Veteran users of Archlinux scoff at AUR helpers, tools that automate certain tasks for using the Arch User Repository (AUR). If you listen to them, they all install packages from the AUR in the canonical way, i.e., via 'makepkg -si'. In reality, of course, they write their own scripts for interacting with the AUR. 😉

I've used yaourt from the start until it became clear that it has serious security issues. At that point I switched to pacaur, which was declared to be orphaned in December 2017.

Well, when looking at the table displayed in the AUR helper page, it's clear that there are a few promising candidates for a future AUR helper on my desktop. I finally opted for yay since I like the name and appreciate the support for all three shells I'm using. But what I like best is the system summary:

➜  ~ yay -Ps
Yay version v8.1115
Total installed packages: 1821
Total foreign installed packages: 81
Explicitly installed packages: 510
Total Size occupied by packages: 12.1 GiB
Ten biggest packages:
texlive-fontsextra: 1.0 GiB
texlive-core: 384.7 MiB
libreoffice-fresh: 370.1 MiB
linux-firmware: 297.6 MiB
atom: 244.3 MiB
languagetool: 229.6 MiB
nvidia-utils: 183.1 MiB
jre10-openjdk-headless: 169.6 MiB
chromium: 164.6 MiB
gravit-designer-bin: 159.8 MiB
:: Querying AUR...
 -> Orphaned AUR Packages:  ipython-ipyparallel
 -> Out Of Date AUR Packages:  hyperspy  netselect  pacserve  scidavis  ttf-vista-fonts

The fifth biggest package in this list is atom, an editor. 244 MB for an editor? Well, there are very few applications that I'm using as much as an editor, and I'm thus constantly evaluating potentially promising newcomers in the editor/IDE category. Is atom worth the ¼ GB of disk space? You'll get the answer in the comprehensive editor shootout that I will post later this year. 😉