From BioArchLinux Wiki

This article will introduce how to use the python script lilac and archrepo2 written by 依云 to build your own ArchLinux repository. People cannot always pay attention to the pkg ver changes when it is updated, and sometimes maintainers only need to change the sums and pkgver, this is the problem that lilac and archrepo2 mainly solved, it can save our efforts to maintain the repository.


The packages of ArchLinux mainly are build by Shell script called PKGBUILD. The building process is much easier than other Linux distribution faimily, such as Debian, RH and so on.

The following is the simple PKGBUILD containing basic setting。

# Maintainer: Your Name <>
md5sums=() #autofill using updpkgsums
prepare() {
  cd "$pkgname-$pkgver"
build() {
  cd "$pkgname-$pkgver"

  ./configure --prefix=/usr

package() {
  cd "$pkgname-$pkgver"

  make DESTDIR="$pkgdir/" install

It usually contains pkgname, pkgver, pkgrel,description pkgdesc, arch,the offical web url, license, depends, makedepends, optdepends, what it provides provides, conflicts, sourcemd5sums and other sums. Others are not mandatory.

prepare() { }, build() { } and package() { } sperately contain shell scripts of preparing source files, building package, and installing them to the $pkgdir. And package can enter the fakeroot enviroment. There are also two functions called pkgver() and check().

"$srcdir" and "$pkgdir" are the two main dir, srcdir contains the source code or pre-compiled binary from the source, and pkgdir is a fakeroot dir, containging the binary or other files will be installed. If you want to install the binary BINARY from srcdir to /usr/bin/BINARY,you should write the package() following the followed examples.

package() {
  cd ${srcdir}
  install -Dm755 BINARY "$pkgdir"/usr/bin/BINARY

When you finished writing PKGBUILD and other essential files for packaging, you can cd the root dir of PKGBUILD and run

makepkg -si

If you have configured the GPG Key, you can sign the package using the following command to get the sig file

makepkg -si --sign

Also, you can use devtools for packaging, the benefits is that you can package in a clean enviroment, but if you have to work on packages with unoffical packages depends, it would be hard. You can use archrepo2 to build your local repository and them write your local repository path to the conf file from the /usr/share/devtools dir, for example, if you want to use offical extra repository to build your packages, you should edit the pacman-extra.conf file and add some text, the following content will mention this situlation.


Considering the repo managed by lilac must be git repo, and AUR also use git, SSH releated keys are crucial.

Therefore, install openssh

sudo pacman -S openssh

and use the following command to generate ssh key

ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -f ~/.ssh/aur

use following command to check public key

cd ~/.ssh


If you want to be an AUR maintainer, you shoud register on the AUR, and add your public ssh key to this account, My Account > SSH Public Key add the content of cat, and then input Your current password, finally, you can update your information.

Pull the repo

git clone ssh://

Attention! use https can not maintain AUR. Please use ssh instead of https.


write the PKGBUILD. For non-git AUR packages, sums should be added, you can use the command below to auto update it.


updpkgsums will auto download the source file, but AUR repo usually cannot contain the source file except patch, desktop file or log photos。

And .SRCINFO file is the meta file for the AUR, maybe essentail for the AUR only, command below to update or generate .SRCINFO

makepkg --printsrcinfo > .SRCINFO

Then you can use git to update it

git commit -m "some description"
git push

Now you maitain this package, if you donnot want to continue maintaining it, click Disown Package. If you have clean all the extra files for the AUR, you can replace the first line command with the following.

git add .


GPG Key sign is the feature of an formal ArchLinux. One pkg file should have its own sig file correspending.

Generate GPG Key should be run using non-root user, this non-root user will be used for runing lilac and archrepo2. The following command is to generate the gpg key.

gpg --full-gen-key

All the setting can be default but the secrets password, don not set it. Remember your KEY_ID.

Then you should upload your GPG Key to the GPG server, the Ubuntu keyserver is stable for Chinese users.

gpg --keyserver hkp:// --send-keys KEY_ID

Git platform

Considering the needs of lilac, git repo is essentail. Here use the GitHub as example.

Firstly, if you are the package maintainer, you should public your email, Settings > Profile set Public email, or lilac won’t find you and will report error。

and generate SSH Key using the NON_ROOT_USER to access the GitHub repo.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C YOUR_EMAIL -f ~/.ssh/git

cd ~/.ssh
cat #view

and add the content of cat to Settings > SSH key.

At the same time, you can create a new repo, and use the ssh method to upload files to the remote repo. On the server, you should clone the packages repo.

git clone

The path of this dir is the REPO_DIR for the lilac. Generally, I sperately put every package in one standalone dir. The standalone dir should contain PKGBUILD, lilac.yaml and

lilac & archrepo2 deploy

The version check function of lilac depends on the nvchecker, and then mod the PKGBUILD to update the pkgver for packaging, and then put the ArchLinux packages into a specific dir. archrepo2 can divide the packages into different arch dir and generate database for this repo.


