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I am aware that Arch and derived distros recommend always keeping the system up to date, however I have chosen not to do this. I update occasionally, mostly if there is actually a problem I need to fix, and usually I update only the relevant packages, not all. That said, there are a handful of packages that I do want to stay up to date with.

I am using Manjaro, with Cinnamon as my DE. I constantly get the update notification about hundreds of updates, most of which I don't care about. pacman -Syu also results in a long list littered with irrelevant updates. I'd like to have a whitelist system: The update notifier should only tell me about updates to packages I've specifically marked as interesting. I should also be able to run a pacman command that will only update the packages on my whitelist, and their dependencies (but not notify me about dependency updates).

How can I do this?

  • Alternatively, you could comment out any active repositories in your package manager configuration; that way it won't see any updates and will always think you're up do date. – DopeGhoti Jun 21 '18 at 22:13
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    @DopeGhoti so, that would include security updates. It is perhaps not the smartest suggestion. – jasonwryan Jun 21 '18 at 22:22
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    Neither is letting hundreds of updates accumulate in the first place. – DopeGhoti Jun 21 '18 at 22:24
  • @DopeGhoti Won't that prevent me from installing new software? Also, if it's not obvious, I do want to have the option of being able to run pacman -Syu, I just want a partial version of this command. – Bagalaw Jun 22 '18 at 18:54
  • As for the updates accumulating, I get literally 100+ after a week, and since updating has a risk of breaking the system and requiring hours to fix, believe it or not I don't have the opportunity to update immediately every time I see the notification. – Bagalaw Jun 22 '18 at 18:55
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You can't. This is not just a bad idea, it is antithetical to the way pacman works.

There are some corner cases where pacman will ignore specific packages (and you can use globbing to extend that), but to invert that concept and try to ignore the majority of packages would quickly result in two issues:

  1. pacman would complain about dependency resolution problems during a partial upgrade and would be unable to complete the transaction. This would force you to re-edit your pacman.conf to make allowances--essentially turning package management into a manual task.

  2. You would do a partial upgrade which would result in library incompatabilites and things would break.

The use case you describe is not suited at all to a rolling release. If you want this sort of approach, choose a distribution like Debian or Ubuntu LTS.

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