Don't use "pacman -Sy"

Hey Guys!

I was watching a tutorial on setting up Manjaro for music production and the author used the command with

sudo pacman -Sy

and in the comments under the video there was one person who said that it’s a very bad advice for beginners to use this command without “u” at the end (-Sy(u)) by the means that you will “stuck in a partial update”.

Anybody knows what that means and is it really that bad to use “-Syu” without “u”? And if it is, so what can I do if I already typed that command in the terminal?

The pacman -Syu command will, sync your package databases and update any packages that differ between your local machine and the repo, that you have installed.

pacman -Sy <package name> only updates the databases and installs the package and it’s new dependencies, but without updated the rest of the system and maybe even without updating the dependencies already installed. This is called a partial update.

So my advise is to either:

  1. Always use pacman -Syu <package name>, to ensure your system is always getting everything updated when installing.
  2. Use pacman -S <package name>, but only after you have run pacman -Syu beforehand.

-Sy only refreshes the packages database, but does not update anything. So if you were to then try installing a package with -S package_name, then it will pull in the newest version of the package while the rest of your system isn’t in sync with this newer package.

Just issue the command with -Syu.


But in the video author just used

sudo pacman -Sy

without any name of a package after it. He said that he do it to update the package list.

Well, it does. It updates his package list. But if he uses a pacman -S command after, he will have a partial update situation.

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It’s bad practice to only update the package list and not update the whole system.


After this command he started installing timeshift using

sudo pacman -Sy timeshift

To fix it I just need to type

sudo pacman -Syu


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Yes. :slight_smile:

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Okay, thank you guys both!
I appreciate it!


Btw guys, can I use

sudo pacman -Syu

if I have, in my case, steam app running (downloading a game)?
Or just any app running at the background?
Because as I understood it updates everything

As long as an app is running it has it’s stuff loaded in RAM. Those things do not change on the update. But they will have changed, when the update is done and you re-launch the app.

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Okay, thanks!

Noob question:
Wouldn’t it be better to disable pacman -Sy <package name> or add a warning message by the developers?
This should avoid problems.

Yess this guy is a CLOWN.

This is a fresh install - he sets up his Timeshift first (it’s also an Architect install with BTRFS) so this is not quite a ‘normal’ Manjaro install… so beware of that.

2 minutes in he’s trying to run $ pacman -Sy to update package information. Later on he installs Octopi and Yay - not sure why you’d need both, to each his own.

Then he has to run sudo !! because he probably hadn’t noticed he’s not running as root… He also starts defending running -Sy saying it’s ‘conservative’ and ‘don’t want to break the system’ yet this is a fresh installation… Crazy.

So beware - many youtubers have pretty good ideas, but on video they can do crazy stuff - and some of them will troll you (trolling the newbies with silly information).

Recently had some laughs at arguments about fish/zsh/bash and one youtuber who says fish should be the default…
The comment came from Kresmir (the Frog man) - a well respected ex Manjaro user.

Anyway, let us know how it goes - if it works this thread could prove invaluable (maybe with a new Title and a warning).

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