updating aur packages with yaourt

Wednesday, December 6. 2017

This is a work in progress for right now I dont seem to know how to do it right.

sudo yaourt -Syu --aur 

searches through my system and upgrades the db and then presents me a list of aur packages that need upgrade and then it works it's way through the list and I need to stay there and check every dialog and when there is a package I do not wish to upgrade I cannot skip it. Sure, there is a dialog asking me if I want to update this package, but if I give it a "no" the entire routine is aborted.

So, in case the package I really want to update happens to be the last in yaourt's list I have to update all of them, including the huge font collection which takes ages to download and build, and including the printer driver which I'd rather not touch at all.

That got me shouting and cursing yesterday cause following the update of the driver for the Brother QL-710w label printer the darn thing wouldnt print any more. CUPS was happy though, preparing the print data, posting them to /var/spool/cups and instantly flag it for completed, no errors.

The package that gave me trouble is  aur.archlinux.org/packages/brother-ql710w/  with the version 1.1.4r0. The prior version, pkgver=1.0.2r0 had installed and worked like a charm.

I spent hours trying to find a reason ar even a hint t what was failing to work but nothing helped until I decided to downgrade to the original version.
Now, with 'official' arch packages this is rather esy, there is a storage of older versions at /var/cache/pacman/pkg and you can take the package from there and downgrade with a pacman -U packageName

 But packages from aur are built when you install them, in /tmp and so they are usually lost when you try to step back. I have learned now that there is an option to change this in the /etc/yaourtrc config file. Next time it will be easier.. But as things were I chose a different path yesterday, I manually downgraded the package when it offers me to edit the build script. Changing the pkgver and the sha256sums was all it took.

One of the things I discovered was a nice feature of the aur git, in my case the url is https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/?h=brother-ql710w

I clicked around and soon had the site show me diffs of the prior and new version. Clearly the package was not at fault for my problems. Or Brother has changed some requirement for the install which the former version did not need and which should be reflected in the new package version - I didn't investigate this.

What I did is, searching on the Brother support site for links to older versions of the driver (none!) and then play around with the new url until I succeeded to get the old versions. Naming conventions are a good thing. Then, after successfully downloading them I took their sha256sums

sha256sum ql710wcupswrapper-1.0.2-0.i386.rpm

and those I pasted into the build script. After hours of fruitless trying I was perplexed to see it work on the first go.

That step wasn't actually necessary, I could have taken the sums from the diff at aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/diff/PKGBUILD 


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