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Encyclopedia > RPM Package Manager
RPM Package Manager
Platform: Linux, Unix-like
Use: Package management
License: GPL
Website: www.rpm.org

RPM Package Manager (originally Red Hat Package Manager, abbreviated RPM) is a package management system. The name RPM refers to two things: a software package file format, and a free software tool which installs, updates, uninstalls, verifies and queries software packaged in this format. RPM was intended primarily for Linux distributions; the file format RPM is the baseline package format of the Linux Standard Base. Image File history File links This is the logo of the RPM package management system, as found on <http://www. ... In computing, a platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. ... Linux (IPA pronunciation: ) is a Unix-like computer operating system family. ... Diagram of the relationships between several Unix-like systems A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ... Illustration of a package management system being used to download new software. ... A software license is a legal agreement which may take the form of a proprietary or gratuitous license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software. ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ... A website (or Web site) is a collection of web pages, images, videos and other digital assets and hosted on a particular domain or subdomain on the World Wide Web. ... Illustration of a package management system being used to download new software. ... A file format is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file. ... This article is about free software as defined by the sociopolitical free software movement; for information on software distributed without charge, see freeware. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... A Linux distribution or GNU/Linux distribution (or a distro) is a Unix-like operating system plus application software comprising the Linux kernel, the GNU operating system, assorted free software and sometimes proprietary software, all created by individuals, groups or organizations from around the world. ... The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems. ...


Originally developed by Red Hat for Red Hat Linux, RPM is now used by many Linux distributions. It has also been ported to some other operating systems, such as Novell NetWare (as of version 6.5 SP3) and IBM's AIX as of version 5. Red Hat, Inc. ... Red Hat Linux was a popular Linux distribution assembled by Red Hat until the early 2000s, when it was discontinued. ... It has been suggested that Linux be merged into this article or section. ... An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... NetWare is a network operating system developed by Novell, Inc. ... AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is a proprietary operating system developed by IBM based on UNIX System V. Before the product was ever marketed, the acronym AIX originally stood for Advanced IBM UNIX. AIX has pioneered numerous network operating system enhancements, introducing new innovations later adopted by Unix-like operating systems...


"RPM" as it is used today is an example of a recursive initialism. A recursive acronym (or occasionally recursive initialism) is an abbreviation which refers to itself in the expression for which it stands. ...

Contents

The RPM database

Working behind the scenes of the package manager is the RPM database, stored in /var/lib/rpm. It consists of a single database (Packages) containing all of the meta information of the installed rpms and multiple databases used for indexing purposes. The database is used to keep track of all files that are changed and created when a user installs a program and thus allows rpm to remove packages. If the database gets corrupted (which happens easily if the RPM client is killed), the index databases can be recreated with the rpm --rebuilddb command.[1] Wikibooks has more about this subject: kill In Unix and Unix-like operating systems, kill is a command used to send simple messages to processes running on the system. ...


Package label

Every RPM package has a package label, which contains the following pieces of information:

  • the software name
  • the software version (the version taken from original "upstream" source of the software)
  • the package release (the number of times the package has been rebuilt using the same version of the software) this field is also often used for indicating the specific distribution the package is intended for by appending strings like "mdv" (formerly, "mdk") (Mandriva Linux), "fc4" (Fedora Core 4), "rhl9" (Red Hat Linux 9), "suse100" (SUSE Linux 10.0) etc.
  • the architecture the package was built for (i386, i686, athlon, ppc, etc.)

RPM file names normally have the following format: Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by french company Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... SUSE (pronounced , loosely [SOO-zuh] [1] in English) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc. ...

 <name>-<version>-<release>.<arch>.rpm 

An example:

 nano-0.98-2.i386.rpm 

A package label is contained within the file and does not necessarily need to match the name of the file. Source code may also be distributed in RPM packages. Such package labels do not have an architecture part and replace it with "src". E.g.:

 libgnomeuimm2.0-2.0.0-3.src.rpm 

Additionally, libraries are distributed in two separate packages for each version. One containing the precompiled code and one containing the development files such as header files etc. for the library in question. Those packages have "-devel" appended to their name field. Users need to carefully check so that the version of the development package matches that of the binary package, otherwise the library may not work very well.


RPM files with the noarch.rpm extension refer to files which do not depend on a certain computer's architecture. These files usually include graphics and text for another program to use, and sometimes programs written in a higher-level programming language, such as Python programs and shell scripts. Python is a high-level programming language first released by Guido van Rossum in 1991. ... A shell script is a script written for the shell, or command line interpreter, of an operating system. ...


Advantages and disadvantages of the format

RPM packages have many often-cited advantages over other package management systems:

  • They present a uniform way for the user to install programs.
  • Uninstalling programs is simple.
  • It is popular: the typical rpm repository contains thousands of free applications.
  • Non-interactive installation makes it easy to automate.
  • Original source archive (e.g. .tar.gz, .tar.bz2) are included in SRPMs, making verification easier.
  • Packages can be cryptographically verified with GPG and md5.
  • DeltaRPMs, the RPM equivalent of a patch file, can incrementally update RPM-installed software without needing the original package.

RPM has also been criticized for a lack of consistency in package names and content (termed 'dependency hell') which can make automatic dependency handling difficult. However, this is not a problem inherent in the RPM format, but rather a problem of co-ordination amongst major Linux distributions that use RPM in packaging such as Red Hat Linux, SUSE, and Mandriva Linux. When using packages that are from a particular distribution (say Red Hat Linux) or built for a particular distribution (for example Freshrpms for Red Hat Linux[2]), tools such as yum or apt can perform automatic dependency checking. The number of unused dependencies is this format's biggest drawback. Unlike some source RPMs (SRPM), dependencies built into binary RPMs are mandatory. The problem with this is that developers often compile-in everything they think an end-user is likely to need, resulting in unused software, wasted disk space, and potential security vulnerabilities. Mandriva Linux uses the tool urpmi to help with this problem. The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) is a free software replacement for the PGP suite of cryptographic software, released under the GNU General Public License. ... In cryptography, MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) is a widely used cryptographic hash function with a 128-bit hash value. ... A Patch can refer to several different things: A piece of fabric. ... Dependency hell is a colloquial term for the frustration of some software users who have installed software packages which have dependencies on specific versions of other software packages. ... It has been suggested that Linux be merged into this article or section. ... The Yellow Dog Updater, Modified (yum for short) acts as a package manager for RPM-compatible Linux computer systems. ... Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a package management system used by Debian and its derivatives. ... urpmi is a Mandrake Linux package management tool for installing, removing, updating and querying software packages of local or remote (networked) media. ...


Spec file

The "recipe" for creating an RPM package is a spec file. Spec files end in the ".spec" extension and contain the package name, version, RPM revision number, steps to build, install, and clean a package, and a changelog. Multiple packages can be built from a single RPM spec file, if desired. RPM packages are created from RPM spec files using the rpmbuild tool.


Spec files are usually distributed within SRPM files, which contain the spec file packaged along with the source code. An SRPM is an RPM package with source code. ...


Physical package format

The package is a binary format and consists of four sections:

  • The lead identifies the file as an RPM file and contains some obsolete headers.
  • The signature which can be used to ensure integrety and/or authenticity
  • The header contains meta information including package name, version, architecture, file list, etc...
  • A gzipped cpio archive

CPIO is both the name of a binary utility, and a form of digital archive. ...

Supported Linux distributions

See also: List of Linux distributions#RPM-based free distributions

Several Linux distributions support RPM. These include, but are not limited to: This page provides general information about each of the notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. ...

Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by french company Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... PCLinuxOS, often abbreviated as pclos, is a GNU/Linux distribution. ... The Linux Kit for PlayStation 2 was released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 and included the Linux software, keyboard, mouse, VGA adapter, Network Adaptor (Ethernet only) and a 40 GB hard disk drive (HDD). ... Screenshot of Red Flag Linux Workstation version 5. ... Red Hat Enterprise Linux (often abbreviated to RHEL) is a Linux distribution produced by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market, including mainframes. ... CentOS is a freely available Linux distribution which is based on Red Hats commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux product, and with which it aims to be 100% compatible. ... ASPLinux is a Red Hat-compatible version of Russian and other Cyrillic-based languages. ... SUSE (pronounced , loosely [SOO-zuh] [1] in English) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc. ... Screenshot of SUSE Linux 10. ... Ark Linux is a free Linux distribution focusing on ease of use and ease of learning, while remaining technically sane. ... A screenshot of Yellow Dog Linux 4. ...

Frontends

There are several front ends to RPM that resolve dependencies.


The best-known ones are:

  • up2date used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • yum used in Fedora Core, CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Yellow Dog Linux
  • YaST used in SUSE Linux
  • urpmi used in Mandriva Linux
  • apt-rpm, a port of Debian's Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) whose use is recommended by some Fedora repositories. It is less actively developed but generally uses fewer CPU cycles than the above.
  • Smart Package Manager, available for many distributions

up2date is a tool used by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Fedora Core that downloads and installs new software and upgrades to the operating system. ... The Yellow Dog Updater, Modified (yum for short) acts as a package manager for RPM-compatible Linux computer systems. ... YaST from SUSE 9. ... urpmi is a Mandrake Linux package management tool for installing, removing, updating and querying software packages of local or remote (networked) media. ... apt-rpm is a version of the Advanced Packaging Tool modified to work with the RPM Package Manager. ... Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a package management system used by Debian and its derivatives. ... Smart is a package manager software project. ...

See also

Free software Portal
  • APT - package management system used by Debian
  • Portage - package management system used by Gentoo
  • Autopackage - a "complimentary" package management system

Image File history File links Floss_draft. ... Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a package management system used by Debian and its derivatives. ... Portage is an advanced package management system. ... Autopackage Autopackage aims to make it simple to create a package that can be installed on all Linux distributions and have that package integrate well into the desktop environment. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.rpm.org/hintskinks/repairdb/
  2. ^ http://freshrpms.net/

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
RPM Package Manager (Linux Reviews) (793 words)
RPM Package Manager (or RPM, originally called "Red Hat Package Manager") is a package management system primarily intended for Linux.
RPM is the baseline package format of the Linux Standard Base.
RPM is often used by another tool for handling dependencies, such as the Yellow dog Updater Modified (yum) or (the RPM compatible version of) the Advanced Packaging Tool (apt).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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