paco [OPTIONS] <packages>

paco -l [OPTIONS] <package> <command>

paco -q <files>


Paco is a program to aid package management when installing packages from source code.

When installing a package, paco can be used in log mode (with option -l) to wrap the installation command (e.g. "make install"), and log the created files. By default the log is stored in directory '/var/log/paco'.

Once some packages are installed and properly logged, paco can be used in list mode, which is the default, to display package information. Several options are provided to print the information in different formats.

There are also options to remove packages, query for the owner of files, or maintain the package database.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

The special option -- forces and end of option-scanning. This is specially useful when entering the install command in log mode.


-a, --all

Apply the specified action to all logged packages. This doesn't work with option -r.

-h, --help

Display a help message and exit.

-L, --logdir=DIR

Base log directory. Default is '/var/log/paco', unless variable LOGDIR is set in the configuration file (type 'man pacorc' for more information).

-v, --verbose

Verbose output. -vv prints also debugging messages (only meaningful with option -l).


Display version information and exit.


-u, --update

Synchronize the log of the package with the current status of the filesystem, calculating the size of the logged files and checking whether they are missing. If a file becomes compressed or uncompressed (with bzip2 or gzip), it is detected as well. Use along with -a to update the whole database.

-U, --unlog

Remove the log of the package from the database.


-b, --block-size=SIZE

Use blocks of SIZE bytes for the sizes. SIZE may be an integer, optionally followed by one of the following: k, K, m, M.

-k, --kilobytes

Like '--block-size=1k', or '--block-size=1024'.


Sort the list by WORD: When listing files, meaningful values for WORD are: 'name' and 'size'. When listing packages, WORD may be also: 'date' (or 'time'), 'files', 'missing-files' or 'missing-size'.

-R, --reverse

Reverse order while sorting.

-t, --total

Print totals at the bottom of the list.


-1, --one-column

List one package per line.


Print the number of installed files.


Print the number of missing files.


Print the number of shared files (both installed and missing).

-d, --date

Show installation date (-dd shows the hour too).

-s, --size

Show the currently installed size of each package; in human readable format by default (e.g. 1.2M, 13k).

-n, --missing-size

Print the missing size of each package (= original size - current size).


-f, --files

List currently installed files of the package.

-m, --missing-files

List missing files (those files removed after the installation of the package). -f and -m options can be used together.

-c, --shared

With -f and/or -m, list only the shared files (those files also logged by other packages).

-N, --non-shared

With -f and/or -m, list only the non shared files (those files not logged by any other package).

-w, --who-shares

With -c, print the names of the packages that share each file.

-y, --symlinks

Print the contents of symbolic links.

-s, --size

Print the size of each file; in human readable format by default (e.g. 1.2M, 13k).

-z, --no-package-name

Do not print the name of the package. Useful for scripts.


Note: Information may be not available for all packages.

-i, --info

Print package information.

-o, --configure-options

Print the configure options the package was built with.

-q, --query, --owner

Query for the packages that own one or more files.


-l, --log

Enable log mode: If a shell command is given as an argument, execute and monitor it, logging the created files, otherwise the list of files to log is read from the standard input.

The list of logged files is printed to the standard output, unless any of -p or -D options is used, in which case is assumed that a package is to be logged in the paco database.

When a shell comand is monitorized, paco returns the exit code of that command.

See EXAMPLES below.

-p, --package=PKG

Specify the name of the package to log, which must begin with an alphanumeric character. With -v, the list of logged files is also printed to the standard error stream. With -vv, paco prints detailed information about the install process. This holds for option -D too.

-D, --dirname

Use the name of the current directory as the name of the package to be logged.

-E, --exclude=PATH1:PATH2:...

Colon-separated list of paths to skip when logging. Default is '/dev:/tmp:/usr/src:/media:/sys:/usr/share/info/dir', unless variable EXCLUDE is set in the configuration file (type 'man pacorc' for more information).

Shell wildcards are allowed in the PATHs. See PATH MATCHING below for more details.

-I, --include=PATH1:PATH2:...

Colon-separated list of paths to scan when logging. Default is '/', unless variable INCLUDE is set in the configuration file (type 'man pacorc' for more information).

