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How to: Install an AUR Helper in Arch Linux

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I'm going to be a bit of a chatty Kathy here, but I figure that someone, someday, might need this. Yesterday I took the old Arch laptop out of the closet, and decided that "now would be a great time to run pacman -Syu." I've hence learned my lesson. Anyway I upgraded to the latest release, and decided that it was time to install a desktop environment, so I did a little research and came across razor-qt, a qt based environment similar to KDE except much more lightweight and flexible. Naturally, I geeked out at the thought of a lightweight environment that also looked fancy as all heck, so I decided to give it a problem, razor-qt isn't in the normal repos, it's only in the AUR. For those uninitiated, the AUR is a repo filled with software that can be installed on Arch Linux, but must first be downloaded and compiled. So how do you install software from the AUR without a desktop environment?

TheFunk's twice patented AUR-Helper-Getter-Method

Remember, make sure you have administrative privileges before doing this.

The first thing you'll need is a means of downloading files, and making packages.

For making packages you'll need to run:

pacman -S base-devel

For downloading, my personal preference is the command line program wget, which can be installed with:

pacman -S wget

Following wget's installation, you're going to download two things, a file named PKGBUILD and a tarball containing your AUR helper's source. You'll be downloading these things from the's that for irony? The AUR helper I installed is called packer. There are others out there but packer will suffice if you don't have a preference.

First, download packer's source by typing this:


Then download the PKGBUILD file with this:


Next, make your package:

makepkg -s PKGBUILD

And finally install packer:

pacman -U insert-name-of-file-that-makepkg-made-here

There you have it! Now anytime you want to install something from the AUR, you don't have to do this process again, packer will take care of it for you. The syntax for installing a package with packer, is similar to that of pacman, to install a package, just use the -S switch. Hopefully this tutorial was helpful! I basically elaborated on the tutorial found at the link below, I'm assuming that person won't mind.


Original Tutorial


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Thanks! I use Arch Linux for all of my desktops/laptops that run Linux, so this will be useful to cut down on copy-n-pasting the URL for the AUR tarball.

Heh, did you do `pacman -Syu` and come across that nice glibc problem that the last major update brought about?


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