In this tutorial, you will learn the most useful commands that you should know if you are an Arch Linux user.
In Arch Linux and Arch Linux based distros, pacman is the default package manager that allows you to install, update or remove packages.
Whether you use arch linux on your server, or personal computer, knowing how to use pacman, is the key when it comes to maintaining your Arch Linux system.
How to update Arch Linux
To update your Arch Linux system, you can easily do so by using the
sudo pacman -Syu
How to install a package in Arch Linux
Installing a package in Arch Linux, and any Arch linux based system is easy, and you can do so by using pacman via the
sudo pacman -S package
package with the name of the package that you want to install in your Arch Linux system.
For example, let's say you wanted to install firefox. To do so, simply run the following command.
sudo pacman -S firefox
How to install a local package in Arch Linux
To install a local package by using pacman, is very easy, and it can be done by using the
For example, we downloaded the latest version of firefox
firefox-121.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst that can be found in the Aur repository, so to install it we can install it by running the command below.
sudo pacman -U firefox-121.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst
How to download a package in Arch Linux
pacman allows you to download a package without installing in your system. Let's say you want to download a package and want to store it in your hard disk so you can install it later on.
To do so, first download the package by using the
pacman -Sw package
For example, to download firefox simply replace
sudo pacman -Sw firefox
Search for a package in Arch Linux
To search for a package in order to see if the package is available in the Arch linux repositories, you can do so by running the command below.
The syntax of searching for a package via pacman is
sudo pacman -sS package
For example, to search for
nano text editor package, then you can do so running the following.
sudo pacman -sS nano
How to uninstall a package in Arch Linux
Uninstall a package
To uninstall only a single package from your Arch linux system, then simply use the
sudo pacman -R package
Uninstall a package along with the dependencies
In cases when you need to remove a package along with its dependencies, you can do so by using the
sudo pacman -Rsc package
How to clean cache packages in Arch Linux
When you install a package in Arch Linux, the package gets downloaded in
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/, which means even after uninstalling a package the package will still be there, so if you wanted let's say to reinstall it again, it would be reinstalled using the local package instead of downloading it.
To keep your system clean, and prevent the cached packages from taking too much space from your hard disk, you must clean these packages periodically.
Clean all cached packages, and keep only the last three versions.
To remove packages from the cache, and keep only the last three versions, run the command below.
sudo paccache -r
Clean all cached packages and keep only one version
To delete all cached packages, that might be installed or uninstalled in your system, and keep only the most recent version, then you can do so by running the following.
sudo paccache -rk1
Clean all cached packages without keeping any package
To remove all packages in the cache directory, and not keep anything, then simply run the following command.
sudo paccache -ruk0
By now you should be able to manage packages in your Arch Linux machine easily by using pacman.
Though we used Arch Linux in this tutorial, this tutorial should apply to any Arch based system that uses pacman as the default package manager.