Pacman and YAY

Hello everybody. Nice to be here.

First of all, I’m new to this forum, so if I ruffle any feathers here, please know that it was never my intention. If anything I say or do (or don’t do) here bothers Y’all, please let me know.
That being said, let’s get to it…

Maybe someone can explain this to me:
What is the difference (if any) between these 3 ways of updating the repos:
pacman -Sy pacman -Syy pacman -Syyy

Same question for YAY…


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Check if local package database is up to date, if it isn’t download new database.

Forcefully download new database. Should not be used unless you switched your mirror.

There is no such thing.

All of these applies to yay too.


-S, --sync
Synchronize packages. Packages are installed directly from the remote repositories, including all dependencies required to run the packages. For example, pacman -S qt will download and install qt and all the packages it depends on. If a package name exists in more than one repository, the repository can be explicitly specified to clarify the package to install: pacman -S testing/qt. You can also specify version requirements: pacman -S “bash>=3.2”. Quotes are needed, otherwise the shell interprets “>” as redirection to a file.

In addition to packages, groups can be specified as well. For example, if gnome is a defined package group, then pacman -S gnome will provide a prompt allowing you to select which packages to install from a numbered list. The package selection is specified using a space- and/or comma-separated list of package numbers. Sequential packages may be selected by specifying the first and last package numbers separated by a hyphen (-). Excluding packages is achieved by prefixing a number or range of numbers with a caret (^).

Packages that provide other packages are also handled. For example, pacman -S foo will first look for a foo package. If foo is not found, packages that provide the same functionality as foo will be searched for. If any package is found, it will be installed. A selection prompt is provided if multiple packages providing foo are found.

You can also use pacman -Su to upgrade all packages that are out-of-date. See Sync Options below. When upgrading, pacman performs version comparison to determine which packages need upgrading. This behavior operates as follows:


1.0a < 1.0b < 1.0beta < 1.0p < 1.0pre < 1.0rc < 1.0 < 1.0.a < 1.0.1

1 < 1.0 < 1.1 < 1.1.1 < 1.2 < 2.0 < 3.0.0

Additionally, version strings can have an epoch value defined that will overrule any version comparison, unless the epoch values are equal. This is specified in an epoch:version-rel format. For example, 2:1.0-1 is always greater than 1:3.6-1.

-y, --refresh

Download a fresh copy of the master package database from the server(s) defined in pacman.conf(5). This should typically be used each time you use –sysupgrade or -u. Passing two –refresh or -y flags will force a refresh of all package databases, even if they appear to be up-to-date.

-u, --sysupgrade

Upgrades all packages that are out-of-date. Each currently-installed package will be examined and upgraded if a newer package exists. A report of all packages to upgrade will be presented, and the operation will not proceed without user confirmation. Dependencies are automatically resolved at this level and will be installed/upgraded if necessary.

Pass this option twice to enable package downgrades; in this case, pacman will select sync packages whose versions do not match with the local versions. This can be useful when the user switches from a testing repository to a stable one.

Additional targets can also be specified manually, so that -Su foo will do a system upgrade and install/upgrade the “foo” package in the same operation.


As a heads-up, you should always make sure to up date your system fully whenever you run the commands above. That is, always add -u to update.

Failing to do so, it might lead to a partial upgrade situation, if you install just a package or two after synchronizing your local package database with the mirrors.



That’s correct and the would also apply to pikaur which you should use to replace yay since yay is end of life. A lot would tell you paur but it has it’s problems.


Last Updated: 2023-01-05 15:57 (UTC)

Also latest commit 2 days ago:


First. pacman -Sy and yay -Sy do the exact same thing. This is true no matter how many ys you use.

-Sy downloads the DBs if they have been updated.
-Syy downloads the DBs without regards to update status.
-Syyy is the same as -Syy as is -Syyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Basically more than 2 ys is just treated as yy.

That being said, as @pebcak points out, you shouldn’t run this command on it’s own. Whenever you update the DBs you also should update your system.


This is complete misinformation. yay is still maintained.


The yay is EOL meme has a very hard manifestation. it seems … . . . . .

the main reason why everyone thinking this is this I bet:

In capital letters must be true :wink:



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on the other side, there are still users using yaourt on arch :wink:


The reports of yay’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

@joekamprad it was paru’s author, Morganamilo, who started spreading rumours about yay being dead, since Jguer, the other yay’s author, wasn’t very active at that time (yay is feature complete, it doesn’t need that many updates). When it started to look like Morganamilo was doing this to divert attention to paru, he took it all back and made it clear that yay is still actively developed, just not by him. But by then, all the Tubers ran with the story, presenting this unfounded rumour as it were the absolute fact (DT being one of the greatest offenders in this regard). As we see in this thread, there are still people who believe in that.


how good is pikaur, not seen many people use it. Unless you have a specific use case, i don’t see any reason to use anything other than yay or paru

It is good. Functionally speaking, it is more like an evolved version of pacaur.

Personally I prefer yay and paru. I have mostly switched to paru at this point. I like the way that the review step works a bit better.

I also use aura from time to time but that is really a different beast.

it was a joke :wink: none to blame for it anyway… it is up to what you do believe without doing research for it …

I really like Pikaur over Paru and before I found Pikaur if a OS had Paru it got replaced with Yay. I honestly dislike Paru cause plenty of times telling it not to review the files it locked. That never happens with either Yay or Picaur.

Actually I’ve never seen that meme. My info came from devs here and on Garuda.

I see it as a advanced version of Yay.

No offense all fine.
but we have to fight the wrong info when we see it.

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And this thread is solved i think we should not take it over to discuss yay maintainment and the goods and bads of pacman-aur apps.