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Arch Linux - How to Install Deb Package - ALL Options

Arch Linux has a huge package repository. You should search for anything you need here first. Despite having such an extensive repository, there is still a chance that you may come across a package that isn’t available. If you can’t find what you are looking for, there is still a good chance that it may be available for Debian, Ubuntu, or Mint.

If you do find what you need but only have the deb package, you may want to try installing that deb package on your Arch system. There are multiple approaches that you could take to install a deb package on Arch Linux:

Use Debtap to Install Deb Package on Arch Linux

The Debtap tool can be used to convert a deb package to an Arch linux package. It can then be installed using pacman.

Install debtap:

Download the debtap snapshot: HERE.

Build it:

tar zvxf ~/Downloads/debtap.tar.gz -C ~/arch
cd ~/arch/debtap
makepkg -s
sudo pacman -U debtap-3.1.4-2-any.pkg.tar.xz

OR

sudo pacman -S yaourt
sudo yaourt -S debtap

Convert the package:

debtap packagetoconvert.deb

Install it:

sudo pacman -U deb-package-x.y.z-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

OR

debtap -U *
debtap -U deb-package-x.y.z-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

Using Dpkg

WARNING - You could corrupt your system with this method. Be careful and have a rescue disk ready.

Dpkg is actually available for Arch. Apparently it is meant for building packages on Arch that are meant to be installed on another system running Debian or Ubuntu. It isn’t actually meant to be used to install deb packages directly on Arch.

It used to be available from AUR but isn’t there anymore. It looks like it has been moved. You can get dpkg HERE.

sudo pacman -S yaourt
sudo yaourt -S dpkg
dpkg -i package.deb

Manually Install Deb Package on Arch Linux

To get the ar command you will need to install the binutils package:

sudo pacman -S binutils

Unpack the deb file and then unpack the two tarballs within it:

ar vx {file.deb}
tar xvf control.tar.gz
tar data.tar.gz

cd ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64

cd ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64/etc
sudo mv * /etc/
cd ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64/opt
sudo mv * /opt/

Check for Existing Arch Packages

Before trying to convert or install a deb package you should first check the repo. If it isn’t there you can also check AUR.

You can check the repo like this:

pacman -Ss mypackage

You can find packages on AUR HERE.

NOTE - AUR is user generated content so use these packages at your own risk.

Download snapshot from AUR website and then do the following to build and install it:

cd ~/Downloads/google-chrome
makepkg
sudo pacman -U *

You could also use an AUR helper to make things easier.

Use Alien

There is a tool called Alien that can convert from one package format to another. We haven’t verified if this supports converting from Debian to Arch.

You can read about it HERE.

References