I'm using pacman 5.0.1 on Arch Linux and I'd like to get information about packages installed on my machine as well as packages in the remote repositories.

Information should include a description of the package, its size, and its build date.

  • I don't get it, you asked this question not even one minute before you answered it yourself. You seem to do that a lot, is that just to increase your reputation artificially? – RedGlyph Feb 1 '20 at 12:21
  • @RedGlyph: This site also encourages answering one's own questions, see this checkbox from the "Answer Question" form. You're right, I've made a habit out of publishing the solutions I found to the questions I had. I do this in order for others to profit from my endeavors and for myself since this documents my solutions. It doesn't increase my reputation artificially, instead, other people vote on my Q&As if they found them useful, that's how reputation is increased. – Matthias Braun Feb 1 '20 at 13:04
  • That's interesting. That looked a little weird on a question-based site, but why not? Thanks for the info! – RedGlyph Feb 2 '20 at 10:31
  • I'm happy to have cleared things up! :-) There's actually a common school of thought behind my way of using Stack Exchange, from the SO Tour: ... we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about programming – Matthias Braun Feb 2 '20 at 11:36

Using --info

Taking vi as an example, to get information about its locally installed package use

pacman -Q --info vi

This produces

Name            : vi
Version         : 1:070224-2
Description     : The original ex/vi text editor
Architecture    : x86_64
URL             : http://ex-vi.sourceforge.net/
Licenses        : custom:ex
Groups          : base
Provides        : None
Depends On      : ncurses
Optional Deps   : s-nail: used by the preserve command for notification [installed]
Required By     : None
Optional For    : None
Conflicts With  : None
Replaces        : None
Installed Size  : 290.00 KiB
Packager        : Evangelos Foutras <evangelos@foutrelis.com>
Build Date      : Sun 06 Sep 2015 09:34:15 PM CEST
Install Date    : Mon 03 Oct 2016 07:18:13 PM CEST
Install Reason  : Explicitly installed
Install Script  : No
Validated By    : Signature

Alternatively use the shorter -i option:

pacman -Qi vi

Getting information from the remote repository works similar:

pacman -Si vi

When you only know parts of the package's name, use the -s option:

pacman -Ss jdk

To find out which packages depend on a certain package — for example if you're wondering why a package exists on your system — you can use pactree:

pactree -r intel-media-driver

which produces a nice dependency tree:

    │ └─code
    │ └─wlroots
    │   └─sway
    │ └─python2-pyqtwebengine
    │   └─calibre
    │ └─ocrmypdf
  • The -i flag produces to much output per package. What if you just a one line description? – Björn Lindqvist Mar 28 '20 at 1:36
  • To only get the package's description, you can use pacman -Qi vi | grep -Po '(?<=^Description).*' | sed "s/^\s*: //". Does this work for you? – Matthias Braun Mar 29 '20 at 10:07

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