If I install a git-package via packer or pacaur, then it will pull the current source-tree of the repo, compile, and install it.

But how are updates handled? Is there a specific way to upgrade all my AUR-Git Packages?


In addition to jasonwryans excellent answer: Most AUR helpers have a flag to update development packages, even if their pkgver hasn't changed in the AUR. For pacaur, that flag is called --devel which can be used in conjunction with its update operations. It will cause pacaur to rebuild development package, but only if their source is newer than that of the already installed package. Supplying the --rebuild option as well will make pacaur rebuild development packages even if your current package is up to date.


Previously, VCS PKGBUILDS included a more transparent function for cloning the git repository identified in the source array, so it was a lot more obvious how they worked. Changes to the way makepkg handles these packages, documented by one of the pacman developers here, made the overall process a lot simpler.

Esentially, the same thing still happens: the remote repository is pulled and then the standard build process initiated.

Updates are your responsibility. The version number of the package (pkgver) won't be updated in the AUR unless the maintainer needs to upload a new PKGBUILD due to some significant changes upstream. So if you want to keep tracking developments, you should monitor the project (via RSS, for example) and periodically rebuild it to continue to enjoy bleeding edge software.

When you do wish to update, simply re-enter the directory (which you would have saved, presumably) and rebuild the package. I would recommend using makepkg -ci: this will ensure that on subsequent rebuild you have a clean $srcdir.

If your AUR helper removes the build directory on completion, then simply reinstalling the package will build it from $HEAD.

All this assumes that the package maintainer has complied with the VCS PKGBUILD guidelines.

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