PacUI provides useful and advanced Pacman and Yay/Pikaur/Aurman/Pakku/Trizen/Pacaur/Pamac-cli commands in a convenient and easy to use text interface.
PacUI is aimed at experienced/intermediate/advanced users of Arch Linux (and Arch-based distributions, including Manjaro), who have at least basic knowledge of their Linux system, Pacman and Yay/Pikaur/Aurman/Pakku/Trizen/Pacaur/Pamac-cli. Absolute beginners are probably overwhelmed by the choices PacUI offers.
This fork of an older version of pacli called PacUI follows the KISS principle: The whole script is contained within one file, which consists of easy to read bash code with many helpful comments. PacUI offers many more features over pacli in order to enhance comfort and speed of CLI based package management.
Table of Contents
- Useful Tips and Recommended Settings
UI of PacUI:
Installing the package “cantata” from system repositories by entering its name:
Execute without prior Installation
For a minimal working version of PacUI, please install its dependencies expac and fzf (and pacman-contrib on Arch Linux) using Pacman first (if possible). Then, the PacUI file can be downloaded and run without prior installation:
I find this feature of PacUI invaluable for fixing systems. Here are two examples:
A large number of updates broke (parts of) the GUI, e.g. xorg, window manager, or desktop environment. In this case, switching to a different tty (with CTRL + ALT + F2), installing PacUI and using “Roll Back System” to roll back all the latest updates can fix the system (temporarily).
A broken keyring makes it impossible to apply updates or install any packages. Executing PacUI without prior installation and using “Fix Pacman Errors” (which does not require “expac” or “fzf”) to fix the keyring and all related problems is the easiest and fastest solution I know of.
In Manjaro, you can simply install the stable version of PacUI from the Manjaro repositories:
sudo pacman -S pacui
There is also an (often outdated) development version available:
sudo pacman -S pacui-git
PacUI is no longer available on the AUR.
PKGBUILDs are still availble (see
PKGBUILD_AUR file) and Pacui can be executed without installation (see above).
Both the stable and -git version of PacUI are in chaotic-aur. After adding chaotic-aur to your list of repositories, PacUI can be installed using the same commands as within Manjaro (see above).
Start PacUI with UI
After successful installation, type the following command into your terminal in order to start PacUI with a simple UI:
Start PacUI without UI: Using Options
Using PacUI without its UI requires less keystrokes and can therefore be much quicker. An overview of all PacUI options is displayed with
For example, you want to display the Reverse dependency Tree of a package. Please note the marked letters “R” and “T” in PacUI’s corresponding UI option.
PacUI does not care, whether you use upper or lower case letters as options or whether you use no, one or two dashes in front. Therefore, the following four commands are equivalent:
This principle can be used with all of PacUI’s options. Here is another random example (of PacUI’s hidden “List Packages by Size” option):
Start PacUI without UI: Using Options and Package Names
You can also use package names in addition to options. For example, you want to install the package “cantata”. Then, you can use a command like
pacui i cantata
Instead of a list of all available packages, a much shorter already filtered list is displayed. Simply select the “cantata” package you want to install and press ENTER in order to install it.
If an argument contains special characters, it has to be passed on as string. This can be achieved differently depending on the used shell. For example when using regular expressions in zsh in order to search package file names starting with string “archlinux-”:
pacui s '^archlinux-'
Start PacUI without UI: Passing Arguments to AUR helper or Pacman
For advanced use (e.g. in scripting or an alias), PacUI can have a “flag” argument, which gets passed directly to an AUR helper and/or Pacman.
pacui -r 0ad --flag="--noconfirm"
pacui u flag --noconfirm
pacui --FLAG --asdeps --i --bash
pacui b --flag=--noconfirm
Multiple installed AUR helpers
If more than one AUR helper is installed, they are automatically used in the same order as listed above (i.e. Aurman is used with priority while Pacaur is only used as a last resort). A specific AUR helper can be set with the
PACUI_AUR_HELPER environment variable.
$PACUI_AUR_HELPER with the name of your preferred AUR helper in the following variable (within
/usr/bin/pacui file) works as well. Note that
$PACUI_AUR_HELPER needs to be replaced (again) after each PacUI update:
# here, the preferred AUR helper can be set manually by the user. for example, AUR_Helper="trizen" uses Trizen despite any other installed AUR helpers. AUR_Helper="$PACUI_AUR_HELPER"
Useful Tips and Recommended Settings
It is highly recommended to use an utility, which notifies the user about available updates alongside of PacUI. Such a lightweight utility is for example update-notifier.
Along with PacUI the following settings are recommended by the author:
Fancy List View
A fancy list view for all pacman updates can be enabled by uncommenting the following line in your /etc/pacman.conf file:
A very easy way to edit this file by using PacUI is:
pacui c pacman.conf
If you use PacUI without the UI it is recommended to use an alias for PacUI to reduce the amount of necessary typing. Do this by adding the following line to your ~/.bashrc file (if you use bash):
This will set “p” as an alias to “pacui” within your terminal (after a restart of your shell or computer). For example, you can now update your system using
PacUI uses fuzzy finder (fzf) to display lists of items (such as packages, package groups, logs, patchs, etc.) and by starting to type, you can easily search/filter those lists. Regular expressions can be used to improve the search results, e.g.:
||Items that match
||Items that start with
||Items that end with
||Items that include
||Items that do not include
||Items that do not end with
A single bar character term acts as an OR operator. For example, the following query matches entries that start with
core or end with
Short PacUI Help
For short help, e.g. when using PacUI without UI, use one of the following commands:
Detailed PacUI Help
Choose the “Help” option within PacUI’s UI by entering “00” or “H” or “h” or “help” and pressing “ENTER”.
pacui --help from the terminal will call PacUI’s detailed help page, too.
This help page explains some general stuff such as how to navigate PacUI. It also explains every PacUI option in detail. If you want to look up which commands PacUI uses under the hood and understand them in order to use PacUI correctly, this is the right place for you!