Zebra as a package in the Arch User Repository

by Marek Bielik

We could start this post by saying that our motivation to create a Zebra package for Arch Linux was that Arch enjoys the highest average rating of any Linux distribution on DistroWatch. However, the truth is that one of our engineers uses Arch (btw.), and he thought it would be handy to have Zebra packaged.

Packages in the official Arch repositories contain compiled binaries signed by their maintainers. The Arch developers maintain essential packages, and so-called trusted users maintain the rest. In addition to the official repositories, the Arch User Repository (AUR) lets anyone from the Arch community share their own package. The difference is that AUR packages do not contain binaries but a script that pulls, builds, and installs the software for the user. Arch users are encouraged to inspect the script’s content before executing it.

Zebra is currently packaged in the AUR. The package prepares dependencies, pulls Zebra’s source code from GitHub, and builds and installs the same binary as the official Docker image.

AUR users can vote for a package to increase its popularity, and trusted users can adopt popular packages and promote them to the official repositories. As the ArchWiki says, “a good number of new packages that enter the official repositories start in the AUR”. The original zcashd node already has an official package, and Zebra will hopefully follow. So if you are, by the way, using Arch, feel free to install the zebrad package and let us know how it went on our Discord, or on the Zcash Community Forums