Many users don’t modify their pacman.conf file. Either because they think there is not so much to configure or because they are afraid to break something. In this short article I want to highlight some nice options, that make my daily use with Arch Linux a lot easier.
First of all, here is my pacman.conf without comments:
[options] HoldPkg = pacman glibc Architecture = auto IgnorePkg = Color TotalDownload CheckSpace VerbosePkgLists ILoveCandy SigLevel = Required DatabaseOptional LocalFileSigLevel = Optional [testing] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist Usage = Sync Search [core] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist [extra] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist [community-testing] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist Usage = Sync Search [community] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist [multilib-testing] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist Usage = Sync Search [multilib] Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
Most of it should be pretty similar to your pacman.conf. Let’s start with the [options] sections. I use the following additional keywords in this section: Color, TotalDownload, CheckSpace, VerbosePkgLists and ILoveCandy. Color should be clear, it enables colorized output for pacman. TotalDownload displays more information about downloads and provides therefore information like the ETA, a download rate and more. CheckSpace checks your system for enough space, before trying to install packages, VerbosePkgLists gives you more information about packages (like the repository where they come from) and ILoveCandy enables the famous pacman videogame easteregg. If you haven’t turned it on yet, you probably should :-)
So much about my global custom options. Let’s talk about repositories. You
might have seen already that I have enabled all testing repositories. Shouldn’t
this break my system? No, because I use the keyword Usage = Sync Search. This
restricts the usage of the testing repositories on synchronization and search.
Thus it’s possible to install testing packages, without accidently installing
pacman -Syu. Instead I am able to just do
pacman -U testing/<package name> and I will install a package from testing.