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  • Name: cylon

  • Title : Arch Linux distribution maintenance program.

  • Description:

A TUI(terminal user interface) which provides updates and maintains an Arch based linux distribution. This program provides numerous tools to Arch Linux users. The program is menu-based and written in bash. It is mainly text based but also uses dialog GUI's at a few points mainly for directory and file selection. It can also display desktop notifications. A detailed list of the dozens of options is provided below in features section.

  • Main Author: Gavin Lyons


Table of contents


cylon is installed by PKGBUILD on a Arch based Linux system. The PKGBUILD file is available in the AUR - Arch user repository. Install it using an AUR helper program or installations instructions on Arch user repository page of Arch linux wiki. The program should work on most arch based distributions. Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS etc.


The program installs an icon in system application menus under system.


It can be also run in a terminal by typing cylon:

cylon -[options]

Options list (standalone cannot be combined):

Option Description
-h --help Print cylon information and exit
-s --system Print system information and exit
-v --version Print version information and exit
-c --config Opens the cylon config file for editing and exit
-d --default Bleachbit system clean , this will execute options selected in bleachbit GUI or bleachbit config file
-b --bleachbit Opens the bleachbit select menus
-m --maint Runs Automatic system maintenance scan This carries many of the menu functions in system maintenance menu in a single sweep, It will not change system just create report files
-u --update Runs a full update report with various execution options. Report provides Arch news rss reader & arch-audit vulnerable packages output CVE data(Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) & number and type of updates available for all repos
-p --print print the package lists (REF1)
-r --rss print arch news reader
-z --delete display the AUR package removal dialog menu function
-l --lint shortcut to open rmlint wrapper menu
-n --notify Display a desktop notifications with update information, also gives some terminal output

Files and setup

Cylon files installed by the package build are listed below:

File Path Description
/usr/bin/cylon The main shell script
/usr/lib/cylon/modules/*_module library files containing functions
/usr/share/doc/cylon/ Help file
/usr/share/man/man7/cylon.7 manpage
/usr/share/licenses/cylon/ copyright file
/usr/share/pixmaps/cylonicon.png cylon icon
/usr/share/applications/cylon.desktop desktop entry file is displayed to screen by a menu option on cylon info page. Type "man cylon" to display manpage. More information on the modules files can be found in in documentation folder. In the repository documentation folder,

File Name description
cylon.7 man page which is truncated version of
cylonCfg.conf A dummy copy of config file for user setup convenience An overview of the modular library files and the functions An overview of the packages files list generated by program More detailed information for some features

Config file: config file is created and populated( hard-coded dummy defaults.) by software if it does not exist on startup . It contains a number of global variables/settings This Path can be overwritten by environmental variable see next section. The config file can be edited from a main menu option or by option -c Config file settings:

Variable Name Description Default
CYLON_RSS_NUM Number or arch news RSS items to fetch 2
CYLON_UPDATE_CHOICE Auto sys update 1=main only = 2=all 3=AUR only 1

Environment variables

Name Description Default
CYLONDEST Cylon output path $HOME/.cache/cylon
CYLON_CONFIG config file path $HOME/.config/cylon/cylonCfg.conf
CYLON_COLOR_OFF if it does not exist or is not set cylon uses colored text Color is on
EDITOR Sets text editor (system EV) Nano text editor


Some functions require dependencies packages to be installed. There are three dependencies and the rest are optional dependencies. The optional dependencies are left to user discretion. Software will check for missing dependencies and report if user tries to use a function which requires a missing one. Software will display installed dependencies packages on cylon info page. also "n/a" is usually displayed besides uninstalled options in menus.

gnu-netcat and openbsd-netcat perform same function, only 1 can be or needs to be installed, both included because of conflicts. There are used to check that network is "up" at various points in program.

Auracle and trizen are both AUR helpers you can install one or both depending on preference. Auracle is a more minimalist helper. trizen is more fully featured. Auracle is used for -u and -n functions, plus step 24 of the package list maker Auracle is new and still in development hence the -git extension. libnotify should be installed on the vast majority of Arch systems already. dialog should already be installed in an arch linux system installed by the arch linux installation guide on wiki. If you install Arch some other way It may not be there, so included as depends. expac is used a lot and will be already installed on many systems. pacman_contrib contains numerous tools(checkupdates pacache etc)related to pacman.

