Built and then installed apps info needed

I just wanted to know where I can see apps I first built and then installed, and if since I built those apps do I need to manually keep track of them and manually update them or once built and installed if they will update automatically? Thanks

If you manually build and install applications you will need to track and manage them manually.

If you create PKGBUILD to manage the process, you would be able to see them in pacman.

As a side note, if you choose to manually install software, never install them to system locations such as /usr. Instead, install them to your home directory or somewhere more appropriate like /opt


btw, i wonder if there are any real negative effects of that, apart from just historical Linux dir structure?

There are. As soon as one of those files overlaps with a system file your updates will break. pacman really doesn’t like it when you install manual files into system locations.

It is a common problem.


Just make a directory inside your home directory where you put all the programs you built yourself. Easy to keep track of everything, and no conflicts will happen.

If you want them to nicely integrate with your DE, create .desktop files and put them in

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@dalto By build I mean 95+% of the time opening Pamac and selecting the build for apps that don’t seem to have a install option or selecting the build option when from everything I’ve read I would be better off with building the app. It’s pretty rare for me to go into terminal and do it that way. When I have to use terminal I have a folder called Packages and I have the process create a subfolder there for the app, and build and install from there.

LOL you JUST beat me to it.

Those are AUR packages. They will be managed by pamac, yay or anything else that can manage AUR packages.


COOOOOL then with me placing what I do do through terminal in the Packages directory I already have a handy list of all the built files that I need to keep an eye on, right?

Don’t confuse programs (apps) you build yourself (by downloading the source from github and manually running make, for example) and packages your build from a PKGBUILD file and install on the system (which includes all packages from the AUR, either using an AUR helper like yay or manually, using makepkg). Both are built, but the former are not packaged, and therefore not installed as packages and managed by the package manager, while the latter are.


Let me try to understand your post.

Download a program like Rename My TV Series - runs by just clicking it’s launcher in it’s folder - maintained by me

Download a program that must be built / compiled - dump the folder with the files to be built into Packages and build from there - maintained by me

Build packages / apps through Pamac - maintained by Pamac or what ever program I use to check for updates(yay, topgrade, pamac)

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Roughly speaking, yes.

To state it a bit more precisely, you can:

  1. Download a binary (compiled program) and save it somewhere (say to your home directory) and run it from there. This is not a packaged program, and it is not installed.

  2. Download source code and compile it yourself, and run the binary. This is also not a packaged program and not installed.

  3. Download an already built package for Arch Linux, and install it using pacman -U package_file.pkg.tar.xz. This is a packaged program, which will be installed on your computer, but it won’t get updated automatically. Pacman will call this a “foreign package.”

  4. Use pacman or some pacman wrapper to download an already built package from the repos (either official or unofficial), by running pacman -S package_name. This is also a packaged program and it will be installed, and it will be updated every time you run pacman -Syu if there is an update in the repos available.

  5. Download a PKGBUILD file (and, if necessary, other build files) and build a package using makepkg -si. The PKGBUILD file will specify the source from which the software is downloaded, either as source code to be compiled, or as an already compiled binary, and makepkg will create a package which you can then install using pacman -U package_file.pkg.tar.xz. This is a packaged program, which will be installed on your system. But it won’t get updated automatically. Pacman will also call this a “foreign package”. This is, btw, the recommended way to install AUR packages, according to the Arch wiki.

  6. Use an AUR helper, like yay, to download a PKGBUILD file from the AUR (Arch User Repository), then have it built automatically using that AUR helper, and installed. This is again, an installed package. It won’t get updated when you run pacman -Syu, because it is also a foreign package, but it will get updated when you run yay, because yay keeps track of it and will rebuild it when a new version is available in the AUR. This is, obviously, more convenient than option 5.


For anything you build with makepkg:
Edit /etc/makepkg.conf and change the PKGDEST path. It’s also picked up by tools such as yay. While you’re at it, also change SRCDEST :wink: