Due to my setup I cannot make use of pacman to actually install packages, however if I install a package from the Arch repositories manually by downloading and extracting it, eg:

wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/archlinux/core/os/x86_64/curl-7.26.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
tar -Jxvf curl-7.26.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz -C /

...is there a way to make pacman aware of it so that it can control future updates or un-installation?


2 Answers 2


If you're downloading packages manually, then it's easiest to install them with pacman:

pacman -U curl-7.26.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

That way they'll also get tracked like any other package. If the reason for this mode of operation was a broken system, just run pacman afterwards (when you can) and the reinstallation will take care of tracking.

  • And if I can't use pacman?
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:20
  • at minimum an entry under /var/lib/pacman/local, but that looks pretty inefficient to parse, so I bet it stores more info elsewhere. Would have to check its source. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:29
  • also check out the "-r, --root <path>" option, since you may be able to use the host's pacman to do this. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:32
  • I'm guessing there's a database entry somewhere, but I can't seem to find the information that I want.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 18:53
  • looks like it doesn't and the database is the flat file based thing under /var/lib/pacman. That's what the man page suggests and running strings on the binary doesn't show any other viable path default. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 18:58

No. If you want pacman to manage the program for you, you have to install it with pacman.

curl is in core, why don't you just pacman -S curl?

  • The reason I can't do this is that I'm attempting to install packages in a mounted Arch image of a different architecture without emulating it. Thus I cannot use pacman.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 11:12
  • 2
    It would have been helpful to have included that information in your question...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 17:45
  • I thought I had made it pretty obvious that using pacman wasn't viable. Otherwise I would have just used pacman.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 18:52
  • I disagree: your question is clearly in the past tense - once a package has been installed manually, can pacman be made aware of it? There is nothing in your question that suggests, implictly or explicitly, that pacman is not available to you.
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 19:03
  • 1
    People do all sorts of things with their machines... I can only go on the information presented. Thank you for considering it.
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 19:06

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