Non-Optional Dependencies Usage
dialog used to make file select menus
expac used to create package lists
pacman-contrib Misc pacman related tools
Optional Dependencies Usage
libnotify used for desktop notifications
bleachbit for system clean and shredding
netcat to check for internet connection (either gnu or openbsd)
rmlint to check for lint and duplicates
Arch-audit Uses data collected by the Arch CVE team
lostfiles to scan for lostfiles
trizen(AUR) AUR helper
auracle-git(AUR) AUR helper


The update section provides a wrapper for pacman, trizen and auracle. It provides an extension to auracle to allow it to install and update packages. It also provides a full system update report function and various other options. The maintenance section provides a variety of scans and checks, it also a provides command line wrapper for rmlint and bleach-bit. Other misc functions include an option to edit config file, information menus for system and cylon. Output folders are created with following time/date stamp syntax DDMONYY-HHMM-X where X is output type i.e download, update etc

System update section

  • pacman options

    • Check for updates (no download)
    • Upgrade packages
    • Display extensive information for package in database
    • Install Package
    • Search for packages in the database
    • Remove Package
    • Search for already installed packages
    • Display extensive information for installed package
    • List all files owned by a given package
    • Verify packages(option for one or all)
    • Prune older packages from cache with paccache
    • Prune all uninstalled packages from cache with paccache
    • Write installed package lists to files
    • Remove all packages not required as dependencies
    • Back-up the local pacman database
    • Arch news rss reader
    • arch-audit gather CVE data
    • List a dependency tree of a package with pactree
    • Show packages that depend on a package with pactree
    • Edit pacman config file
    • View pacman log
    • optimise pacman
  • AUR helper auracle options

    • Check arch url and for AUR updates ( NO downloads)
    • Get Information for AUR package
    • Search for AUR package
    • Download AUR package and install
    • Download AUR package no install
    • Sync and download AUR packages, i.e. update AUR packages on system.
    • Display AUR packages with no Maintainer
    • Display Foreign packages not in AUR
    • Read AUR Package comments
    • Desktop and terminal notifications same as cylon -n option
    • Remove foreign packages menu
  • AUR helper trizen options

    • Check arch url and for AUR updates ( NO downloads)
    • Search for AUR package
    • Get Information for AUR package
    • Update AUR packages
    • Download build and install AUR package
    • Download and build only
    • Download only
    • Delete trizen clone dir files. default = /tmp/trizen-$USER
    • Edit trizen config file $HOME/.config/trizen/trizen.conf
    • Update all packages in all repositories, trizen -Syu
    • Write installed package lists to files
    • trizen statistics display page
    • Remove foreign packages menu
    • Read AUR Package comments
    • Display the AUR packages maintained by a given user
    • Display the PKGBUILD of a given AUR package
  • Full System update

    • Runs the same report that is called by cylon -u, see usage section, uses auracle

System maintenance section

  • System maintenance menu

    • All Failed Systemd Services and system status
    • All Failed Active Systemd Services
    • Check log Journalctl for Errors
    • Check log Journalctl for fstrim SSD trim (check for SSD in system)
    • Analyze system boot-up performance
    • Check for broken symlinks
    • Check for files not owned by any user or group
    • Lostfiles scan, relaxed and strict
    • Diskspace usage
    • Old configuration files scan, output to files
    • Find system inode usage
    • Find largest files
    • Print sensors information
    • Vacuum journal files
    • Delete core dumps
    • Shred specific files with bleachbit
    • Shred specific folders with bleachbit
    • Delete Trash
    • Delete Download directory
    • Delete Cylon output folder $HOME/Documents/Cylon/ or $CYLONDEST
    • Display hardware information
    • Clean system with bleachbit
      • Preset option based on the same options as in the GUI
      • Custom options involved for user to pick cleaners and options
        • preview
        • clean (without overwrite, BB checks the config in GUI).
        • clean + overwrite (with overwrite permanent deletion)
    • Rmlint remove duplicates and other lint
      • Find bad UID, GID or files with both.
      • Find bad symlinks pointing nowhere.
      • Find empty directories.
      • Find empty files.
      • Find nonstripped binaries.
      • Find duplicate files.
      • Find duplicate directories.
      • option to view results file
      • option to execute shell script with results
    • List all open files
  • System maintenance menu Two

    • password generator
    • Audit SUID/SGID Files in system
    • check user password expiry information
    • Display real-time wifi information
    • various miscellaneous networking commands
    • firewall status and details check

Miscellaneous section

  • Config file view/edit option.

  • System information display

    • Displays detailed information on system and package setup
    • Function also run by -s standalone option.
  • Cylon information:

    • Dependencies installation check, info and display readme file to screen
    • Function can also run by option -h

Return codes

  • 0 - Normal non-error controlled exit.
  • 2 - Error occurred and was handled by exithandlerFunc function.

Screen Shots

Main Menu

main menu

Arch News

Arch News

Bleach bit CLI


Desktop notification


Pacman options menu


Remove foreign packages menu

f menu