[FAQ] An AUR package stopped working after an update

The normal reasons

Generally, there will be two reasons why an AUR package has “stopped working”:

  1. A repo package was updated and the AUR package was built against an older (and incompatible) version of that repo package;
  2. The AUR package was updated and requires a repo package version not present on your system.

The solutions to these:

  1. Rebuild the AUR package.
  2. Update your system fully.

The other reasons

The other, less frequent reasons, are

  1. The package file (PKGBUILD) has an issue and needs to be fixed;
  2. The upstream software has broken in some way’

In these cases, once you have exhausted your own local testing/troubleshooting, the issue needs to be reported:

  1. To the AUR package maintainer via the comment area on the AUR package page;
  2. To the upstream project (e.g. on their issue tracker).

This way the issue can be fixed for everyone .

The further information (or, “But why??? ”)

AUR “packages” are community-added and maintained package description files, not a ready-made package.

With a repo package the package maintainer maintains the package. With an AUR package you are the package maintainer, so you are responsible for maintaining the package.

AUR packages are targeted at Arch stable.

When software library versions change their features and way they work can also change. These changes are normally backwards-compatible, but not always, and almost never are they forward-compatible.

This means a package built with a new library version will rarely work with an older library version (not forward-compatible), and it’s also the reason why “partial upgrades” can break things.

Hence, software compiled against certain software libraries needs to be re-compiled when those libraries change.

As the package file maintainer, you need to recompile the software in the AUR package file you maintain for your own system(s).