Best way to install and update non-Manjaro applications? Difficulty with AUR.

Running Manjaro KDE. When an application isn't available in the Manjaro repositories the first place I look is the AUR and install it that way. Although I greatly appreciate the work that goes into building these packages for the AUR, I continually have problems with either installing them or updating them. There are consistent build issues from the AUR so I would like help understanding how to install and update this software myself.

It seems that most of the AUR software is someone downloading the source file or a .deb or .rpm and creating an AUR build file which then gets installed.

If I download the source file and install it myself, how do I know when the application is updated? The only way I can think of doing this is to manually visit the website of the application every single day and checking to see if an update is available. Then I would have to download the source file and create another build and install. Am I wrong about that?

I would also have to do this for a .deb or .rpm file, create the build, and then install manually.

I'm just trying to think of a way to avoid the AUR and install software myself but it just seems tedious checking websites every day and manually downloading and building everything.

Thanks

Nope, you are the one dowloading the source files and then building and installing them. The AUR just provides pkgbuilds. Which you should inspect e.g. if the source code is downloaded from a credible source.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_User_Repository
Basically the AUR just provides information on:

  • Where to get the source files for a package
  • Which packages are required as dependencies to a) use the package and b) build the package
  • How to install the package (e.g. where to place the files, which scripts to run, ...)
  • ...

That's exactly what you would need to do and in addition you would also need to check for additional dependencies (for building and using as well) and install them or remove unused ones.

These are more difficult as these are packages for other packing systems from other distributions. basically you need to extract the package and move the contents to the correct locations in your system (that's what the pkgbuilds in the AUR instruct in case of a *.deb or *.rpm)

Even though I do not prefer them you also have the options to install software as

  • Flatpak
  • Snap
  • Appimage (AFAIK you just need to launch it with Appimagelauncher, but I have never done that :man_shrugging: )

These concepts have their pros and cons and some see them skeptical (e.g. snap see Does anyone actually use snaps?) Just inform yourself online or search the forum. There are tons of discussions.

If you want to install via a GUI fpakman might also be interesting for you: fpakman - A GUI for Flatpak and Snap management

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I would recommend at least once to install a package manually as described here before using Pamac or Octopi GUI with AUR helpers:

https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=AUR

This wiki also describes the updating procedure.

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Yes, manually building and updating software is a pain. That is what AUR and AUR helpers can help with.

Do you have some examples so that maybe we could help? Often you can just tweak the PKGBUILD from AUR. This will have the advantage of your helper picking it up next time there is an update.

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RSS feeds. That's how I keep track of updates for the AUR packages I maintain.

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Everything you say makes sense. I am currently using some Flatpak and Appimage programs and they all seem to work fine. The Snaps I've tried seemed clunky, slow to load, and didn't work well with my KDE theme. I actually just checked out fpakman yesterday and it looks like a strong option.

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Good idea. I'll give it a try manually.

Appreciate the offer on helping but I don't want you spending your valuable time on some of them. I can probably find the solution using the comments section on the AUR package page and doing some digging. Zoiper was one example of one that wouldn't install.

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flatpaks and snaps are sandboxed so they don't have access to your theme.

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Holy cow you're a machine! 63 packages is a huge undertaking. I like the idea of RSS feeds for keeping up to date. Is there a tutorial for that online?

Ok, so if it isn't my theme then I'll assume I'd have the same problem with another desktop environment. I guess that's one of the problems with these methods is theme integration from what I've read.

Flathub has all the popular GTK themes to match your theme with flatpaks, But manjaro will not fare well as it changes themes like users change their socks

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Some are split packages, so it's actually only 48. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Ok, so I actually would like help understanding the Zoiper package here: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/zoiper/

It will fail every time and it fails on purpose. Whey does the maintainer purposely create a package that will fail. You have go to the .cache folder and then run the .sh file to install it?

While the pkgbuild can be improved it isn't maintainer fault, Zoiper don't provide a direct download link anymore

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That is a tough one. It looks like the publisher(zoiper), stopped offering a direct download link so the PKGBUILD can't directly download it without some acrobatics. Further, it appears the maintainer of the AUR package wasn't comfortable putting those acrobatics directly into the PKGBUILD.

EDIT: I must have been about 1/2 a second slower than @Lolix

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Understood. So next time there is an update to the package, do I just run the new .sh script found in the .cache folder?

Mr. Dalto please help me too...:smile:

same problems here..
I wonder why pamac not recognize what I have build and install from source on Operating System?

Because the package management system keeps a database of which files and packages it owns. If you build something outside of it, it doesn't know about it.

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