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The 5 Best Arch Linux AUR Helper Apps To Use

The Arch Linux AUR is a useful resource. With it, users can quickly install almost any software that doesn’t directly support the operating system. Still, for as good as the Arch AUR is, installing software can be a pain. Many Arch Linux users have solved this problem by making Arch Linux AUR helper apps.

Arch Linux AUR helper apps are great and make interacting with the service a breeze. The trouble is, there are many helper tools to choose from, and as a result, new users might not know what to use. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the best AUR helper apps to use on Arch Linux!

1. Yay

Yay is an AUR helper that borrows the design of Yaourt, Apacman, and Pacaur. It’s developed to provide an interface with the Arch User Repository that requires minimal user input.

Those on Arch that have used Yaourt for years but have had to move on due to its recent stagnation ought to check out Yay today.

Notable Features:

  • One of Yay’s best aspects is its “advanced dependency” solving. Thanks to this feature, users can get nearly any AUR package built and installed, without hassle.
  • Tab-completion lets users save time while writing search queries in the terminal.
  • Yay makes it a priority to minimize user interaction. Its “query user up-front” feature allows the user to answer common questions AUR building tools asks, while not having to interact with the terminal during installation regularly.
  • Its “find matching package providers” feature ensures that no package build fails due to a missing package.
  • The Yay AUR helper has a Pacman-like command syntax. Having similar terminal commands prevents users from getting confused.
  • During the initial installation of Yay on Arch, no additional dependencies are required for building.

Install Yay

Grab the latest build of Yay from the AUR using Git.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git

Move your terminal into the yay folder.

cd yay

Build and install Yay with makepkg.

makepkg -si

2. Pakku

Pakku is a wrapper for Arch Linux’s Pacman package manager, with AUR support. Thanks to it being a wrapper, Arch users can use it as more than just an AUR helper.

Notable Features:

  • Neatly integrates within Pacman as a wrapper, and uses the same command syntax and options.
  • Along with searching for packages, users can read AUR comments directly from Pakku in a terminal window.
  • Supports building and installing packages from the official Arch Linux repositories in addition to support for the AUR.
  • Pakku can optionally uninstall build dependencies after finishing an installation if they’re no longer needed on the system.

Install Pakku

To install the Pakku AUR helper, first, download the latest snapshot using the git clone command.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/pakku.git

Move the terminal into the pakku folder with the CD command. Then, start the building process with makepkg.

cd pakku

makepkg -si

3. Octopi

Octopi is more than just an AUR helper on Linux. Instead, it’s a complete GUI tool that integrates both Pacman and the AUR (via Trizen).

The Ocotopi tool is perfect for users of Arch that like the overall underpinnings of the operating system but can’t be bothered to deal with the terminal interface.

Notable Features:

  • Octopi’s embedded terminal tab allows users to access the command-line if they can’t solve a problem directly from the GUI.
  • Octopi has a stop button that users can click (only during the download part of the installation) to abort the setup process.
  • Can install, re-install upgrade and remove packages via Pacman right from the GUI, with no need for a terminal.
  • Even though the primary goal of Octopi is to give an easy to use, GUI interface to the Arch Linux program installer, users can interact, install and build user-submitted AUR packages within the program.

Install Octopi

Interested in trying out Octopi? Build it with:

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/octopi.git

cd octopi
makepkg -si

4. Argon

Argon, like Octopi, is a full GUI front-end for the Arch Linux package management system. With it, users can easily search and install many packages in an instant. It also has full AUR support, meaning you never have to leave Argon to get user-submitted packages working.

Notable Features:

  • Argon has a useful notification system that is highly customizable and configurable. It can go off and let the user know when system updates are ready to install.
  • The notification system is compatible with all desktop environments, even ones that don’t traditionally support “pop-up notifications.”
  • Argon is a full package manager for Arch Linux. With it, users can search and install officially supported system packages, and not just AUR ones.

Install Argon

To install the Argon AUR helper, execute the following terminal commands.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/argon.git
cd argon

makepg -si

5. Aurutils

Aurutils is a collection of scripts that users can install to automate the work of building AUR packages. The program can search, build and install packages and nothing more.

It is very basic and isn’t a full wrapper like many other tools. Still, if you’re a minimalist Arch user and don’t care about all the bells and whistles, this may be what you need.

Notable Features:

  • The “filter” feature in Aurutils allows users to do a more advanced search.
  • Aarutils’ “ignore” feature is excellent, especially for pesky packages that break during upgrades. Users can take advantage of this and add packages they do not wish to update to the list.

Install Aurutils

Aurutils is distributed via the Arch Linux User Repository. To get it working on your Arch PC, use the git clone command to download the latest snapshot. After that, generate and install the program using makepkg.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/aurutils.git

cd aurutils

makepkg -si

Conclusion

Using the AUR without a helper tool is possible, but not recommended. Fact is, installing these types of packages takes forever.┬áIf you’re new to Arch Linux, don’t hesitate. Do yourself a favor and check out one of the programs on this list.

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