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For example, there's

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/github-desktop/,

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/github-desktop-bin/, and

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/github-desktop-git/.

I took a look at the pkgbuilds and found no easily identifiable difference between the packages. This isn't just one package, but many of them. What's the difference between them? Which one should I install?

0
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  • Normal packages are built from stable versions or stable git tags of a repository. The program is compiled in user's machine and then installed. This will take time.

  • Packages with -bin suffix are already built by upstream maintainer and is available somewhere. So, users do not have to compile the package in their machine. The PKGBUILD script downloads, extracts and install the files. Some proprietary software are released in this format where source code is not available.

  • Packages with -git suffix are built from the latest commit from git repository, no matter it is a stable or not. This way user get latest fix or patches. This also compiled in user machine, then installed.

The difference among the AUR packages can be easily understood from their corresponding PKGBUILD file (shell script like) in source() function. Here is an example:

pkgver=x.y.z
_pkgver="${pkgver}-linux1"
gitname="release-${_pkgver}"
https://github.com/shiftkey/desktop.git#tag=${gitname}
pkgver=x.y.z
_pkgver="${pkgver}-linux1"
gitname="release-${_pkgver}"
https://github.com/shiftkey/desktop/releases/download/${gitname}/GitHubDesktop-linux-${_pkgver}.deb
https://github.com/shiftkey/desktop.git

Further readings:

0

-bin indicates that it will install a binary instead of compile locally. -git indicates that it will pull directly from git to get the most updated version (this implies that the version lacking -git is a bit more conservative and has been tested).

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