defeats the Web Of Trust model: a user with root access to could alter the package and/or the signature before it gets published.

Trusted users and developers can connect to via SSH to, among others, build packages using the devtools. This has numerous advantages over a local setup:

  • Builds are fast and network speed is high.
  • The environment needs setup only once.
  • Your local system need not be Arch Linux.

The process is similar to that of a local setup with devtools. Your GnuPG private is required for signing but you do not want to upload it to soyuz for obvious security reasons. As such, you will need to forward the GnuPG agent socket from your local machine to the server: this will allow you to sign packages on soyuz without communicating your key. This also means that we need to disable the agent on the server before we can run anything.

First, connect to soyuz and disable

$ ssh
$ systemctl --user mask gpg-agent.service

Make sure gpg-agent is not running (systemctl --user stop gpg-agent.service). At this point, make sure that no sockets exist in the folder pointed by gpgconf --list-dir socketdir. If they do, remove them or log out and in again. If you have a custom $GNUPGHOME (eg. to move it to ~/.config/gnupg), you will need to unset that, as it is not possible in gnupg to set the homedir without setting the socketdir. On soyuz, StreamLocalBindUnlink yes is set in sshd_config, therefore removing the sockets manually on logout is not necessary.

While the PGP private keys remain on your local machine, the public keys must be on soyuz. Export your public ring to soyuz, e.g. from you local machine

$ scp ~/.gnupg/pubring.gpg

SSH is required to checkout and commit to the SVN repository. You can either set up a new SSH key pair on the server (it is highly discouraged to put your local private key on soyuz for security reasons) or reuse your local keys via socket forwarding. If you opt for the latter, make sure to disable ssh-agent on soyuz if you had enabled it previously (it is not running by default).

Configure you build environment on soyuz:

PACKAGER="John Doe <john@doe.example>"
## Optional
## If your PGP key is not the default, specify the right fingerprint:
Warning: Forwarding your gpg-agent socket to a remote machine makes it possible for anyone with root access to that system to use your unlocked GPG credentials. To circumvent this issue, we need to disable passphrase caching.

Disable passphrase caching with the following settings:

default-cache-ttl 0
max-cache-ttl 0

Because we will want to keep our usual GPG agent running with its current settings, we are going to run another GPG agent dedicated to the task at hand. Create a ~/.gnupg-archlinux folder and symlink everything from ~/.gnupg there, except ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf. Configure the new GPG agent:

extra-socket /home/doe/.gnupg-archlinux/S.gpg-agent.extra
default-cache-ttl 0
max-cache-ttl 0
pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry-gtk-2

The gpg-agent-extra.socket will be forwarded to

Start the dedicated agent with

$ gpg-agent --homedir ~/.gnupg-archlinux --daemon

Connect with:

$ ssh -R $REMOTE_SSH_AUTH_SOCK:$SSH_AUTH_SOCK -R /run/user/$REMOTE_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent:/home/doe/.gnupg-archlinux/S.gpg-agent.extra

or, if using GnuPG as your SSH agent:

$ ssh -R /run/user/$REMOTE_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent.ssh:/run/user/$LOCAL_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent.ssh -R /run/user/$REMOTE_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent:/home/doe/.gnupg-archlinux/S.gpg-agent.extra

Replace $REMOTE_UID and $LOCAL_UID by your user identifier as returned by id -u on soyuz and locally, respectively. If using ssh-agent, replace $REMOTE_SSH_AUTH_SOCK by the path to the SSH socket on the remote host (it can be anything).

You can make the forwarding permanent for that host. For instance with gpg-agent.ssh:

  RemoteForward /run/user/$REMOTE_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent /run/user/$LOCAL_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent.extra
  RemoteForward /run/user/$REMOTE_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent.ssh /run/user/$LOCAL_UID/gnupg/S.gpg-agent.ssh

Again, replace $REMOTE_UID and $LOCAL_UID with their respective values.

From then on, the procedure should be exactly the same as a local build:

$ ssh
$ svn checkout -N svn+ssh:// svn-community
$ ...
Note: pinentry-curses might not work with socket forwarding. If it fails for you, try using a different pinentry.

TODO list retiring a Trusted User

When a TU resigns the following list has be followed, these steps do not apply when a TU resigns but is still a Developer.

  1. All packages packaged by the retiree should be resigned (so rebuild). Packages packaged by the retiree can be found in Archweb$packager&flagged= where packager is the username on Archweb.
  2. The account of the retiree should be disabled on Archweb and added to the 'Retired Trusted users' group. The retiree should be removed from the 'Trusted Users' and the repository permissions should be reduced to none.
  3. The shell access to our servers should be disabled. (notably,
  4. The GPG key should be removed and a new archlinux-keyring package should be pushed to the repos. Create bug reports in the keyring project to remove the keys of the retired Trusted Users.
  5. Remove the TU group from their AUR account.
  6. A bureaucrat should remove their wiki account from the Arch Linux Trusted Users group.
  7. A BBS admin should change their account on forums.

See also