Install lilac can be done via AUR or archlinuxcn repo. Here the command is to install lilac from AUR.

yay -S lilac-git

After installing it, configure is crucail. the config of lilac is ~/.lilac/config.toml, you should write it by yourself, and ~ should be the non-root user’s /home/NON_ROOT_USER, considering makepkg command can run under root.

The following is my basic config file, please replace YOUR_REPO_NAME, NON_ROOT_USER, PACKAGES_SCRIPT_DIR, REPO_DIR, YOUR_NAME, YOUR_EMAIL with your own infomation.Attention, YOUR_REPO_NAME is same as the offical repository called extracommunity, will be written into /etc/pacman.conf, and PACKAGES_SCRIPT_DIR is the path of the dir containing PKGBUILD files, and REPO_DIR is the repository path. Nginx will let REPO_DIR become the website can be visited, and this dir is also the dir archrepo2 works on.

TZ = "Asia/Shanghai"
TERM = "xterm"
# this doesn't help with Python itself; please set externally if desirable
# LANG = "zh_CN.UTF-8"

email = ""
# The path where built packages and signatures are copied to
# comment out if there's no need to copy built packages
destdir = "/home/NON_ROOT_USER/REPO_DIR"

name = "YOUR_NAME"
email = "YOUR_EMAIL"
# Set and unsubscribe_address to receive unsubscribe requests
# unsubscribe_address = ""
# Set to yes to automatically rebuild packages which failed to build last time
rebuild_failed_pkgs = true
git_push = true
send_email = false
# Optional: template for log file URL. Used in package error emails
# logurl = "${pkgbase}/${datetime}.html"
# for searching github
# github_token = "xxx"

# set proxy for nvchecker
# proxy = "http://localhost:8000"

# You can configure a SMTP account here; it defaults to localhost:53
#host = ""
#port = 0
#use_ssl = false
#username = ""
#password = ""
# Set to true to allow ANSI characters in content
use_ansi = true

# bind mounts in the devtools enviroment, e.g. for caching
# source directories will be created if not yet
"~/.cache/archbuild-bind-cache" = "/build/.cache"
"~/.cache/archbuild-bind-cache/stack" = "/build/.stack"
"~/.cache/go-build" = "/build/.cache/go-build"
"~/.cache/pip" = "/build/.cache/pip"
"~/.cargo" = "/build/.cargo"
"~/go" = "/build/go" 

The non-root user running lilac should under the pkg user group

sudo usermod -G pkg NON_ROOT_USER

considering the makepkg needs passwd, use the following command to let lilac run without passwd for sudo command.

su root
vim /etc/sudoers

add following content


%pkg ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/extra-x86_64-build, /usr/bin/multilib-build

But if you want to run lilac in the background, it’s not enough, you should run the following command to change login config.

sudo loginctl enable-linger NON_ROOT_USER

To run regularly, you need to write a systemd script.

cd /usr/lib/systemd/system 

sudo vim lilac.service

Add following content



Then edit lilac.timer

sudo vim lilac.timer

add following command

Description=Runs lilac very 6 hour



run the following command to let it work

sudo systemctl enable lilac.timer
sudo systemctl start lilac.timer

You can also manually run the lilac, just type lilac under your NON_ROOT_USER

log can be found under the dir~/.lilac/log, generally is the dir named by time, every time dir must have lilac-main.log and other log for building packages sperately.


You can install it via AUR or archlinuxcn repo

yay -S archrepo2-git

The config file of archrepo2 is /etc/archrepo2.ini

You need to change three settings, all is under [repository], please keep step with the lilac config, especially for YOUR_REPO_NAME, NON_ROOT_USER, REPO_DIR

# Name of the repository. In below example the Pacman repository db file name
# will be archlinuxcn.db.tar.gz

# Path to the repository - directory should normally contain any, i686 and
# x86_64. The server will monitor files in it with inotify. If you have lots of
# files in this directory, remember to update the configuration of inotify.

# If enabled, packages put into this directory will be moved into the repo.
# This path should be on the same filesystem as the repo path
# Should be used with auto-rename on
spool-directory: /home/NON_ROOT_USER/REPO_DIR

Manually run archrepo2 using the follow command

/usr/bin/archreposrv /etc/archrepo2.ini

To make it always work, using systemd

systemctl enable archrepo2

lilac script writing

The lilac script should be at the same dir of PKGBUILD, generally, there are two files called lilac.yaml and


lilac.yaml is the more important file, containing serveral properties, for details, see the document of lilac.yaml。

The important parts of this file include maintainers, build_prefix, update_on and repo_depends.

build_prefix is the where the depends from. For example, some packages need wine and wine is at offical multilib repo, so it can be written as

build_prefix: multilib

For maintainers, should input your GitHub information.Sometimes you donnot input your email, it will report error, so it’s better to write like this.

  - github: YOUR_USERNAME

update_on function uses nvchecker, so it’s better to check the documents of nvchecker. There are serveral ways to do this. If your packages update depends on AUR, considering the AUR maintainers work well or the upstream is not easy to check. strip_release is better to be true, considering it will include pkgver-pkgrel into the repo package’s pkgver,if the pkgver contain -, it cannot be the pkgver, this option let lilac remove the -pkgrel.

