Arch Linux utility to push a host's package and AUR caches to other hosts
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pacpush is a small and simple command line utility which you can use to manually push pacman and your AUR helper Arch Linux package updates to other machines to avoid having to download them more than once via the web.

My use case follows as a good example of what this utility is for.

I update my main Arch PC and my Arch laptop every day using pacaur -Syu. Previously, I would update either both machines in parallel, or one before the other. So both machines would download the package lists from the web, then download and install the out of date system packages, then download, build, and install all out of date AUR packages. This takes quite some time, particularly on a slow internet connection, and it is inefficient to be downloading and building most packages twice for the same architecture machines.

Using pacpush, I now update my PC first then after that update has finished I run pacpush lt on my PC to update lt directly via my local LAN. Pacpush pushes the updated package lists, then queries lt to work out which packages lt has out of date (including AUR packages), then pushes all the system and AUR packages that it has which lt needs. Note you can specify multiple hosts which will get queried and updated in parallel.

After running pacpush, I run a pacaur -Su update on lt and it completes very quickly because lt only needs to download the system and AUR packages my PC did not have. I typically use very similar system and AUR packages on both machines so typically lt doesn't need to download or build any updated packages at all.

You need to have root ssh access to the remote machines for pacpush to work. See the SSH KEY CONFIGURATION section below on how best to set this up.

Obviously this only works for machines of the same architecture, i.e. compatible package files, so pacpush checks for this before pushing any files.

Note that pacpush should work with any AUR helper so long as you set clonedir appropriately in your configuration file, see the CONFIGURATION section below for details.

The latest version and documentation is available at


To solve this problem, I originally started using pacserve which is what is usually recommended for this use case. However pacserve does not sync the package lists nor does it do anything about AUR packages which is particularly unfortunate because AUR package downloads often include huge source and other files and can require long build times. Since pacpush pushes the entire AUR directory for each required package, the second machine benefits by typically not having to download or rebuild any updated AUR packages at all.


Just install pacpush from the AUR to the local and remote hosts.


The default configuration file is installed to /etc/pacpush.conf. Copy this file to your personal ~/.config/pacpush.conf if you want to change it. Currently the only configuration value is clonedir which is the location of your AUR helpers download/build directory. This is the directory from which AUR packages are rsync'd from the local host to remote hosts. It only needs to be configured on the local host. clonedir can be set to a single directory, or a list of directories. Ensure that clonedir is set to, or at least contains, the directory your AUR helper is using. See the default setting and examples in the default configuration file. If you use multiple AUR helpers then set each one's directory in a list in clonedir.


You need to set up root ssh access from your host machine to the remote machine[s] for pacpush to work. For security and convenience, it is essential to use an ssh key. The following procedure copies your personal public ssh key to the remote root account. Your first need to set up your own personal ssh key pair of course, see Google for that part.

On a remote host to which you want to pacpush (assuming you have already set up personal ssh access to that host):

sudo mkdir -p /root/.ssh
sudo chmod 700 /root/.ssh
sudo cp ~/.ssh/authorized_keys /root/.ssh

# Possibly remove any keys you don't want root to allow if you have
# more than one:
sudo vim /root/.ssh/authorized_keys

Note that the sudo invoked by pacpush on itself when you run it as your normal user passes on SSH_AUTH_SOCK so that the remote root ssh session authenticates against your personal ssh key.


You run it directly on the command line as your normal user (not as root and not using sudo explicitly) specifying as arguments the host, or hosts, you want to update. The utility will re-invoke itself using sudo and will push the cached AUR build directory of the invoking user (i.e. the clonedir location[s] from the configuration file).

If you specify multiple hosts then the program will update them in parallel. You can limit, or increase, the number of parallel updates using the -p/--parallel-count option.

usage: pacpush [-h] [-n] [-m] [-p PARALLEL_COUNT] [-c CONFFILE] [-u] [-s] [-a]
               [hosts [hosts ...]]

Utility to push this Arch hosts system and AUR package caches to other host[s]
to avoid those other hosts having to download the same new package lists and
updated packages, at least for shared common packages. Requires root ssh
access to other hosts (it is easier with an auth key).

positional arguments:
  hosts                 hosts to update

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -n, --dryrun          dry run only
  -m, --no-machcheck    do not check machine type compatibility
  -p PARALLEL_COUNT, --parallel-count PARALLEL_COUNT
                        max number of hosts to update in parallel. Default is
  -c CONFFILE, --conffile CONFFILE
                        alternative configuration file
  -u, --updates         just report all installed packages with updates
                        pending, including AUR packages
  -s, --sys-only        only sync/report system packages, not AUR
  -a, --aur-only        only sync/report AUR packages, not system


Copyright (C) 2017 Mark Blakeney. This program is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License at for more details.