How to Update Arch Linux

How to update Arch Linux

Keeping the Arch Linux up to date keeps it performing at its maximum capacity as with the passage of time the applications or software begin to have compatibility issues due to different bugs. Most of the time applications installed on Arch have a newer version released that does not work correctly with the old version of the operating system.


How To Update Arch Linux

Like every other Linux distribution Arch Linux also has its default package manager named Pacman. So to update Arch there are two ways, one is by using its default package installer and the other is by checking software updates in the About tab:

Through Pacman

To upgrade Arch Linux using the command line interface, you need to use the Pacman package manager. Pacman is a package manager for Arch Linux and has various options to install, update, remove, and query packages. The options are related to updating the system and the package database. The command to update all the installed packages is:

sudo pacman -Syu

This will compare the local package database against the distribution’s software repository and prompt you to confirm the upgrade. It synchronizes the package database and performs a full system upgrade. It is primarily the recommended method for keeping the Arch Linux system updated.


You can also force a database download with an extra y. This is similar to pacman -Syu, but it downloads the entire package database again. This can be useful if you have a corrupted or outdated database, or want to verify the integrity of your packages, but it is not required for normal updates:

sudo pacman -Syyu

This will take longer and consume more network bandwidth, so it is not recommended to use it frequently.

To synchronize the package database with the server, but to not upgrade any packages, the below given command is used. This is not recommended, as it can cause partial upgrades and break dependencies:

sudo pacman -Sy

To force a refresh of the package database, even if it is up-to-date the below given command for update can be used. This is usually unnecessary unless you have problems with your mirror or switch to a different one:

sudo pacman -Syy

To synchronize the package database and perform a full system upgrade, including downgrading packages if needed:

sudo pacman -Syuu

This is useful when you switch from a testing repository to a stable one, or vice versa. This command for updating Arch should be used with care, as executing it might cause unexpected changes in your system.

Through GUI

Another way to update Arch Linux is by checking for software updates, for that navigate to system settings and from there go to the Arch Linux About option.

In the Software Updates tab, click on the refresh icon and the system will look for any available updates if there are any then download and install them:

How To Update Arch Linux Keyring

In Arch Linux, the keyring serves the purpose of authenticity of packages that are to be installed on Arch Linux. It ensures that the packages are installed from the official repositories. Keyring is primarily a collection of open PGP keys that are used to sign and verify the packages with Pacman. So to avoid any verification errors for the applications and to ensure that the packages are from official repositories, the keyring should be updated periodically:

sudo pacman -Sy archlinux-keyring

Once the keyring is updated, then refresh the keys as it updates all the key databases with the update downloaded in the previous command:

sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys

How To Update a Specific Package on Arch Linux

Usually through Pacman, only the update regarding the operating system is carried out, however, it is necessary to update the package or applications installed on Arch should be updated. So to update any software or application on Arch execute the pacman command with the s flag along with the application name:

sudo pacman -S <package-name>

Further to see the information regarding any package on Arch Linux use the Q flag for query and s flag for search, below is its syntax:

sudo pacman -Qs < package-name>


To ensure the smooth functionality of Arch Linux it is imperative to keep it updated and for that, you need to check for updates periodically. To check for Updates on Arch either use the Pacman package installer or check for software updates in the About section of system settings. To keep Arch updated it is necessary to update the Arch Linux keyring as it contains the data for keys to validate the installed applications.

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