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Is there a way to update only selected programs in pacman?

I'm running ArchLinux on my netbook, and the complete upgrade of my system takes up more temporary space than I have on my system, so I'd like to just update one program at a time

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This will cause breakage at some point. You are better of upgrading everything (it is a rolling release), and then every couple of days or weeks backing up /var/cache/pacman to an external drive and flushing the cache with pacman -Scc – jasonwryan May 12 '11 at 18:49
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Pacman's install command really means 'synchronize', so the command to install a new package and to upgrade a single package is the same.

pacman -S packagename

This will upgrade the package.

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In pacman, you can actually specify the cache directory:

--cachedir <dir> set an alternate package cache location

So if you plug a USB stick into your computer, you can do a full system upgrade the normal way and just toss the downloaded packages onto the stick, like so:

pacman -Syu --cache /media/USB_STICK/pacman/

It doesn't take much space (a normal 1GB stick will suffice), so it should work fine with your netbook.

If you have slow internet, you can even create a download list and download the files from another computer, like so:

pacman -Syup

And it will print out a list of package URLs. Quite useful (at least to me).

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Good to know, thanks! – SkaveRat May 13 '11 at 12:13

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