Shell wildcards are allowed in the PATHs. See PATH MATCHING below for more details.


Do not exit if the install command fails. This allows for logging uncomplete installations, and cleanup the system upon an installation failure. Errors are not ignored by default, unless variable LOG_IGNORE_ERRORS is set to 1 in the configuration file (type 'man pacorc' for more information).


Log also the missing files (they are skipped by default). See EXAMPLES below.

-+, --append

With -p or -D, if the package is already logged, append the list of files to its log.


-r, --remove

Remove a package, keeping the shared files and asking for confirmation by default. Compressed files (with gzip or bzip2) are also removed. If the option is doubled (-rr), or all logged files are successfully removed, the package is removed from the database.

-B, --batch

Don't prompt for confirmation when removing (and assume yes to all questions).

-e, --skip=PATH1:PATH2:...

Don't remove files in these paths.

Shell wildcards are allowed in the PATHs. See PATH MATCHING below for more details.


Remove also the shared files.


Options -I, -E and -e accept a colon-separated list of paths, each of which may contain shell-like wildcards (*, ? and [..]). Files are matched against each of those paths, following the standard shell-like expansion, but with the following exception: If a path in the list does not contain any wildcard, and it is a directory, it matches any file within that directory.

Note that if wildcards are to be used, the whole list of paths must be enclosed in single quotes (') to protect it from being expanded by the shell.


To log the installation of the package 'foo-1.0', which is installed with the command 'make -C src install':

    paco -lp foo-1.0 "make -C src install"

Note that in this example the quotes are required to prevent paco to treat '-C' as a command line option.

Use single quotes if the command already contains double quotes:

paco -lp foo-1.0 'echo "hello world" > /var/log/foo.log'

The special end-of-option argument '--' may be used for the same purpose:

    paco -lp foo-1.0 -- make -C src install

Alternatively, we can use the basename of the current directory as the name of the package to log, using the option -D instead of -p:

    paco -lD "make install && make"

If we have forgotten to install a file, it can be added to a previously created log with the option -+:

    paco -lp+ foo-1.0 "install foo /bin/foo"

Note that the option -+ cannot be used to remove a file from the log. For instance, the following command:

    paco -lp+ foo-1.0 "rm /bin/foo"

would not unlog the file /bin/foo from the log of foo-1.0, but it would mark it as missing instead.

To avoid such behaviour it is sometimes useful to join up composed install commands into one single command and run paco once. For instance, imagine that a package installs the file /bin/foo, but we want it to be installed in /usr/bin/foo. If one runs this:

    paco -lp foo-1.0 make install
    paco -lp+ foo-1.0 "mv /bin/foo /usr/bin/foo"

Both files, /bin/foo and /usr/bin/foo remain in the log. /usr/bin/foo is marked as installed, and /bin/foo is marked as missing. This is usually not the desired behaviour. As a workaround one can join up both commands in one single paco run:

    paco -lp foo-1.0 "make install && mv /bin/foo /usr/bin/foo"

In this case only /usr/bin/foo is logged.

The understand the meaning of the option --log-missing, consider the following example, where the file /foo/bar does not exist:

    echo /foo/bar | paco --log-missing -lp foo

This would log the file /foo/bar, even if it is missing. Without the option --log-missing /foo/bar is skipped.

To remove all versions of the package foo, keeping the files in /etc and /root, and without asking for confirmation:

    paco -r --batch -e /etc:/root foo

To remove the package foo-3.3, keeping the files in /var/log and the files ending with ".conf":

    paco -r -e '/var/log:*.conf' foo-3.3

We have installed the package 'bubble-1.9' in prefix '/opt/bubble-1.9', but we haven't logged the installation with paco. No problem! Just create a log for it thusly:

    find /opt/bubble-1.9 | paco -lp bubble-1.9


Due to LD_PRELOAD limitations, paco can't follow the trace of suid programs.

For the same reason, paco does not work with programs that statically link libc.


/etc/pacorc - configuration file

/var/log/paco - default log directory


The latest version of paco should be always available at:


Copyright (C) 2004-2009 David Rosal <[email protected]>

This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.