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How to use the Pamac GUI package tool in Arch Linux

Arch Linux users love the terminal, however, it’s not the only way to use the operating system. Introducing Pamac, the default package tool for Manjaro Linux. With it, users can install everything from native Arch Linux packages, AUR packages, and even Snap and Flatpak if they choose.

If you’re on Arch Linux, or an operating system based on it (Garuda, BlackArch, etc.) and want a nice GUI to install packages, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to install and use Pamac.

Before we begin

Installing the Pamac tool requires uninstalling the “archlinux-appstream-data” package and replacing it with “archlinux-appstream-data-pamac”. This package must be replaced to enable AUR support. Removing this package is not dangerous, however, if it makes you uncomfortable, do not install Pamac, and instead keep using the AUR in the terminal.

Installing Pamac on Arch Linux

The Pamac tool comes with Manjaro Linux, a derivative of Arch Linux. However, if you use vanilla Arch Linux, you too can install Pamac to get its excellent benefits, like installing Pacman and AUR packages within a GUI.

To get the Pamac tool working on your Arch Linux system, you’ll need to use your existing terminal AUR helper. We’ll use Trizen in this guide as it is simple. However, feel free to use the one you have installed on your system if you prefer.

First, open up a terminal window on the Arch Linux desktop. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, by searching for “Terminal” in the app menu. Once the terminal window is open, use the commands below to install the Trizen tool.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git
cd trizen/
makepkg -sri

When the tool is installed, use the trizen -S command to install the “libpamac-git,” package, the “pamac-aur-git” package, and the “archlinux-appstream-data-pamac” package.

Note: Say yes during the installation when the terminal asks: archlinux-appstream-data-pamac and archlinux-appstream-data conflict. Do you want to remove archlinux-appstream-data? [Y/N].

trizen -S pamac-aur-git libpamac-git archlinux-appstream-data-pamac

The packages listed above should take a few minutes to install. Once the Pamac installation is complete, you can launch it by searching for “Pamac” in the app menu. Alternatively, you can search for “Add/Remove software”.

Uninstalling Pamac

If for some reason you no longer wish to use Pamac, you can uninstall it from your system with the following commands in the terminal.

sudo pacman -R pamac-aur-git libpamac-git archlinux-appstream-data-pamac
sudo pacman -S archlinux-appstream-data

Using Pamac to install packages

To install packages using the Pamac tool, launch it. You can launch the app by searching for Pamac” or “Add/Remove software” in the app menu. Once it is open, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Find the search button in the top-left corner of the Pamac app. Once you’ve found the search button, click on it with the mouse. Then, type in the name of the package you wish to install.

Step 2: After typing in the name of the package you wish to install, look through the search results. Once you’ve located the package within the search results, select the arrow button.

Step 3: When you select the arrow button, you’ll see “1 pending operation” and an “Apply” button. Select the “Apply” button to begin the installation process.

Step 4: Upon selecting the “Apply” button, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. Enter your password to install the software via Pamac in Arch Linux.

Repeat this process to install as many packages as you wish.

Multiple packages

You can install multiple packages using Pamac. To do that, select the “Install” button on multiple packages. Once you’ve made your selections in the Pamac app, click the apply button to install everything at once.

Using Pamac to install AUR packages

Pamac can be used to install AUR packages, however, it must be enabled first. To enable it, click on the menu in the top-right section of the app. Then, select the “Preferences” option.

Note: Make sure to uncheck the “Software mode” box.

Once inside the “Preferences” area, select the “Third Party” tab. Then, click on the slider next to “Enable AUR support.” Finally, follow the step-by-step instructions below to install an AUR package using Pamac.

Step 1: Find the search button inside the Pamac app and type in the name of the AUR package.

Step 2: When you’ve located an AUR package to install using Pamac, select the arrow button next to it. Then, click on the “Apply” button to start the AUR building process.

Step 3: When the building process is complete, you’ll be able to use your newly installed AUR package.

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