Experimenting with Arch: Enabling the AUR

The Arch Linux User Repository (or AUR) is a community driven repository of packages that don’t exist in the official repositories. These provide some nice additions or newer version of the software you want on your machine. However because it is not an official source of packages the AUR is disabled by default and so as a new Arch Linux user one of the first things you should probably do it enable it!

Because the packages in the AUR are simply build scripts you’ll need to first get the base set of development libraries and tools:

pacman -S –needed base-devel

You’ll also want git because it’ll make getting the package source easier:

pacman -S git

Now let’s say I want to install the package xfce4-hdaps from the AUR. Well I would first clone the repository by running:

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/xfce4-hdaps.git

Then cd into the new directory

cd xfce4-hdaps

Now because AUR is basically just a series of install scripts you may (optionally) want to read through them to check for any bad things:

less package_name.install

Finally to actually build/install the program you can run:

makepkg -si

This will also grab and prompt you to install any required dependencies as it goes.

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