Yay alternatives - pikaur and vpacman

As I progress from Arch ultra-newbiehood to less newbie, I continue to experiment with different package managers and helper apps. I’ve tried the biggies like Pamac and Octopi, and of course yay, and at this point I would say I mostly use yay. I’m interested in the perspective of more experienced people regarding the following tools:

  1. pikaur - this is a command line utility like yay with a few differences, the biggest one being that it asks all the questions during a build/install up front instead of presenting them to you in the middle of a build. I like this feature - I’ve had some AUR builds in yay timeout because I was multitasking and missed the fact that yay was waiting for my inputs. It claims to have some other enhancements over yay as well, although I haven’t really noticed or cared much about them. So far I haven’t had any problems with pikaur but I was wondering if the more experienced people here had seen any problems and if they would warn against it or think it is safe to run.

  2. vpacman. Vpacman is a alternate gui for pacman with AUR support. It’s like tkpacman but unlike tkpacman, vpacman has AUR support. Aside from the fact that these are written is tk/tcl, which is a dated look (hello 1980’s), they are much more lightweight and have less dependencies than other GUI tools like Pamac and Octopi. Again, so far in my experimentation, vpacman works fine but I’m interested in the experience of those that have used them more extensively than me - I really don’t know enough to wring these systems out that well and I am sure that some of you already have. My motivation for asking about vpacman is that I am exploring it as a possible recommendation for noobs since not everyone wants to jump into pacman on day 1, because there seems to be such negative sentiment against Pamac/Octopi on the forum. Some anti-GUI sentiment is just preference, but some of it is real - Pamac has a history of hurting systems, is a fresh front end implementation of libalpm that is not as tried and true as pacman, requires more bloat and dependancies, etc. vpacman seems to be a GUI interface that is passing pacman commands to the system, so perhaps more safety to use, and definitely lightweight.


I use yay because it’s fast, simple, reliable and does the AUR updates. I also use pacman because it is the de-facto package manager for Arch. I also have pamac-git installed and use it for other purposes other than updating or installing. I don’t like Octopi and wouldn’t use it. Some people do… i don’t. It does come on some distro’s such as Kaos but i find it awkward. I’m satisfied with these and have no reason to look at others currently but everyone has different ideas and visual tastes. There are other alternatives but I’m trying to stick with what is close to home. Haven’t tried any of those you mention but some others may use them.

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i use tkpacman , i have vpacman also but on somepoint here is buggy … it can aur to offcourse…

got pakku installed with pakku-gui but its only a command you want to install not a browser or something

pkgbrowser is to look widely on aur and repo…

vpacman is a clone of pacmanxg , whas in antergos before pamac , personally i liked it but in a time it decapriated was pitty… it could management your pacman also. removal or new mirrors etc…

but for me pkgbrowser pakku and tkpacman does the job :slight_smile:

I am used to pacman, so it is my main tool. For AUR packages I use trizen.
Don’t want graphical tools - command line is enough.

After some more testing, I wanted to pass along some more insights.

  1. pikaur (command line yay alternative) seems to be rock solid after some heavy use. The only downside I have found is that it is 3 more letters to type than yay. The major upside is that it asks all questions about installs and builds up front, instead of in a middle of an install. I really like that feature.

  2. tkpacman is nice, lightweight pacman GUI that is low on dependencies, and seems to send perfect pacman commands to the system so a good alternative for those that live in non-pacman package managers OS’s and find themselves hitting the Rosetta stone all the time to remind themselves of the appropriate Pacman commands and options. The downside is that it just doesn’t handle AUR packages, so not a complete solution for those that are AUR curious.

  3. vpacman is a slight improvement on tkpackman. It continues to work well; some have talked about stability problems but I haven’t seen any, although despite recent heavy use, is still a limited test. So far so good. Unlike tkpacman, it does support AUR packages. It isn’t in what I would call a user-friendly manner though, you have to know exactly what you are looking for in the AUR to use it.

Bottom line, if you can stand to type pikaur vs yay, I think you will like it if you haven’t tried it. I just you could make an alias in your .bashrc and get it down to less typing! But it doesn’t really help a newbie much, just a slight alternative for those that already understand yay. Tkpacman and vpacman aren’t that helpful for discovery, but they seem to do a fine job installing, updating and removing packages, and I think they are most appropriate for those that tinker in Arch and forget pacman differences - you can use the their GUIs for your pacman needs and apt away in those other OS’s.

For the newbies to Endeavour, I still think Pamac-Aur is going to be the best bet for a GUI software helper app. Not so much for the install help, because yay or pikaur is just easy, but for discovery of what is the repos, looking for packages they used in other distros but might not know the exact name, etc, browsing through the pamac categories (internet, audio, video, games, etc). It’s just better laid out for discovering what you don’t know than those other tools, and I also think easier for the Arch newbie to use within the system (without going out to the web for this sort of browsing).

Thanks to all those that read and contributed to this topic. I’m always looking at EndeavourOS from the perspective of those attempting to jump the wall from non-Arch Linux into the Arch based universe. EndeavourOS is great for that, just looking how we can enhance the transition of the target user: aiming at Linux users who want a soft landing in Archlinux.


Give pakku a look.

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Thought trizen was abandoned?

Last update was on 24th of Dec. 2019 at 19:22.
Not abandoned I think :wink:

But I’ll check the alternatives. Could be of use eventually…

Tried pakku and pakku-gui. Pakku was pretty much like yay as far as I could tell. Worked fine, nice app, just didn’t really do anything different that i could tell. To me pikaur’s killer feature over yay and pakku is that it asks all questions upfront. Yay and pakku both ask all build questions in the middle of the process, which I don’t like.

Pakku-Gui was a nice simple one frame Gui that allows you to install, remove, update/upgrade and do pacman type maintenance tasks like removing build only dependencies and clean up the pacman cache. Even though it is nice as well, I found the vpacman gui to be a little more powerful, although again, neither of them allows “browsability” and “software discovery” like Pamac.

Bottom line, pakku is a nice little program, but I don’t really see any advantage over yay. Pakku Gui adds a little help, but isn’t really helping with the discovery process, only the install/upgrade process.

So far pikaur is the only major change I am making - it has a feature improvement to yay and now also pikku. Pamac-Aur still seems to be the reigning king of the gui apps, even though it is controversial.

Personal pakku ir ask beforr things, to edit your pkgbuild with yay is not working right, you first enzble te option but if you change some deps it dont work as it should pakku ask but mostly do s of skip.