  - source: aur
    aur: tnt-gui
    strip_release: true

If the upstream is the GitHub repo, can refer the following writing method. For example, ugeneunipro/ugene points to Some repo donnot have the releases, only contain tags, the use_latest_release can be replaced with use_max_tag.

  - source: github
    github: ugeneunipro/ugene
    use_latest_release: true

If the source is not stored at the url that document of nvchecker mentioned, you should consider to use regular expression.url is the page nvchecker can find sth, and regex is the text or element it matched.

  - regex: freedelta_(\d+.\d+.\d+)_amd64.deb
    source: regex

  - source: regex
    regex: href="seaview_data/seaview(\d+)-64\.tgz"

Some settings are rarely mentioned, such as from_pattern, to_pattern, include_regex and so on, can refer the documents.

repo_depends is the setting dealing with depends not in the offical repo,lilac.yaml file should be like the following, gconf can be replaced the depends your package depends on.

  - gconf

The usual file should be like this

#!/usr/bin/env python3

from lilaclib import *

def pre_build():

def post_build():

Others can refer the document of lilac api and scripts of archlinuxcn repo and arch4edu repo

certbot config

certbot can be used for signing SSL cert。

install certbot and needed nginx plugin, install the following two packages

sudo pacman -S certbot
sudo pacman -S certbot-nginx

use certbot apply the cert but donnot want it to change Nginx config, run the following command

certbot -d repo.YOUR_DOMAIN -m YOUR_EMAIL --nginx certonly

The following key will be used for Nginx config

Certificate is saved at: /etc/letsencrypt/live/repo.YOUR_DOMAIN/fullchain.pem
Key is saved at:         /etc/letsencrypt/live/repo.YOUR_DOMAIN/privkey.pem

To continue signing the cert, use systemd script

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service

Description=Let's Encrypt renewal

ExecStart=/usr/bin/certbot renew --quiet --agree-tos
ExecStartPost=/bin/systemctl reload nginx.service

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.timer

Description=Monthly renewal of Let's Encrypt's certificates



start systemd releated service

sudo systemctl enable letsencrypt.timer
sudo systemctl start letsencrypt.timer

Nginx config

Nginx let the repo path can be visited

Firstly install Nginx

sudo pacman -S nginx

In ArchLinux, config files of Nginx is under the dir /etc/nginx

If you want to config serveral sites easily, edit /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

sudo vim /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

add content udner the http { } section, the meaning of this content is conf files under etc/nginx/conf.d wil work.

include       conf.d/*.conf;

and then create the conf.d dir

cd /etc/nginx/
sudo mkdir conf.d

add repo.YOUR_DOMAIN under the /etc/nginx/conf.d

cd /etc/nginx/conf.d
sudo vim repo.conf

add the following content, replacerepo.YOUR_DOMAIN and /YOUR/REPO/PATH with your own domain and repo dir.

server {
        listen 80;
        server_name repo.YOUR_DOMAIN;
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
server {
        listen 443 ssl http2;
        server_name repo.YOUR_DOMAIN;
        ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/repo.YOUR_DOMAIN/fullchain.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/repo.YOUR_DOMAIN/privkey.pem;
        ssl_session_cache builtin:1000 shared:SSL:10m;
        ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
        ssl_ciphers HIGH:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!CAMELLIA:!DES:!MD5:!PSK:!RC4;
        ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
        access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log;
        location / {
            autoindex on;
            autoindex_exact_size off;
            autoindex_localtime on;
            root /YOUR/REPO/PATH;
            index index.html index.htm index.php;
            proxy_set_header Host $host;
            proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;           


don not forget to restart nginx

sudo systemctl enable nginx
sudo systemctl restart nginx


Now you can use your repo, here I give the example of BioArchLinux, edit the /etc/pacman.conf at your local host

sudo vim /etc/pacman.conf

add the content, and replace BioArchLinux with the YOUR_REPO_NAME of your lilac and server Server is the https://repo.YOUR_DOMAIN/$arch

Server =$arch

You can put it at a specific location, such as, I know tracer package from ArchLinux offical repo, but I won’t use it and there is a tracer package from BioArchLinux, same name, but not the same thing, I will let BioArchLinux be upper than community and multilib in the /etc/pacman.conf.

We use the GPG sign, so import GPG key into your local host, here B1F96021DB62254D is the KEY_ID

sudo pacman-key --recv-keys B1F96021DB62254D
sudo pacman-key --finger B1F96021DB62254D
sudo pacman-key --lsign-key B1F96021DB62254D

And then update

sudo pacman -Syu

Finally, you can enjoy it.


Thanks go to 依云 for help on the usage and configuration of lilac, also thanks go to Jingbei Li for help on configuring of lilac. I am grateful to a TG friend for checking the code writing and NotYu for help on regex。

PS: The results of the article is BioArchLinux, a repository for bioinformatics software.Welcome to use, participate and star.