Hello Arch Linux enthusiasts!.  In this guide, I’ll show you how to use yay – Best AUR Helper for Arch Linux to manage packages on AUR. Arch Linux is one of those operating systems that once you get used to, you just can’t go back. I had written a review on Arch Linux, why you should consider using it: Best Linux Distributions – Arch Linux complete review.

For a comprehensive review of AUR package managers check below guide.

Best Arch Linux AUR Package Managers

Arch Linux provides two ways from which you can install and update packages on your system:

  • From official Arch Linux repositories – using pacman package manager
  • From AUR ( Arch User Repository) – using AUR helper tools like yay

What is Arch User Repository ( AUR)

AUR is a community-driven repository for Arch users, different from ABS mentioned earlier. AUR was created with an intention of making the process of sharing community packages easier and organized. It contains package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that allow you to compile a package from source with makepkg and then install it via pacman.

What is yay?

Yay is Arch Linux AUR helper tool written in Go. It helps you to install packages from PKGBUILDs in an automated way. yay has an AUR Tab completion with advanced dependency solving. It is based on the design of yaourtapacman, and pacaur but also realizing the following objectives:

  • Have almost no dependencies.
  • Provide an interface for pacman.
  • Have yaourt like search.
  • Minimize user input
  • Know when git packages are due for an upgrade.

Installing yay on Arch Linux

You can install yay on Arch Linux using a different AUR helper or by building the package from source. Suppose you have yaourt installed, you can install yay from it by running the command:

--- With Pacman ---
$ sudo pacman -S yay

--- With yaourt ---
$ yaourt -S yay

To build the package from PKGBUILD, use below commands:

sudo pacman -S --needed git base-devel
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git
cd yay
makepkg -si

This will install go on your system and build yay package from downloaded repo files.

Using yay on Arch Linux / Manjaro

When yay has been installed, it should be ready for use. Note that you don’t need sudo privileges to use.yay. Most yay flags are pacman standard ones.  See examples below for basic usage of yay.

Example 1: Install package using yay

Use the option -S to install a package from AUR using yay.

$ yay -S package

Example 2: Remove package using yay

To remove a package, use -Rns options:

$ yay -Rns package

Example 3: Launch a package selection menu

Use:

$ yay <Search Term>

Example 4: Upgrade installed packages using yay

To upgrade all installed packages, use the options :

$ yay -Syu

See screenshot below.

yay upgrade packages

To include development packages, use:

$ yay -Syu --devel --timeupdate

Example 5: Cleans unneeded dependencies using yay

Use the options to remove all unneeded dependencies on your system:

$ yay -Yc

Example 6: Prints system statistics using yay

To print system stats, use -Ps

$ yay -Ps

Example 7: Generates development package DB used for devel updates

Use the commands:

$ yay -Y --gendb

Linux Learning courses:

More on Arch Linux:

Best Arch Linux AUR Package Managers

How To run Arch Linux on Windows WSL

How To Install Podman on Arch Linux / Manjaro

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