What is Aura?

Aura is a package manager for Arch Linux. It's main purpose is as an "AUR helper", in that it automates the process of installating packages from the Arch User Repositories. It is, however, capable of much more.

The Aura Philosophy

Aura is Pacman

Aura doesn't just mimic pacman... it is pacman. All pacman operations and their sub-options are allowed. Some even hold special meaning in Aura as well.

Arch is Arch. AUR is AUR.

-S yields pacman packages and only pacman packages. This agrees with the above. Thus in aura, the -A operation is introduced for obtaining AUR packages. -A comes with sub-options you're used to (-u, -s, -i, etc.).

All together

Dependencies and packages are not built and installed one at a time. Install order is as follows:

  1. All pacman (ABS) dependencies (all at once).
  2. All AUR dependencies (one at a time).
  3. All AUR packages (all at once).

Quiet Building

By default makepkg output is suppressed. If you want the people behind you to think you're a badass hacker, then this suppression can be disabled by using -x alongside -A.

Run as Root, Build as a User

makepkg gets very upset if you try to build a package as root. That said, a built package can't be handed off to pacman and installed if you don't run as root. Other AUR helpers ignore this problem, but Aura does not. Even when run with sudo, packages are built with normal user privilages, then handed to pacman and installed as root.

Know your System

Editing PKGBUILDs mid-build is not default behaviour. An Arch user should know exactly what they're putting into their system, thus research into prospective packages should be done beforehand. However, for functionality's sake, the option --hotedit used with -A will prompt the user for PKGBUILD editing. Regardless, as a responsible user you must KNOW. WHAT. YOU. ARE. BUILDING.


Built AUR package files are moved to the package cache. This allows for them to be easily downgraded when problems arise. Other top AUR helper programs do not do this.

No Orphans

Sometimes dependencies lose their required status, but remain installed on your system. Sometimes AUR package "makedepends" aren't required at all after install. Packages like this just sit there, receiving upgrades for no reason. Aura helps keep track of and remove packages like this.

Arch Linux for Everyone

English is well established as the world's Lingua Franca, and is also the dominant language of computing and the internet. That said, it's natural that some people are going to be more comfortable working in their native language. From the beginning Aura has been built with multiple-language support in mind, making it very easy to add new ones.


Aura is written in Haskell, which means easy developing and pretty code. Aura code isn't complicated, and for the burgeoning Haskeller there are examples of things like regexes and CLI argument handling which could come in handy as a reference.

Sample Usage

Installing Packages

Install an AUR package:

aura -A (package)

Upgrade all installed AUR packages:

aura -Ayu

Look up information on an AUR package:

aura -Ai (package)

Search the AUR via a regex:

aura -As (regex)

Display an AUR package's PKGBUILD:

aura -Ap (package)

Display an AUR package's dependencies (and those deps' deps too):

aura -Ad (package)

Install with makepkg output unsuppressed:

aura -Ax (package)

Install and remove make dependencies afterwards:

aura -Aa (package)

Working with the Package Cache

Downgrade a package (this is interactive):

aura -C (package)

Search the package cache for package files via a regex:

aura -Cs (regex)

Backup the package cache:

aura -Cb (/path/to/backup/location/)

Reduce the package cache to contain only 'x' of each package file:

aura -Cc 5

Working with the Pacman Log

Display install / upgrade history for a package:

aura -Li (package)

Search the pacman logfile via a regex:

aura -Ls (regex)

Working with Orphan Packages

Display orphan packages:

aura -O

Adopt an orphan package:

aura -O (package)

Uninstall all orphan packages:

aura -Oj

More information is available in aura's manpage.


As mentioned in the Philosophy above, adding new languages to Aura is quite easy. If you speak a language other than those available and would like it added to Aura, please consult the Localisation Guide provided.