How to install without updating the system?

When I try to install software (like the very cool-looking FireDragon browser) pamac, pacman, and the software center all go ahead and perform a system update at the same time. Is this something that can be switched on or off?

No, only install software on up to date system.
Partial update brake the system.


One word: Dependencies.


It's like this, if you download something without updating, but one of the packages required isn't aligned with the what your new program needs to run, you could end up with a program that doesn't work because for whatever reason you don't want to update.

What is your reasoning for not wanting to update your system?


Especially on a Rolling Distro!


Use via terminal. Pacman only updates the dependencies.

So, you will only update necessary stuff and can prevent other stuff at the moment.


To slow the roll. I was just confused when I tried to install firedragon and it wanted to update brave-bin.

I get that dependencies need to be up to date, just not used to everything in the system being updated when I install a program. Perhaps that's the nature of the rolling-distro beast, and if so I accept it as something to learn about how things are done here ("here" being "in a rolling distro").

Also I'm still working out how to balance snapshots and keep track of them. I very much appreciate their existence and I'm trying to get a feel for how best to maintain them and keepntrack of which has what. An unexpected update as in this case threw me off because I'm still new.

But thank you for the quick responses. As I said I'm still new to rolling distros and getting used to all the updates and occasional breaks that come with it, but this forum seems to be an excellent place to learn and understand the newness.

Remove brave (it's not brave) if you do not want to update them, it's not win where you have to update each app separately.

If you want very fewer updates use Mint etc.

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You can install anything without updating the whole system, but it is not always possible.

  1. Disable all utilities that update package databases (pamac, discover and relevant systemd. service units)
  2. Install only manually with pacman
sudo pacman -S <package-name>
  1. Don't sync DBs (don't use -y with pacman)
  2. When you sync DBs, even by mistake, you have to update the system in full.
  3. AUR packages are in sync with the updated Archlinux DBs, which are used in Garuda systems, so it is not always safe to install AUR packages, when you have an idled system.

These are the rules in Rolling distros, although I only know about Arch.
Have in mind that Pamac and Discord automatically sync DBs. You have to find out how to disable this (if possible), or never use them.

Also, Garuda does not support problems that arise when you don't use provided utilities, which means you are on your own :wink:


I'm aware. I'm not new to Linux, I'm new to how this rollng distro behaves. I'm not being critical, I'm trying to learn.

I appreciate the info. I think I'd rather try to conform to how this distro works versus all the tinkering, though that could just be me being lazy. However, if I'm going to ask for help in the future, it'll be easier if we're on common ground versus trying to suss out what the user-defined configuration changes have been made.

I'm sorry if I'm being frustrating, I'm just trying to establish a common understanding. In my experience it pays to explain where one is coming from and it isn't intended to be taken as criticism. I'm not so arrogant as to believe that my expectations of how something is going to work is indeed how something should work.


For now, just know that updating EVERYTHING while installing something is the most recommended way to do things. As noted by @petsam , it can be done. But like all things in life, just because you can do something (for instance, a good old Las Vegas cocaine and hookers infused Saturday night) doesn't mean you should actually do it (although I would actually suggest the LV weekend)

From there, you can read up on the Arch Wiki on why you should always update when installing. Learn why after. :slight_smile:

So for instance, if you use Ubuntu, being a snapshot release, you will also be installing software that was also associated with that snapshot. So if for instance, you installed your Ubuntu 20install on February 1, and you want to install Spotify on March 10th. The Ubuntu you installed is from last year, and the Spotify you're installing is also from last year. They are snapshots together. In Garuda/Arch, if you installed it on February 1st, and then wanted install Spotify on March 10th, since Garuda/Arch is rolling and basically updates constantly, if you installed Garuda everyday this month, every time will be slightly different, where you would install the exact same Ubuntu everday.

Arch doesn't exist in the past. Arch ALWAYS just is. Don't live in the past, live in the moment like the Eagle that is Garuda. And that's the story of why you want to update everything while installing something new.


Oooohh, I see, OK that makes sense. I didn't realize there was a "snapshot" concept going on throughout, I thought that only pertained to installation ISOs, like "install this snapshot means install Manjaro up-to-date as of xx.xx.xxxx date."

OK, this is all much more clear now. Thank you for that, @fbodymechanic. Very much.

Doing partial or no update while installing a package in Arch or Arch-based distros is a very bad idea. It works fine in point-release distros like Debian/Ubuntu or distros based on them, not in Rolling release distros like Arch, Opensuse Tumbleweed or Debian Sid.

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So Manjaro holds stuff back and releases updates not necessarily based exactly on Arch.

So since we don't know exactly what goes into a snap for instance, if say a snap developer does in fact update (we may not even know) their package for Ubuntu, they will be doing so knowing the exact outcome for doing such an update. So even if they are running a snap made today, they know that the snapshot of Ubuntu 20 again won't change, so they can know exactly how their software will work if they do infact update something.


Yep, its all becoming very clear to me, thank you for the info.

Gotcha, thank you very much. Maybe my misconceptions were a carryover from windows days? Not sure, but this all makes a lot more sense now, and I greatly appreciate your patient explanations.