How to Install Pamac GUI Package Manager in Arch Linux

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Pamac is the package manager of Manjaro based on libalpm which also supports Appstream, AUR, Flat pencil case and snaps. To be an alternative to Pac man it focuses on providing an easy-to-use interface, whether it’s a GUI or a command-line interface.

Arch Linux relies on pacman commands for package management. You can get a GUI-based software center from your desktop environment.

However, if you want to install the fabulous Pamac package manager in Arch Linux, you can.

In this tutorial, I will show you two methods to do it:

  • Installation from the AUR
  • Installation from Chaotic-AUR (Recommended as Garuda Linux Signature Package Developers)

Both are command line methods, but you’re an Arch user, and I think you can handle the command line a bit, right?

Method 1: Install Pamac from AUR

If you already have an AUR helper like Yay installed, getting Pamac is really easy.

sudo yay -S pamac-aur

Otherwise, you will have to take the difficult route.

First, update your system as Arch is a streaming distro and does not support partial upgrades. Enter the following command in the terminal to update your Arch Linux system.

sudo pacman -Syu

Then you need to install all the packages from the basic development package group and git by entering the command below.

sudo pacman -S --needed base-devel git

Now you need to build and install archlinux-appstream-data-pamac, libpamac-aur and pamac aur respectively.

Enter the following commands replacing the package name with the packages you want to install for the 3 packages.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/archlinux-appstream-data-pamac.git
cd archlinux-appstream-data-pamac
makepkg -si

In this case, the AUR package pamac-aur have other AUR packages as dependencies. You must therefore compile and install them before installing the main package. This hassle can be avoided by using a AUR Help.

Creating and installing packages from AUR may fail due to outdated information. PKGBUILD and there are many in the AUR. Also, you have to manually update AUR packages if there is an update, because AUR packages do not update when you update your system with Pacman.

In my opinion, you should use the following method. You don’t have to worry about building and updating Pamac manually when there is an update.

Method 2: Install Pamac from Chaotic-AUR (recommended)

Chaotic-AUR is a repository for Arch Linux maintained by the developers of GarudaLinux. Packages in this repository are signed and trusted. When you add this repository, you can install Pamac using Pacman directly.

Let’s add the repository by entering the following commands.

sudo pacman-key --recv-key FBA220DFC880C036 --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com
sudo pacman-key --lsign-key FBA220DFC880C036
sudo pacman -U 'https://cdn-mirror.chaotic.cx/chaotic-aur/chaotic-keyring.pkg.tar.zst' 'https://cdn-mirror.chaotic.cx/chaotic-aur/chaotic-mirrorlist.pkg.tar.zst'

The above command just installs the keyring and mirror list for the repository. You also need to add the deposit at the end of /etc/pacman.conf. Here I will use nano to edit the file.

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

The resulting file should look like this.

...
# An example of a custom package repository.  See the pacman manpage for
# tips on creating your own repositories.
#[custom]
#SigLevel = Optional TrustAll
#Server = file:///home/custompkgs

[chaotic-aur]
Include = /etc/pacman.d/chaotic-mirrorlist

Now update your system using Pacman and install Pamac by entering the following command.

sudo pacman -Syu pamac-aur

Once installed, you can access the GUI from the application menu and the CLI using the pamac command.

Pamac GUI
Pamac CLI
Pamac CLI

If you don’t like Pamac, you can remove it along with its dependencies and configuration files using pacman via the following command:

sudo pacman -Rns pamac-aur

Conclusion

When I first started using Arch Linux I was also very skeptical about installing AUR packages as they took a long time to build and often refused to build due to an outdated PKGBUILD. I wish Chaotic-AUR congratulated the developers of Garuda Linux sooner.

Note that there are other Pamac variants available in the AUR that support Flatpak and Snaps. But in this tutorial I mentioned the variant with only Appstream and AUR support.

What is your opinion on adding a third-party repository like Chaotic-AUR to Arch Linux? What method would you use to install Pamac?


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