Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know that I can define wanted package version in pacman like shown in its manual pacman -S "bash>=3.2". But how do I know what versions are available?

I also know that pacman is creating copy of mirrors upon syncing in .db files in /var/lib/pacman/sync/, but those files are not human-readable.

And what if I want to install some version virtualbox for example, that I hope is in mirrors somewhere, that wouldn't require newer version of linux (set as IgnorePkg in pacman.conf) than I have installed (because of nvidia drivers)? How do I know what version that is and if it is available?

share|improve this question
"But how do I know what versions are available?" isn't pacman -Si package_name enough? – Braiam Dec 5 '13 at 14:23
@Braiam No, that gives you only the newest available. – meridius Dec 5 '13 at 14:25
In the meantime I downloaded wanted packages manually from Arch Rollback Machine at seblu.net/a/arm But this approach is requiring manually downloading and trying to install wanted packages which is really time-consuming. – meridius Dec 5 '13 at 14:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can't specify a version that easily, as a rolling release, pacman will only provide the latest. When you install something, that package is stored in your computer on the /var/cache/pacman/pkg/ dir, so if you want to downgrade one version or specify another, you have to use pacman -U and the name of the package on your cache. There are "time machine" repos out there where people just stores old packages, you can download the version you want and use pacman -U to install it.

Be aware that you have to "block" the updates of that package if you don't want it to update, to see how, check the wiki in the pacman page or this https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Downgrading_Packages#Q:_I_cannot_downgrade_a_package.2C_because_of_dependencies.

share|improve this answer
I know of pacman -U and previously installed packages and also of Arch Rollback Machines. My question was really meant on how to ease the process of searching the right package version. – meridius Dec 5 '13 at 16:13
@meridius You are asking the wrong question: Arch is a rolling release, the only version of a package--for all intents--is the current version. Partial upgrades are unsupported. – jasonwryan Dec 5 '13 at 16:24
@jasonwryan That makes sense. Thank you – meridius Dec 5 '13 at 16:48
"as a rolling release, pacman will only provide the latest." Wrong! Rolling realease does not imply that. You can have a rolling release which supports older packages. – Rok Kralj Feb 6 '14 at 14:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.