I am considering switching from Ubuntu Linux to Arch Linux. I have a long list of packages that I've installed using apt-get that I would like to install right after I install Arch itself.

  1. Is there any tool to install Ubuntu packages on Arch?
  2. If not, can you confirm that I will have problems with finding many of the packages available for Ubuntu also available for Arch?
  • You can use a chroot environment, where you install Ubuntu packages and their dependencies. They are normally not binary compatible with your arch installation, so you cannot use them without re-building them in the environment of Arch. – jofel Jan 15 '15 at 11:37
  • @jofel How do I do that? – syntagma Jan 15 '15 at 11:47
  • One would rarely try to install a .deb under Arch. Arch provides large package databases, through the official repositories and the AUR (tools: pacman and yaourt). It would be surprising to find a given piece of software on Ubuntu, but not on Arch... – John WH Smith Jan 15 '15 at 16:15
  • @JohnWHSmith I thought it's the the other way round, that Arch would have less packages than Ubuntu available in any of the repos. – syntagma Jan 15 '15 at 16:17
  1. You can install dpkg from AUR which will provide a probability to install .deb packages if needed
  2. You have no guarantee that there is an equivalent for every Ubuntu package, or that it will work correctly after you install it with dpkg.

I, personally, switched from Ubuntu to Fedora and than to Arch, and never had a problem with availability of some packages available in Ubuntu on Arch. Anyway, even if you can't find exact package, you can always build it from sources and in my opinion in Arch this process is somewhat easier. Arch nonetheless have another problem, fast packages update prevailing over correctness and consistency of packages, so you have no guarantee that after upgrade your system will work correctly (however, I faced this problem only once during 3 years of Arch experience)

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Using dpkg for this is a BadIdea™. The only sensible solution is to write a PKGBUILD (if one doesn't already exist in the AUR) which extracts the contents of the deb and repackages them correctly for Arch. – HalosGhost Jan 15 '15 at 13:51
  • @HalosGhost Could you expand on why that's a bad idea? It obviously has the advantage of being faster if I'm in a hurry. – rubystallion Apr 20 '18 at 9:26
  • 1
    @rubystallion it's not exactly faster, as .deb package "expects" an ubuntu/debian environment around it and "expects" its dependencies to be of exact version which is required in ubuntu/debian environment аnd even if install with dpkg will be successful, you can receive a huge load of undefined/unexpected/incorrect behaviour as the environment around the installed package would not be the environment it expected (ubuntu/debian). Unless you know exactly which dependencies of which versions it requires, and that package behaviour will not be affected by unusual environment its a bad idea. – Aleksandr Shevelev Apr 23 '18 at 11:37

Since Arch is not a Debian-derivative Linux, is cannot use apt-get. There is no tool to install Ubuntu packages on Arch and there is no guarantee that every Ubuntu package has an Arch equivalent.

Arch has its own official repositories with thousand of packages, and besides that the Arch User Repository, that allows you to compile a package from source.

| improve this answer | |
  • "There is no tool to install Ubuntu packages on Arch" - that is incorrect. For one example, there is debtap: GitHub - helixarch/debtap: A script for converting .deb packages into Arch Linux packages, focused on accuracy github.com/helixarch/debtap – MountainX Nov 25 '18 at 16:56
  • Although less recommended than writing your own PKGBUILD or using debtap, there is also: AUR (en) - dpkg aur.archlinux.org/packages/dpkg – MountainX Nov 25 '18 at 16:58

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