How to Update Manjaro and Other Arch-based Linux Distributions

How to update Manjaro Linux or Arch Linux? This sounds like a simple topic, isn’t it? While this is certainly useful for beginners, reading these ‘simple topics’ often lead to some hidden gems that you might not be aware of.

For example, in this article I’ll discuss both GUI and terminal way of updating your Arch-based distribution. The interesting part is the subtle difference between pacman -Syu and pacman -Syyu (with an extra y) commands.

I am a Manjaro user and I love it. I have written this tutorial using Manjaro but the command part is applicable for other Arch-based distributions as well. I’ll also show the GUI application for Manjaro.

  • Updating Manjaro and other Arch-based distributions using command line
  • Updating Manjaro Linux using GUI

Let’s see how to keep your software and system up-to-date

Update Arch or Manjaro Linux using command line

You can access the terminal by typing Ctrl+Alt+T or by clicking on the menu button on the left hand side corner and find it by typing terminal. Personally I find that updating any distro through terminal is faster and robust.

Simplest way to update Arch Linux distributions is to use:

sudo pacman -Syu

It compares the local package database against the distribution’s software repository. If there are nay new package versions available, you will be prompted to type yes to update the outstanding packages.

Sudo Pacman Syu
sudo pacman -Syu

There is another way to update your system.

sudo pacman -Syyu

You can notice the extra y in this command. The extra y forces the package manager to download package database regardless of whether there is any change in the versions or not.

This is helpful when you have a corrupted package database and you want to force a synchronization.

I don’t recommend using sudo pacman -Syyu all the time because it will unnecessarily take a long time in synchronizing the database. It will also consume more network bandwidth.

Sudo Pacman Syyu
sudo pacman -Syyu

As you can see in the image above, even if my system is up-to-date, the database is still being updated.

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Recommended Read:

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Update Manjaro the Graphical Interface (GUI)

I find Manjaro an excellent distribution. If you find it difficult to install Arch Linux, you can try Manjaro Linux. It is based on Arch Linux but a lot more beginner-friendly.

Manjaro provides plenty of graphical tools so you won’t have to use the terminal for most tasks, if you don’t want to.

The process for updating Manjaro through Xfce GUI is quite straight forward. You can either click on the Menu icon on the left handside corner and type software update or you can navigate to the software update option as shown below.

Manjaro Pamac Update
Look for Software Update in menu

My system is already up-to-date and no further action is needed. If there were any updates, you would see it here.

Manjaro System Update
Manjaro System Update

You might be be prompted to restart your system after installing updates in some cases.

I hope you like this quick little tip. Keep on reading It’s FOSS as I add more Arch/Manjaro tutorials.


Dimitrios Savvopoulos

Dimitrios is an MSc Mechanical Engineer but a Linux enthusiast in heart. He is well settled in Solus OS but curiosity drives him to constantly test other distros. Challenge is part of his personality and his hobby is to compete from 5k to the marathon distance.

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