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packer is a bash wrapper for pacman and the AUR. It was designed to be a simple and very fast replacement for the useful functionality of yaourt.
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A package manager utility for pacman repositories and the AUR. packer is designed to be a faster, simpler replacement for yaourt. Unlike yaourt, packer only handles tasks that may require access to the AUR, or are required by tasks that do. For everything else, simply use pacman.


The easiest way to install packer is from the AUR. There is currently no other installation script. If (for some odd reason) you want to install it manually, simply copy the following files to the following locations:

  • packer: /usr/bin/packer
  • packer.8: /usr/share/man/man8/packer.8
  • packer.bashcomp: /etc/bash_completion.d/packer
  • packer.zshcomp: /usr/share/zsh/site-functions/_packer


packer's usage is similar to pacman, but there are a few differences. One is that packer only supports the following actions and options:


  • -S install
  • -Ss(q) search (quietly)
  • -Si get info about package
  • -Sc(c) delete cached files including ones from packer (delete more)
  • -S(y)u update (get new cache data)


  • --quiet same as the optional 'q' in -Ss(q)
  • --ignore a package to ignore
  • --noconfirm don't ask any questions
  • --asexplicit install packages explicitly
  • --asdeps install packages as dependancies
  • --noedit don't ask if the user wants to edit AUR files
  • --auronly only preform AUR-based actions
  • --devel add all VCS packages to the list of packages to be updated
  • --skipinteg skip makepkg's integrity checks
  • --force ignore file-conflicts and install anyways
  • --aursort sort AUR search results alphabetically
  • --color colorize AUR actions, even when piping
  • -h, --help print a usage message
  • -- assume all of the following arguments are packages

Another difference is the inclusion of an interactive mode. Running packer with a package name (and options) but without specifying an action will start interactive mode. In this mode a numbered list of search results for the given package is displayed, and one or more numbers are requested. Entering the coresponding numbers will install those packages.

One last small difference is that, if sudo is installed, packer will automatically prompt for you password when it needs. For security reasons it is recommended you install and configure sudo properly, and then run packer as a normal user, not as root. For more information on sudo, take a look at the ArchWiki's Sudo article.


To install a package:

packer -S <package>

To search for a package:

packer -Ss <keyword>

Install without confirmation:

packer -S --noconfirm <package>

Search and install using interactive mode:

packer <package>

Launch interactive mode, but install as dependencies:

packer --asdeps <package>

Search for a package, colorize results, and display in less:

packer -Ss --color <package> | less -R


packer reads the following settings from /etc/pacman.conf:

  • IgnorePkg
  • DBPath

Both of these settings have the same effect on packer's operation as they do on pacman. Obviously, if pacman is called it will read any settings it needs.

If you want to edit a file, the $EDITOR environment variable is used. If editor is not set, packer will use vi.

Output is colorized if pacman-color is installed.


If you've been using yaourt and just can't stop because of pacdiffviewer then you should take a look at diffpac, a stand-alone pacdiffviewer fork. If you don't like it, or want some of the other features that that yaourt provides, you can always use both packer and yaourt. Since packer is designed to only do what it needs to do, it requires you to use at least pacman as well. There's no reason you can't use it with something else (such as yaourt) too.


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