What is AUR, and how to enable it in Manjaro

If you are already a Linux user, you might be knowing what “Repository” means in the Linux world. A repository is simply a software source, meaning it’s a storage location from which software packages can be retrieved and installed on a computer.

A repository (also termed as the repo) can be classified into two types: Official repository and User-based repository. Official repo sources come preinstalled with the Arch Linux and Manjaro. Therefore, you can simply launch the Software Center and search for apps that you want to install.

On the other hand is the Arch User Repository (AUR) which is a community-driven repository for Arch Linux and their derivatives. Like the official repo, they also contain package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that can be compiled from source with makepkg and then installed via pacman. The AUR exists so as to share new packages from the community.

Installing and Uninstalling Apps in Manjaro

To install apps in Manjaro, launch the “Add/Remove Software” and then type the App name in the search box. Next, check the box from the search results and click “Apply”. The app should be installed on your computer after you enter the root password. Below is an example from GNOME edition. You can similarly launch “Add/Remove Software” in XFCE and KDE editions.

Installing Software in Manjaro GNOME Edition
Installing Software in Manjaro GNOME Edition

To uninstall an App, you have to follow the same exact process, except you will be unchecking the box in #3.

Enabling AUR in Manjaro

If you are looking for some specific Apps that aren’t available in the default Manjaro REPO, you may want to enable AUR which will give you access to thousands of community built and maintained Apps. However, take this with a pinch of a salt. Considering these apps are community driven, not all the apps are regularly updated. In fact, there are several apps that are not updated from past more than 5 years or so. You may want to stay away from such apps as they can cause system stability issue and in the worst case could posses security risk too.

To enable AUR, open “Add/Remove Software” and click on the 3 dots icon (GNOME) or the hamburger icon (XFCE). Select “Preferences”.

Package Manager Preferences in Manjaro GNOME Edition
Package Manager Preferences in Manjaro GNOME Edition

Click “AUR” tab. Toggle the slider “Enable AUR support” to ON and check the box “Check for updates from AUR” so as to apps be able to get updates.

Enable AUR in Manjaro 17.1 GNOME
Enable AUR in Manjaro 17.1 GNOME

Now start searching for Apps, for example, Shutter. It is a popular screenshot capturing utility for Linux. You can only install it from the AUR. Look for “Shutter” and then click “AUR” tab to fetch the result. As usual, check the box and click “Apply” to install the App. Future updates of the App will continue from the Manjaro updates.

Shutter installation from AUR
Shutter installation from AUR

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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