arch-ppa is a tool that easily creates and maintains your own Arch Linux package repositories. Kind of like the Personal Package Archives (PPA) that Ubuntu has, but way easier.
The Arch User Repository (AUR) is
convenient, has tons of software, is generally awesome, but is
inherently insecure. Anyone can upload anything they want to the
AUR. This is why I don't like to use AUR helpers like
pacaur. Using the AUR with a helper requires you to be diligent in
reviewing the PKGBUILDs it downloads, in order to make sure it doesn't
include things like viruses or trojans, or downloading from a weird
This tool builds packages from a directory tree of PKGBUILD files. The
idea is that you put this directory into a version control system only
after having verified the PKGBUILD files are correct and
non-malicious. Additionally, the packages are signed with your own gpg
key (and verified by the client on installation.) This resolves the
insecurity of the AUR in my mind. This gives me the full power of the
AUR, but allows me to automate my package installs in a way that I
never felt comfortable with before. Seriously, why does pacaur have a
--noconfirm option? That's scary. Worse than 10 toolbars on your
mother's web browser scary.
The packages this tool builds can be hosted as a regular arch repository, either on your local filesystem or on a webserver. The added convenience here is that although the packages came from the AUR, your clients install it through regular-old pacman.
Clone this repo somewhere. Everything will be self contained in this directory wherever you put it.
arch-ppa should not be run as root, but the user needs to have sudo privileges as the underlying devtools need it. (If you know how to make arch-nspawn create files with the current uid, please let me know.)
The setup installs a few dependencies like
also creates a chroot directory which is a container that will be used
to build packages in a completely clean environment using
Add packages from the AUR:
./arch-ppa add cower curlbomb pasystray
This downloads PKGBUILDs from the AUR for the listed packages: cower,
curlbomb, pasystray, as well as all of their AUR dependencies, and
placed into the
src directory. You can manually put any PKGBUILDs
you have into the
src directory; they don't have to be from the
AUR. Note that any PKGBUILD that lists a dependency of another
package, that is not found in one of the arch repositories, needs to
have it's own PKGBUILD in the
src directory too. (The
does this for you automatically, thanks to
cower -d -d)
./arch-ppa clean ryan ./arch-ppa build ryan
The build process operates on a single repository, in this example
ryan. You can maintain several repositories, each containing
different sets of packages. Just make sure to give each repository a
The clean process removes the repository directory containing all the
built packages. It also deletes the chroot for the repository from the
The build process creates a new package repository called
whatever you called yours.) It finds PKGBUILD files in the
directory and figures out the dependency chain and builds all the
packages in the correct order. Additionally, you can specify
individual package names after the repository name if you only wish to
build certain packages.
./arch-ppa update [optional package names]
The update command will download new PKGBUILDs for the specified
packages (or all if not specified.) The update will complain if you
haven't added the existing packages to a git repository or have
uncommited changes. Always review changes to PKGBUILD files before
committing them. That's the point of this thing. Use
git diff src.
The repository directory can be listed in your
/etc/pacman.conf like this:
[ryan] Server = file:///home/ryan/git/arch-ppa/ryan SigLevel = Required TrustedOnly
This is the full path to the ryan repository just created. Replace the
name in brackets with your chosen repository name and use the path
appropriate for your machine. Run
pacman -Sy and you should see
pacman synchronize with the new repository name. Alternatively, upload
the directory to a webserver to share it with all your friends.
The SigLevel option specifies how pacman should trust our
Required TruestedOnly is a strict rule that the key must
be in the local pacman keyring and be assigned a trust level. Pacman
will usually download the key without a problem, but you will still
need to locally sign the key to trust it.
See the next section if you're having problems with package signatures not working.
Mini gpg tutorial
View your key information:
This should output something like this:
/home/ryan/.gnupg/pubring.kbx ----------------------------- sec rsa2048/4BAACCF8 2016-04-15 [SC] uid [ultimate] test guy <firstname.lastname@example.org> ssb rsa2048/C22BDAA5 2016-04-15 [E]
My public key ID is 4BAACCF8. Always omit the part before the slash. If it didn't output any key information at all, this means you don't have a key yet. If that's the case, create one and follow the prompts:
Send your public key to the keyserver (replace with your ID):
gpg --send-keys 4BAACCF8
On each machine you plan to use your package repository, run the following to import the key and to locally sign it (meaning to trust it from pacman's perspective. Like before, replace with your key ID):
sudo pacman-key -r 4BAACCF8 sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 4BAACCF8
If you don't sign the key, pacman will complain that your packages are not trusted.
Copyright (c) <2016> <Ryan McGuire> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.