Arch Linux users received today one of the biggest updates in the history of the Linux kernel-based operating system for the built-in pacman package manager utility, which is used for installing, updating and removing packages from the distro.
Pacman 5.0 is finally here after many months of development, during which its maintainers managed to add a great number of new features, such as support for running hooks before and after transactions, support for reading and syncing databases in the .files format with the -Fy option, as well as to search for files in sync repositories using either the -Fo or -Fs arguments.
The -Dk and -Dkk options have been implemented to let Arch Linux users check the validity of sync and local databases, thus replacing the testdb tool, the output of the package’s description is now correctly aligned for all locales, the lock file removal and signal handling have been improved, and there’s a new ini parser for improving the parsing of the configuration.
makepkg will soon be split into a library
Pacman 5.0 also ships with support for handling symlinks to folder that have been replaced by a directory, support for recording the ‘pkgbase’ variable in the local package database, the ability to print extra info for dependency errors, and support for comparing the internal version of a package with the database one after downloading it.
Among other changes, we can mention that support for “.pacorig” files has been removed and they’re now extracted as a “.pacnew” file, corrupt databases are now always updated, parallel testing is supported for the pactest suite, makepkg will soon be split into a library, thus allowing for the extension of several areas (check the raw changelog for details on that).
Lastly, the makepkg-template command now supports multiple –template-dir, the repo-add command has been updated to support the generation of databases in the .files format, and numerous missing options were fixed for zsh_completion. If you’re running Arch Linux, you can now update to Pacman 5.0, as the new version is available in the testing repos.