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Pacman – The Arch Package Manager

In the case of Arch Linux and all the other Arch-based Linux distros, “pacman” is the default package manager. It’s a pretty convenient and powerful as a package manager. Pacman is one of the major distinguishing features of the Arch Linux.

Today, we’ll be focusing on some of the really important parts of pacman that every Arch user must know.

Pacman usage

  • Server location

At first, when you install Arch Linux or any other Arch-based distro, you have to make sure that your “pacman” is configured to connect to the nearest update server. This will ensure the fastest software download speed and better overall experience.

sudo pacman-mirros --country <country_name>
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Not sure about the fastest server near your location? Then run the following commands for identifying the top 10 fastest Arch mirror from your current location –

sudo pacman-mirrors -c all

sudo pacman-mirrors --fasttrack 10 && sudo pacman -Syyu

This command will force Pacman-mirrors to download the available mirror service list. The list will be sorted out based on their response times and will be included into your mirror list.

For the full control over the choosing process, run the following command –

sudo pacman-mirrors --interactive && sudo pacman -Syyu

This will let you interact with the mirror choosing options and you can manually select the best server of your choice.

  • Updating your system

Run the following command –

sudo pacman -Syuu

This command will sync with your update server, determine all the available updates and will install them accordingly

Are you just interested in checking for available updates? Then use the following command –

sudo pacman -Syu


For fore updating local pacman database, run the following command –

sudo pacman -Syy

  • Installing/uninstalling a package

For installing a package on Arch and Arch-based system, use the following command structure –

sudo pacman -S <package_name>

Need to uninstall an unwanted package? Then you have to use the “-R” flag.

sudo pacman -R <package_name>

There’s another very easy solution – Sysget. It’s a very powerful frontend for your system’s package manager that allows easier interaction with you and the package manager. Get Sysget.

  • Search for a package

You may know the name of a software but for installing it, you need to know the exact package name. Don’t worry; pacman allows you to search for any package name.

You have to use the following command structure –

pacman -Ss <package_name>

There’s another useful utility that ships with pacman – pacsearch. This tool is more convenient for such searches. THe usage follows the following structure –

pacsearch <package_name>

If you search for “ack”, this can include a number of results – playback, hack, package or others. If you want to make sure that the first name always starts with “ack”, you have to use the following command structure –

pacsearch ^ack
  • Package info

If you’re interested in the specs of a particular package, you can use the “-Qi” flag for pacman –

pacman -Qi snapd


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