About pre-built AUR packages

Hello everybody.
I am a new user of Manjaro linux, and I have never used Arch Linux in my life. I come from Ubuntu / Debian / Mint.
I have a general question regarding AUR. Isn't there any "main" user package repository, with all AUR packages pre-compiled?
I understand that this could be out of the Arch Linux philosophy, anyway it could fit the philosophy of Manjaro Linux, doesn't it?
I also understand that there is a large computational effort to automate such build process, anyway, I don't think that's impossible to do.

Regards,
Luca

No. You're welcome to endeavour on that adventure. AUR repository is huge, many packages take very long to compile, depend on deprecated libraries, are old version, git/testing versions or there are several versions of the same package with different uses in mind.

If there is a specific package you need to have on Manjaro repositories, you can always ask for it here, but be aware most requests get denied. You need a good justification and the usefulness of the package needs to appeal to an appreciable amount of users.

also, licensing. many things in the AUR are just install scripts drawing on original sources because those original sources don't allow actual repackaging.

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No, there is no repositories that hosts pre-compiled packages for everything on the AUR.

Unlike PPAs on Ubuntu, which is essentially something like "every users has its own little repos with pre-compiled packages", AUR is instead "every users contribute on one single, centralized repository, with build files so we can build the package on our system".

Although Arch and Manjaro doesn't have something that is similar to PPAs, it is possible to use third-party repositories. There is some for Arch (I am not aware of any third-party repository specialized for Manjaro, if someone has one, feel free to suggest an example).

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unofficial_user_repositories

In theory, you could even download a .pkg.tar.xz package file on the Internet and install it on your system, like you could download a .deb file on the Internet and install it on your Ubuntu system. The only case like this that I know is Mega Sync, the company behind it distributes a package for Arch Linux on its official website.

However, Manjaro and Arch users tends to prefer to use AUR over third-party repos or downloading .pkg.tar.xz files with a web browser.

At first glance, I don't know why it would break any kind of philosophy.

But considering that it is something like ~50 000 packages that would have to be maintained, there can be some technical question that will have to be answered, like how we would be able to build all of them to begin with, and how we will be able to maintain every 50 000 of them properly (in case of, for example, library upgrades) so it doesn't literally cease to work after a random system upgrade.

Now, there could also be some legal problems with it, with for example proprietary software that can't be redistributed according to their license.

Thank you all for you answers.

Do you have any example of this?

spotify comes to mind if I haven't misinterpreted this: https://forum.manjaro.org/t/please-vote-linux-add-spotify-to-the-official-repositories-of-linux-distributions/100693?u=freggel.doe

Well, let me ask why this even matters?
It's not like you need to pull out your c compiler and set up your make scripts, etc. to get an AUR application installed.

With helpers like yay, installing an AUR package is as simple as installing a compiled application.

You may get a bit more screen output during the installation but it's essentially the same "pick the application and hit enter" concept.

The problem is the time needed. It is much more conveniente to have binaries available, but that's the only reason I can think of.

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Yes sometimes certain packages take up a really long time to compile. To the point, where I feel it would have been so much more convenient to have a pre-built binary. But how often does one really need to compile the same package using the script from aur? I never really have to recompile except for updates of either the pkgbuild or one of the hard dependencies.

@ororo
Maybe you could try to reduce your compile times by trying out certain things like adding the -jn flag, where n is the number of threads, to makepkg and disabling compression.

There are no "packages" in the AUR. What you find there are PKGBUILDs. Those are *scripts. *

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well, yes the packages are sourced from elsewhere but you get the point when someone says an AUR package? In the end you don't compile the script but the packages. The script only automizes your compilation.
In any case, I have edited my reply to suit you. The main point and its meaning still stays the same.

Everytime there's an update of the package and sometimes after system updates. WPS comes to mind, but there are many others. I personally live well with that, but many don't. You know... "in these times" everything must be immediate. I do agree with the Manjaro policy to restrict binaries present in the AUR. There's also flatpak, snap and appimage, so I don't think this is a valid concern. I was just pointing the only disadvantageous factor I can think of.

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oh yes i completely agree with you. just got a wps update today infact. :smile:

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