How to install outdated AUR packages?

Hi Endeavour community! :wave:

I have been inactive for so long, because I was facing issues installing certain software from AUR on Endeavour due to AUR packages being outdated, so I decided to switch back to a Debian based distro due to that. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to install software in a day I’m in a hurry to get it.

So, I want to give Endeavour a second try, and I’m posting this topic to get help, so if there is a fair solution, I will switch back to Endeavour… As I said, my issue was with AUR outdated packages. For example, let’s imagine I need virtualbox, so I run yay -S virtualbox and the installation fails due to being an outdated package. What can I do in this situation?

I have found there is another method to install packages from AUR, which is cloning the git file and then building it by running makepkg -si. Should this method work for installing outdated packages?

Thanks in advance, and I hope I can switch back to Endeavour because I really liked it (especially, this community), despite the AUR problem.

I am not sure exactly what the issue you are having is but maybe your system isn’t up-to-date?

You want to make sure you pull your whole system up-to-date before updating individual packages. Otherwise you can end up with a partial update scenario and a broken system.

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My system was up to date as far as I know… My problem was with installing packages I needed, but they were flagged as out-of-date on AUR, so the installation fails due to that.

If you want, I can try to recreate the issue, and I will post a screenshot of the error. But from what I experienced, it’s not possible to install an outdated package using yay.

Something being flagged out-of-date on AUR isn’t a problem.

It just means the package maintainer needs to update the package. There is nothing you need to do in that situation. Once the maintainer updates the package, you will get the updates.

If something is failing can we see the full output so we can see the error?

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first of all virtualbox is not an AUR PKGBUILD it is a ready to install package from community repository:

community/virtualbox 6.1.16-4 (35.3 MiB 161.0 MiB) 
    Powerful x86 virtualization for enterprise as well as home use

On virtualbox simple follow our wiki to install and set it up:

On building and installing packages from the AUR:
YAY is a package build helper and can be used to install packages from the normal repositories, it can also update packages and AUR builds.
befor ebuilding packages from AUR you need to make sure your system is up to date, to update both packages and AUR builds run:
yay -Syu or if you get db outdated first update db sudo pacman -Syyand then run full update with yay: yay -Syu


it is caused by issues on the PKGBUILD you want to use, if the user maintaining it do not update it to fit changes on AUR or repositories you will need to wait till it is fixed or fix the issue on your own :wink:

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Ok, thank you both! I will make sure my system is up to date before building packages from AUR. I used to update my system once per week, for stability, but I hope there won’t be stability issues if I do what you suggest.

That’s the difficult part. I’m not sure how I would fix it. I only know I had key importing issues when installing Spotify, so the installation failed, and my fix was cloning the git file and building it using makepkg -si, so I assume it should work for other software as well…

also take a look at the comments on the PKGBUILD there you will mostly find a solution from other users already try to install it:

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yes the most easy way is to download the sourcetarball or cloning it as you can easely edit files what is not fully working inside yay…

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What is actually broken? That out-of-date message shouldn’t stop anything from working.

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Actually, I’m not sure what’s broken, it just happened in the past that I wasn’t able to install an outdated package, so I thought all outdated packages had that issue. I will post screenshot as soon as it happens again. Thanks!

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it sounds to me like there are a couple of issues here. First seeing out-of-data flag in the AUR only means that a user has posted the the PKGBUILD file posted to the AUR is not in sync with upstream. This should generally not cause you issues if you try to install the package, except where stream no longer hosts out-of-date binaries, such as with nomachine which if memory serves me only hosts the most recent builds. But in general if you have issues installing an AUR package take a look at the package site users will usually post solutions. Second you should always use -Syu to update your system prior to installing software. As Arch is a rolling release the assumption is that it’s up to date before you install new packages. Last unlike Ubuntu Arch distros don’t normally keep themselves updated and you are expected to do that manually. I fell into that trap when I first moved from Ubuntu to Arch.