Another AUR Helper (incomplete)
AUR is the Arch User Repository, where anyone can upload a PKGBUILD and supplementary sources to allow others to build their own packages for use in the Arch Linux distribution.
I made an incomplete AUR Helper in Python, and decided to put it in a public repository. It's messy, and it requires a significant amount of set-up, but it works for me. It always builds in a CHROOT, and it lets the user check the PKGBUILD (by default) prior to building. There is no automatic dependency management. That must be done in the config. An example config is provided.
Things to know before using the helper
Sometimes if a package prompts a user to select between alternate package
dependencies, makechrootpkg will fail to select one by default (it will
constantly output "y" to stdin when a selection requires an integer). This
means you will need to check the logs as it is building a package to make sure
this kind of soft-lock doesn't happen. Use
tail -f LOG_FILE for example. If
such a soft-lock happens, Ctrl-C the helper, and explicitly set a dependency in
the TOML config file in a "other_deps" array for the package like so:
[[entry]] name = "sway-git" aur_deps = [ "wlroots-git", "swaybg-git" ] other_deps = [ "mesa" ]
Package stdout/stderr size limit
The possible issue of output logs filling up disk space is addressed with a "log_limit" config option. By default, if the output log file reaches the limit, the compilation output is no longer logged to file in the logs dir.
Change "log_limit" in the config to a value in bytes if the default of 1 GiB is too little for your use case (if the size of your output logs extend past 1 GiB somehow).
Error when reaching limit
"error_on_limit" can be set to true/false in the config. If set to true, then the build will fail if the limit is reached. If set to false, then the build will continue even if the limit is reached.
Setting up the AUR Helper
The AUR Helper requires several things:
- A CHROOT to build in.
- A "checking GNUPG" directory that contains the GPG public keys that will be checked when building the PKGBUILD.
- A "singing GNUPG" directory that contains the GPG private key that will sign the built packages and repository database.
- SUDO privileges to be able to use
/etc/pacman.confmust be configured to use the custom repository's packages if
pacman -Uwill not be used.
devtools package is required.
python-toml package is required for the Python script to run.
Create the CHROOT
/usr/bin/mkarchroot to create your CHROOT in a directory.
mkarchroot $HOME/mychroot/root base base-devel ccache sccache cmake ninja
You must refer to the CHROOT as
$HOME/mychroot if you used the same name as in
the previous example.
Set up the GNUPG dirs
Just create the directory anywhere, and store it in the
config.toml. You must
manually add public keys to it if a package requires checking source files with
GNUPGHOME=$HOME/myCheckingGNUPGDir gpg --recv-keys A_DEV_KEYS_FINGERPRINT
Note that gpg may not automatically create the GNUPGHOME directory.
You will need to set up a GPG public/private key pair. GNUPG always respects
GNUPGHOME environment variable as the
.gnupg dir, so set the variable
first, create the directory, then set up your keys. The keys will be used to
sign the packages you build and the custom repository that stores the package
signing_gpg_key_fp variable in the config to the output fingerprint
GNUPGHOME=mySigningGNUPGDir gpg --fingerprint
Note that you must remove the spaces between each part of the fingerprint, like in the example config.
Keep note of the password you store for this GNUPG key, as you will enter it every time you use the Python script.
Set up the config dir
example_config.toml for more configuration. It should be commented
enough for figuring out how to use it.
Setting up the Repository
Create a directory for where you will store built packages and the repository.
The name of the repo must be similar to the
repo specified in the config.
For example, if your repo's name is
repo should be set to
You must also create symlinks such that
MyAURRepo.db points to
MyAURRepo.files points to
The Python script should automatically make a relative (not absolute) symlink to
MyAURRepo.db.tar.sig with the name
MyAURRepo.db.sig after signing (which
should happen after each package is built and signed). Note the name doesn't
have to be
MyAURRepo, but is based on the
repo variable set in the config.
To use the repository, you can add an entry to your
/etc/pacman.conf with the
[MyAURRepo] SigLevel = Required TrustAll Include = file:///home/MyAURRepoDirectory
SigLevel is set expecting the
MyAURRepo.db file to be signed (the
Python script usually signs the
.db file after a package has been successfully
Making your system trust the new Repository
Export the public key from your
GNUPGHOME=mySigningGNUPGDir gpg --export MySigningKeyName > $HOME/MySigningKey.pub
pacman-key to add and trust it.
sudo pacman-key -a $HOME/MySigningKey.pub
First check that the name is unique:
sudo pacman-key --finger MySigningKeyName
Then trust it:
sudo pacman-key --lsign-key MySigningKeyName
After these steps,
pacman should now trust the packages and repository signed
by the GPG key you set up.
Using the AUR Helper
Typically, you will invoke:
./update.py --config my_config.toml
If you want to build in the CHROOT without updating the CHROOT, add the
If you want to check only specific packages in the list of packages in the
config use something like
-p <package-name>. You can use
multiple times if you want to check a handful of packages only.
If you want to not skip a package marked with
skip_branch_up_to_date in the
config, then use
--no-skip <package-name>, and the script will act as if
skip_branch_up_to_date was not specified for the named package.
When building, the script will not directly output to the terminal it is run in, but rather appends to log files in the log directory specified in the config. To see the output while building, you can use something like:
tail -f $MY_LOG_DIR/google-chrome_stdout_2022-06-02_05-27-49_UTC
It may be helpful to periodically clear out the logs directory in between invocations of the AUR Helper script.
It is recommended to use the script with a prepared config.
makechrootpkg does not verify integrity of files in the
PKGBUILD. Use the
makechrootpkg_noskipinteg.hook to modify the
makechrootpkg script to not skip integrity checks.
update.py now does integrity checks before building with
is no longer necessary to modify the
/usr/bin/makechrootpkg because the
integrity checks are done separately.
If the hook was used previously, remove it from
If you have
.cargo/git in your home directory, and you
don't want to re-download the Rust registry every time you update a Rust
package, you can specify
link_cargo_registry = true for a package in your
ion-git in the
example_config.toml) and that will bind-mount
these two directories into the chroot, which will share your local Rust cache
with the chroot.
[[entry]] name = "ion-git" link_cargo_registry = true
true in the config, then output logs are prepended with a
true in the config, then output build logs are prepended
with a timestamp.
sccache and Rust
sccache causes a build error when building a package compiling Rust,
one may specify in the config to only wrap
rustc and nothing else by
[[entry]] name = "helix-git" link_cargo_registry = true sccache_dir="/home/user/aur/sccache_helix-git" sccache_rust_only = true