5AM August 22, 2009: No more surprises!
10PM August 22, 2009: Now with pacdiff integration.

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Pacmatic is a small wrapper for Arch Linux's package manager, pacman. It takes care of a few menial tasks you should do every time before updating your system. These tasks are so menial so that many Archers always forget them, until they are surprised by a horrible problem. However, menial tasks are easy to automate, and that is where pacmatic comes in.

Using it is pretty simple. Just type pacmatic instead of pacman. It will perform some introspection on the calling arguments, pacman.log and the Arch news feed. If you do something foolish, it will tell you.

It helps you avoid two three common mistakes. First, it adds a tiny RSS reader. The Arch Devs will routinely announce major compatibility breaks on the Arch feed, and it is stuff you really should see before updating. Disseminating information rapidly and effectively will be an essential role for the next generation of package managers. Information updates are trickier than application updates, but are just as critical.

Second, Arch is an aggressive rolling release distro and if improperly synchronised can blow your leg off when libraries are updated in a backwards incompatible manner. It won't stop pacman from trashing your system, but it will print a warning if the local repositories get ahead of what's actually installed.

Third, it will pester you to stay on top of configuration updates. Pacman will tell you that there are new configuration files, but pacmatic is a little more in your face about actually taking care of them.


Dependencies are pretty light. Just bash, wget, and of course pacman. Just wget, pacman and pacman-contrib.

Kyle (2009-08-22-22-09-23-910)

Technically, listing bash as a dep is redundant. Pacman also requires bash, so the dependency comes up twice.


Some links: