Before arriving here at Arch, I used Aptosid, a distro based on Debian Unstable. The Aptosid user manuals highly recommended logging out of X and dropping to runlevel 3 (X off) before upgrading packages. I would assume this was done so that if the upgrade process took down X or if X crashed, the upgrades wouldn't be interrupted.
In Arch, is it safe to upgrade packages with pacman from within your X environment?
Yes, why not?
Only if you update your graphics card driver or the xserver i would switch to runlevel 3.
Hm, good point. Never thought of it. I think it would suffice to just change console to, for example, tty1 and then do the upgrade, i think.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau
Registered Linux User: #559057
Yes. pacman will only update your system, but it won't stop/restart anything. So even if e.g. xorg-server is updated, X will not be stop or restarted, it's up to you to do so. Just like you should reboot after a kernel update, but pacman will not do anything other than the actual update.
99% of the time I am updating my system from X, using Guake.
The other 1% is either from a different terminal, from a TTY or from SSH.
I've been doing this for years, so yes, I consider it to be safe.
I've updated my graphic drivers and the X server (and ran pacman -Syu) while running X countless times and haven't had any problems. Don't worry about it.
I even removed glibc and the whole /lib once and my workspaces and all my open applications still worked but I couldn't launch anything.