Pacstall brings the freedom of the AUR to Ubuntu

AUR You Ready?

© Photo by Andhika Soreng on Unsplash

© Photo by Andhika Soreng on Unsplash

Article from Issue 255/2022

Many users wish Ubuntu had a free and easily accessible user-driven package repository like Arch's AUR. Pacstall steps into the gap.

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros, but it is still missing some benefits that other Linux communities enjoy. For instance, the Ubuntu repositories might not have the package (or the latest version) you need, which means you'll need to hunt around GitHub for source code to compile that package yourself. The two official alternative methods for getting new versions of packages (snaps and PPAs) are also lacking in many areas (see the "Issues with Snaps and PPAs" box).

When it comes to finding and installing new software from a broad and diverse user base, many Ubuntu users look longingly to Arch Linux and its popular Arch User Repository (AUR). The AUR is a large community-driven repository. The goal of AUR is to provide users with easy access to packages that aren't present in Arch's official repositories. The package format used with AUR is simple enough that a developer or maintainer from almost any software project can easily create an AUR package for their software that anyone can use for quick and simple package installation. The AUR, which currently contains around 58,000 packages, has helped Arch become the distro for users who want the greatest software availability.

Many Ubuntu users have wondered if Ubuntu could have something like the AUR. Enter Pacstall [1] – a command-line package manager that aims to bring the software availability and freshness of Arch/AUR packages to Ubuntu and Debian. Like the AUR, the Pacstall project contains an open repository of package scripts that anyone can add to, improve, and utilize.


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