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Pacman basic commands

by Bryanpwo

The Pacman package manager is a powerful tool at the center of the system, that allows you to maintain, expand and update the system.

In this section I give you the basic commands to keep your system up and running. Keep in mind that these commands only install packages from the Arch repository and not packages from the AUR.

Updating the system

EndeavourOS is a rolling release distro based on Arch Linux. This means your system always receives the latest packages, so you’re always ensured of an up-to-date system without installing a major release once or twice a year.

To update the system you can use this command

sudo pacman -Syu

You will notice that Arch releases updates daily and we strongly recommend to do a full system update instead of a partial one, so install updates at a time in the day you’re able to read and look upon the updates on our forum, so not when you’re thirty minutes from an important presentation.. The community often warns you if an update is broken. You can also install the updates once a week and keep an eye out on the forum daily to keep yourself informed. Don’t delay installing the updates longer than that, because this can break your system.

Installing packages

To install a single package from the Arch repository you can use the following command in the terminal.

sudo pacman -S package_name

You can also use this command to install several packages by just hitting the space bar after the first package name and enter the second package name.

Installing package groups.

Suppose, you have read on our forum or on the internet on an Desktop Environment that has caught your interest, instead of installing all the separate packages the DE depends on, you can also install the entire group by the following command

sudo pacman -S plasma

This installs all the packages that belong to the DE, in this case, I used KDE plasma as an example, just replace plasma by the DE you wish to install. You will notice that Pacman first displays all the packages and asks for your permission to install it. If you want to exclude packages from the DE group you can do so by the following.

Enter a selection (default=all): 1-15 20

In this case it will install packages 1 through 15 and package number 20.

Enter a selection (default=all): ^5-8 ^15

This will install everything that belongs to the DE group, except packages 5 through 8 and package number 15.

Removing packages

A package is always installed with other packages that it depends on, called dependencies. Quite often those dependencies are already, or partially installed on your system, because other packages also depend on it.

To remove a package without the dependencies use the following command.

sudo pacman -R package_name

If you rather want to avoid a cluttered system you can remove a package and its dependencies, without removing dependencies that are used by other installed packages, use the following command.

sudo pacman -Rs package_name

Refreshing mirrors

Sometimes it can happen that your system can’t find the updates or packages in the Arch repo. In that case, there’s a problem with the mirrors you’re trying to connect to. You can simply refresh the mirrors with this command

sudo pacman -Syyu

Skipping package updates

Although we do not recommend to partially update your system, sometimes it is needed, because there’s a problem with the updated package upstream and Pacman isn’t able to perform the daily or weekly update, because of this certain package or the specific package causes to break the system. In that case you can put that package on the Ignore list.

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

Ad the line IgnorePkg = package_name like this.

# Pacman won't upgrade packages listed in IgnorePkg and members of IgnoreGroup
 #IgnorePkg =
 IgnorePkg = package_name
 #IgnoreGroup =

Save and close the file by hitting ctrl + o and then ctrl+x

In this case, Pacman will always inform you that there’s an update for the certain package on the Ignore list like this.

:: package_name is in IgnorePkg/IgnoreGroup. Install anyway? [Y/n]

You can also put an entire group on the ignore list by adding the line IgnoreGroup = gnome

To remove the package or group from the ignore list just open the file as described above and remove the added lines, save and close the file, then type the following command.

sudo pacman -S package_name

The above method will permanently stop the specified package from being upgraded until you remove it from the ignore list

To do this temporarily, you can simply run:

sudo pacman -Syu --ignore=package_name

This command will skip the package from being updated. Similarly, to skip a package group, just run:

sudo pacman -Syu --ignoregroup=gnome
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