Written in Go programming language, Yay, short for Yet another Yogurt, is an AUR helper that allows users to install and manage packages on an ArchLinux system. During installation, it automates the installation of software packages from PKGBUILDS. Yay replaces Aurman and Yaourt which have long been discontinued. Since its release, Yay has proven to be a remarkable helper and a perfect alternative to the native Pacman package manager.
Yay offers benefits such as advanced dependency solving, downloading PKGBUILDS from AUR and ABS, autocompletion for AUR software packages, and removing any make dependencies when the build process completes.
In this guide, we will demonstrate how you can install the Yay AUR helper and provide some examples of how you can install and manage software packages.
Before you get started, ensure that you have an instance of ArchLinux installed with a sudo user configured to install the software packages.
Step 1: Install the base-devel package on ArchLinux
The first step is to install the base-devel package which provides a set of packages for building or compiling packages from AUR. If you are using a minimal ArchLinux installation, it’s probably not pre-installed, so Install it as follows:
$ sudo pacman -S --needed base-devel
Step 2: Install Git
Next, install Git. This is a free and opensource version control system that allows you to easily manage and keep track of your code repository.
$ sudo pacman -S git
The next step is to clone the Yay repository from GitHub. We will use the Git version control tool to clown the repository. But first, navigate to the /opt directory.
$ cd /opt
Then clone the Yay repository.
$ sudo git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git
By default, the cloned yay directory is owned by the root user and belongs to the root group. We need to change the ownership to the logged-in user as follows.
$ sudo chown -R winnie:winnie yay-git/
Step 4: Install Yay AUR helper
Finally, to install Yay, navigate into the cloned directory.
$ cd yay-git
And run the command below.
$ makepkg -si
Once installed, confirm the version of yay installed as shown.
$ yay --version
Step 4: Using Yay to install and manage packages
With Yay installed, let’s take a look at some of the tasks that you can execute.
To update system packages, run the command:
$ yay -Syy
To run a full upgrade of the system including the kernel, issue the command:
$ yay -Syu
To install a software package, use the syntax:
$ yay -S package
For example, to install the Nginx web server, run:
$ yay -S nginx
You can start and check the status of the webserver to ensure that the installation was successful.
$ sudo systemctl start nginx
$ sudo systemctl status nginx
You can also confirm from the web browser by browsing the server’s IP.
To remove a package, use the syntax:
$ yay -Rns package
For instance, to remove Nginx from the system run the command:
$ yay -Rns nginx
For more on yay command usage, visit the man pages
$ man yay
We hope you are now enlightened about Yay AUR helper and can easily install and manage software applications.
Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications including CCNA RS, SCP, and ACE. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various websites.