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Using Pacman

DeLi Linux since 0.8 using the pacman package manager from Arch Linux. Parts of this document are shamelessly stolen from the Arch Linux Wiki at


Pacman keeps the system up to date by synchronizing package lists with the master server. This server/client model also allows you to download/install packages with a simple command, complete with all required dependencies.

Pacman is written in the C programming language, so it is fast, light and very agile. It uses the .tar.gz package format, which further enhances its speed; Gzipped tarballs, though slightly larger, are decompressed much faster than their Bzipped counterparts, and are therefore generally installed more expediently.


Pacman configuration is located in /etc/pacman.conf. In depth information about the configuration file can be found in “man pacman”.

General options

General options are in [options] section. Read the man page or look in the default pacman.conf for information on what can be done here.

Using proxy server

Setting pacman for using proxy server is possible through adding directives like



In this section you define which repositories to use, as referred to in /etc/pacman.conf.

First edit /etc/pacman.conf

Server = file:///cdrom/pkg

#Server =
  • If you want to use CDROM only leave the file as it is
  • If you want to receive updates from the internet and additional packages, uncomment the second “current” entry
  • You may optionally comment the “cdrom” entry


To really learn what pacman can do, read man pacman. The below is just a small sample of operations that can be performed.

Installing and Removing Packages

Before installing and upgrading packages, it is a good idea to synchronize the local package database with the remote repositories.

pacman -Sy


pacman --sync --refresh

To install or upgrade a single package or list of packages (including dependencies), issue the following command:

pacman -U


pacman -S package_name1 package_name2

You can also refresh the package database before installing a package in one command:

pacman -Sy package_name

To remove a single package, leaving all of its dependencies installed:

pacman -R package_name

To remove all of the packages dependencies which aren't used by any other installed package:

pacman -Rs package_name

Upgrading the System

Pacman can update all packages on the system with just one command. This could take quite a while depending on how up-to-date your system is.

pacman -Su

However, the best option is to synchronize the repository databases AND update your system in one go with the following:

pacman -Syu

Querying the Package Database

Pacman can search and query the local package database with the -Q flag. See

pacman -Q --help

or the pacman(8) manpage for more details. Sync databases can be searched and queried with the -S flag. See either the manpage just mentioned or

pacman -S --help

for details.

Other Usage

Pacman is quite an extensive package management tool, here is just a brief collection of other features.

  • Download a package without installing it:

pacman -Sw package_name

  • Install a local package (not from a repository):

pacman -U /path/to/package/package_name-version.pkg.tar.gz

You may also enter a URL:

pacman -U http://www.examplepackage/repo/examplepkg.tar.gz

  • Fully clean the package cache (/var/cache/pacman/pkg):

pacman -Scc

For a more detailed list of switches please refer to pacman –help or man pacman.

deli/configuration/pacman.txt · Last modified: 2010/09/02 15:06 (external edit)