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I'm trying to find more information on the individual AUR ArchLinux packages. When you install a package from the AUR and the package gets updated online, do you get the update when updating via the PacMan, or do you have to update the package on your machine manually?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I suggest you to use yaourt instead of pacman if you want to update your packages including the packages from AUR.

yaourt -Syua
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Another tool I'd recommend for managing AUR packages is aura.

You install packages with aura -Ax (x isn't necessary but it shows what is going on) and update with aura -Axyu. Further information:

On AUR helpers in general:

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Packeges from AUR are not updated by 'pacman'. However, there is a package called 'packer' that lets you search AUR just like pacman does the official repositories. This will also let you perform a packer -Su which updates all packages on the system, including AUR packages.

You still have to do pacman -Sy to update you local database thoug.

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No, pacman does not update AUR packages for you. No, there are utilities which help you to manage them automatically.

AUR is a repository of building scripts called PKGBUILDs, executable by utility makepkg (comes with pacman) to build binary pacman-packages. pacman, on the other hand, is a binary pacman-package management system, which does not read this repository at all.

The traditional and still the recommended way is to monitor PKGBUILD updates by yourself (via a script, a firefox plugin or etc.), download the updated PKGBUILD, rebuild the updated package with makepkg, then reinstall it with pacman. Arch Linux officially does not recommend using a automatic system for security reasons.

If you opt for an automatic system such as yaourt or aura, be sure to take as much care as you manually install the packages. Apart from checking the PKGBUILD online prior to installation, yaourt lets you check the PKGBUILD before it builds the package by default; aura needs --hotedit to do so.

Ref: related ArchWiki

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