How to Install yay AUR Helper in Arch Linux [Beginner’s Guide]

3 min


This beginner’s guide explains the steps to install the Yay AUR helper in Arch Linux.

The yay is an abbreviation of ‘Yet Another Yogurt’. It is technically a pacman wrapper and AUR helper written in Go programming languages. It is the most popular Arch User Repository (AUR) helper available today. With Yay, you can take advantage of a vast Arch User Repository of packages and easily compile and install any software.

It automates many package management tasks such as searching, resolving dependencies on the fly, compiling and building packages, and, of course, publishing your packages for AUR.

Let’s look at how you can install Yay in Arch Linux or any Arch-based distro such as Manjaro. Once you install Arch Linux, you can install packages via pacman package manager from three main Arch official repo. But Yay is not installed by default after a fresh Arch Linux installation. Hence you need to install it to take advantage of AUR manually.

This guide covers the below topics.

Install yay in Arch Linux

Pre-requisite

Open a terminal and run the below commands. Provide admin password when prompted. These steps require the base-devel package and git package for compilation and installation.

sudo pacman -S base-devel
sudo pacman -S git
Install git
Install git

Install yay

The yay package has two versions in the Arch repository, as follows.

yay – stable version
yay-git – development version

For this guide, I have used the stable version. Now, go to “/opt” directory and clone the git repo.

cd /opt
sudo git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git
clone the yay repo
clone the yay repo

Change the owner of the source directory. Replace “debugpoint” with your user name.

sudo chown -R debugpoint:users ./yay

If you are unaware of the user or group, you can find the user and groups using the example below.

id debugpoint

Go to the directory and compile.

cd yay
makepkg -si

This completes the installation for yay in Arch Linux.

Install yay in Arch Linux
Install yay in Arch Linux

Install in yay in Manjaro

If you are using Manjaro Linux, the yay package is available in the community repo. You can easily install using the following commands in Manjaro.

pacman -Syyu
pacman -S yay

Now, let’s look at how you can install any package using Yay and some basic yay usage.

How to use yay to install packages

The first search on the AUR website to install any application to get the package name. For example, to install featherpad text editor, run the below command.

yay -S featherpad

After installation, you can find the application launcher in the application menu.

Install a sample application (featherpad) using yay
Install a sample application (featherpad) using yay

Some yay tips

You can also do many tweaks and system operations using yay. Some of the examples are below.

Refresh the system packages and upgrade:

yay -Syu

Use the development versions of packages and upgrade (be careful while running this command):

yay -Syu --devel --timeupdate

Remove any packages (for example, featherpad):

yay -Rns featherpad

Get a quick system stat:

system stat using yay
system stat using yay
yay -Ps

I hope this beginner’s guide helped you install yay in Arch Linux, then use yay for installing packages, and perform different system actions.


Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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