So, being a ZFS user for my root partition, this was a huge concern of mine: Sometimes ZFS features are missing in DKMS after doing system upgrades (usually the alpm-hook trying to make ZFS DKMS before SPL DKMS … have you installed dkms-sorted yet?)

It’s nice to know when errors happen because if you reboot without ZFS support in your DKMS you won’t be able to boot!

You’ll get some error output by default in pacman when compiling DKMS but it’s extremely general and doesn’t really tell you much about what happened. That’s why I fought for days with trying to figure out how to get the full output in pacman, similar to running (for example):

# dkms --verbose install spl/0.7.4 -k 4.9.70-1-lts

This, by the way is an example of what one has to run if DKMS compiling doesn’t work when using pacman -Syu (of course, replacing the version numbers with the ones relative to your system).

It’s a little more difficult for DKMS than adding a -v in a command string inside an alpm-hook (found in /usr/share/libalpm/hooks). Usually adding flags to a hook is as easy as opening up one of the hooks in a text editor, navigating to the bottom for the exec string, and adding the flags.

However, 70-dkms-install.hook refers to another script, so adding a flag there won’t work. It should be referring to /usr/lib/dkms/alpm-hook. Open that script in a text editor and find the line that says:

 run() {
         echo "==> $*"
         "[email protected]" > /dev/null
 }

This is routing the screen output, [email protected] to /dev/null. You can comment out the /dev/null and then the screen output won’t disappear into the ether. Just add a # sign before the > like this:

run() {
         echo "==> $*"
         "[email protected]" # > /dev/null
 }

Now when you # pacman -Syu you’ll get all sorts of fun info from the compiler if it upgrades something that uses DKMS! Enjoy!