Pacman is a popular package manager for Arch Linux and its derivatives like Manjaro, Antergos, etc. It is used to install, upgrade, and remove packages from the system. In this article, we will look into how to upgrade packages using Pacman package manager.
Before we start upgrading packages, it is always a good idea to update the package repository. This can be done by running the following command in the terminal:
sudo pacman -Syy
This command updates the package repository and makes sure that we have the latest list of packages available for installation.
Upgrading all packages
One of the easiest ways to upgrade packages is to upgrade all the packages at once. This is done by using the following command:
sudo pacman -Syu
The -Sy flag is used to sync the package repository and -u flag is used to upgrade the packages. The command downloads the latest version of all the packages installed on the system and upgrades them to the latest version.
For example, if you have an older version of the VLC media player installed on your system, running the above command will upgrade it to the latest version.
Upgrading specific packages
If you want to upgrade specific packages and not all of them, you can do so by specifying the package names after the command. For example, to upgrade the VLC media player, run the following command:
sudo pacman -S vlc
The -S flag is used to install or upgrade the package. In this case, it upgrades the VLC media player to the latest version available in the repository.
Sometimes, you might want to downgrade a package to an older version. This can be done by specifying the version number of the package after the command. For example, to downgrade the VLC media player to version 2.2.8, run the following command:
sudo pacman -U vlc-2.2.8-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
The -U flag is used to install a package from a local file. In this case, we are installing the older version of the VLC media player.
It is important to note that downgrading packages can sometimes cause compatibility issues and is not recommended unless necessary.
If you no longer need a package, you can remove it from your system using the following command:
sudo pacman -R vlc
The -R flag is used to remove the package. In this case, we are removing the VLC media player.
It is important to note that removing packages can sometimes cause dependencies issues. Pacman will prompt you if removing a package will remove any other packages that depend on it. In such cases, you can either choose to remove the dependent packages or keep them.
Keeping packages up-to-date
Keeping your packages up-to-date is important for security and stability reasons. You can automate the process of upgrading packages by using a tool like Pacman-Auto-Upgrader.
Pacman-Auto-Upgrader is a script that automates the process of upgrading packages using Pacman. It can be run regularly, for example, once a week, to keep your packages up-to-date.
To install Pacman-Auto-Upgrader, run the following command:
sudo pacman -S pacman-auto-upgrader
After installation, you can configure the script to run at a specific time and frequency. By default, Pacman-Auto-Upgrader upgrades the packages and sends a notification if any upgrades are available.
Another option is to use a cron job to run the Pacman -Syu command regularly. A cron job is a task scheduler that runs commands at specified times. To create a cron job, run the following command:
This opens the cron table file where you can add a new job. To run the Pacman -Syu command every week, add the following line at the end of the file:
0 0 * * 1 sudo pacman -Syu
This line runs the command every Monday at midnight. Save the file and exit. The cron job is now set up and will run automatically every week.
In conclusion, Pacman is a powerful and easy-to-use package manager for Arch Linux and its derivatives. It can be used to upgrade, remove, and manage packages on the system. Keeping your packages up-to-date is important for security and stability reasons, and tools like Pacman-Auto-Upgrader and cron jobs can help automate the process.