Pacman Cheat Sheet For Ubuntu Users

Mon 24th August 2020 By David T. Sadler.

As a regular Ubuntu user I am used to using apt for system maintenance. But now that I've installed Arch Linux I will be using pacman and so below is a cheat sheet for myself that shows the pacman equivalent of some common apt actions.

Action                     | Apt                            | Pacman                     |
Install a package          | apt install <package name>     | pacman -S <package name>   |
Remove a package           | apt remove <package name>      | pacman -Rs <package name>  |
Search for a package       | apt serch <search term>        | pacman -Ss <regexp>        |
Upgrade packages           | apt update && apt upgrade      | pacman -Syu                |
Upgrade distribution       | apt update && apt dist-upgrade | pacman -Syu                |
Clean up local caches      | apt autoclean                  | pacman -Scc                |
Remove unused dependencies | apt autoremove                 | pacman -Qmq | pacman -Rs - |

Install a Package

$ pacman --sync <package name>

$ pacman -S <package name>

Installs a package and its dependencies.

Remove a Package

$ pacman --remove --recursive <package name>

$ pacman -Rs <package name>

Removes a package and all its dependencies, provided that (A) they are not required by other packages; and (B) they were not explicitly installed by the user.

Search For a Package

$ pacman --sync --search <regexp>

$ pacman -Ss <regexp>

Searches in the sync database for packages with a name or description that match the regexp.

Upgrade Packages

$ pacman --sync --refresh --sysupgrade

$ pacman -Syu

Downloads a fresh copy of the master package database and then upgrades all out-of-date packages.

Upgrade Distribution

$ pacman --sync --refresh --sysupgrade

$ pacman -Syu

Since Arch uses a rolling release system there is no distribution version as you just upgrade your packages to their latest versions.

Clean Up Local Caches

$ pacman --sync --clean --clean

$ pacman -Scc

Free up disk space by removing from the cache any packages that are no longer installed. Also removes any cached sync databases.

Remove Used Dependencies

$ pacman --query --deps --unrequired --quiet | pacman --remove --recursive -

$ pacman -Qdtq | pacman -Rs -

Remove dependencies that are no longer needed, because e.g. the package which needed the dependencies was removed.


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