Embark on a journey of seamless package management with the Pacman package manager, the cornerstone of Arch Linux and other Arch-based distributions. Pacman has been meticulously designed to provide users with an effortless and efficient way to manage their packages – whether they hail from official repositories or are custom builds. Join the Pacman package manager, the backbone of Arch Linux and its offshoots, on a voyage of smooth package management. To give consumers a simple, effective way to manage their packages, whether they come from official repositories or are custom builds, Pacman has been painstakingly built. In this tutorial, we’ll explore finding, listing, installing, updating, and uninstalling packages in great detail to realize the full potential of this versatile package manager. So buckle up and prepare for an insightful tour of Pacman, the perfect tool to streamline your Arch Linux experience and give you unprecedented control over your system.
What Is the Pacman Package Manager?
Pacman is a package manager utility for Arch Linux and its derivatives. It is written in C and combines a simple binary package format with an easy-to-use build system. The goal of pacman is to make it possible to easily manage packages, whether they are from the official repositories or the user’s builds.
The pacman package manager works according to the client-server model with respect to the master servers, which allows the user to download/install packages with a simple command, complete with all required dependencies. It also helps you synchronize packages with the master servers and update your packages.
Using the Pacman package manager
Pacman comes with a lot of functionalities. However, in this module, we will learn how to :
- Search for packages with pacman
- List installed packages with pacman
- Install packages with pacman
- Updating and Upgrading with pacman
- Removing packages with pacman
1. Searching For Packages With Pacman
You can search for packages using pacman with :
$ pacman -Ss <package-name>
This shall return all the packages which contain the given string provided in the brackets. This returns all packages with a matching string in the package name or description.
$ pacman -Ss fire
This would return many results like firefox, ufw, openfire, etc, which have the word “fire” anywhere in their name or description. You can also use pacsearch like :
$ pacsearch -n ^fire
2. Listing All Installed Packages With Pacman
You can list all the packages installed on your system along with their versions by typing :
$ pacman -Q
You can also view additional information about a package by using the following:
$ pacman -Qi <package-name>
For example, to view the details of the package “firefox,” you can type in the following:
$ pacman -Qi firefox Name : firefox Version : 86.0.1-1 Description : Standalone web browser from mozilla.org Architecture : x86_64 URL : https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/ Licenses : MPL GPL LGPL Groups : None Provides : None Depends On : gtk3 libxt mime-types dbus-glib ffmpeg nss ttf-font libpulse Optional Deps : networkmanager: Location detection via available WiFi networks [installed] libnotify: Notification integration [installed] pulseaudio: Audio support [installed] speech-dispatcher: Text-to-Speech hunspell-en_US: Spell checking, American English Required By : dracnmap eyewitness findsploit firefox-security-toolkit sn1per Optional For : None Conflicts With : None Replaces : None Installed Size : 217.90 MiB Packager : Jan Alexander Steffens (heftig) <firstname.lastname@example.org> Build Date : Thu 11 Mar 2021 04:15:06 PM IST Install Date : Tue 16 Mar 2021 01:49:16 AM IST Install Reason : Explicitly installed Install Script : No Validated By : Signature
As a bonus, you can also list all the orphaned dependencies which you have installed on your system with :
$ pacman -Qdt
3. Installing Packages With Pacman
Once you have located the package you want to install, you can install it with :
$ sudo pacman -S <package-name>
Sometimes some packages might already be installed. In that case, this command shall reinstall them. You can, however, skip these packages with the following:
$ sudo pacman -S <package-name> --needed
You can also build packages from the source using pacman with the help of the following syntax :
$ sudo pacman -U <package-file>
4. Updating And Upgrading With Pacman
You can update your system with the following:
$ sudo pacman -Syy
This is the Arch equivalent of apt update on Debian.
To upgrade your system, type in the following:
$ sudo pacman -Syu
This is the Arch equivalent of
apt upgrade on Debian
5. Removing Packages With Pacman
You can remove a package with the following:
$ sudo pacman -R <package-name>
To remove a package with all its dependencies :
$ sudo pacman -Rcns <package-name>
The Pacman package manager is a remarkably flexible and potent tool for handling packages on Arch Linux and its derivatives. It has a wide range of capabilities that make it easier to find, download, install, update, upgrade, and remove packages from your system. You will better understand and control your Linux environment if you can master these functionalities. The Pacman package manager continues to be a dependable and effective tool for ensuring your system is up-to-date and optimized in a constantly changing technical environment. Whether you are an experienced user of Arch Linux or are just starting, Pacman is a crucial tool in your toolbox that will unquestionably improve your overall experience.