While working in Linux, you may have seen downloadable files with the .rpm extension. Rpm files are designed to be downloaded and installed independently, outside of a software repository.
This guide will show you how to install a .rpm file to your Linux CentOS or Fedora system.
Note: RPM Package Manager (RPM) is a free and open-source package management system for installing, uninstalling and managing software packages in Linux.
- A user account with sudo privileges
- Access to a terminal window / command line (Menu > applications > utilities > terminal, Ctrl-Alt-F2)
- RPM, DNF, & YUM Package Managers (all included by default)
Step 1: Download RPM Installation File
Typically, a web browser is used to locate and download a .rpm file. However, if a browser is not available you can still download a file if you know where it’s located.
You may need to install a software tool called
wget in CentOS, enter the following in a terminal window:
sudo yum install wget
wget in Fedora, enter the following:
sudo dnf install wget
Now, you can use the
wget command to download the .rpm file you want. Enter the following:
The system should reach out to the website and download the file to your current working directory.
Note: You can look up the address of a particular .rpm file in a web browser on another system. Also, this is a handy way to install more recent software versions or special non-standard software. Also, take care when installing software packages! Make sure you trust the source before you install. Usually, a developer will include a verification method to make sure you’re getting authentic software.
Step 2: Install RPM File on Linux
Install RPM File Using RPM Command
To install a .rpm package in CentOS Linux, enter the following:
sudo rpm -i sample_file.rpm
-i switch tells the package manager you want to install the file.
More information on the RPM installer can be found in the RPM documentation.
Install RPM File with Yum
Alternately, you can use the
yum package manager to install .rpm files.
Enter the following:
sudo yum localinstall sample_file.rpm
localinstall option instructions
yum to look at your current working directory for the installation file.
Note: YUM stands for Yellowdog Updater Modified. Normally, yum looks to your enabled software repositories for new software packages to install. More recent verbiage suggests using install instead of localinstall, but it’s up to you.
Install RPM on Fedora
To install an .rpm package on Fedora Linux, enter the following:
sudo rpm -i sample_file.rpm
Just as in CentOS, the -i switch tells RPM to install the software.
Another method is to use the dnf utility to install the package:
sudo dnf localinstall sample_file.rpm
Unlike many Linux tools, DNF is not a set of initials. It is merely the next evolution of the yum package manager.
Remove RPM Package
The RPM installer can be used to remove (or uninstall) a software package.
Enter the following into a terminal window:
sudo rpm -e sample_file.rpm
-e option instructs RPM to erase the software. Check RPM Dependencies
So far, this guide assumes the software either doesn’t have dependencies or already has them installed.
To check the .rpm file for dependencies using the following command:
sudo rpm -qpR sample_file.rpm
The system should list all the dependencies:
-q– This option tells RPM to query the file
-p– This option lets you specify the target package to query
-R– This lists the requirements for the package
If there are any missing dependencies, you can install them from the standard repositories using yum or dnf. If your software requires other non-standard software, it will often be noted in the installation instructions.
Download RPM Packages from the Repository
One exciting feature of the yum package manager is that it allows you to download .rpm files directly from the repository. This might be helpful if you have limited bandwidth, or want to copy a single downloaded file between systems. It could also help if you have intermittent internet access, and you don’t want to spend time waiting for your installer to finish.
To download a .rpm file from the repositories, enter the following:
sudo yumdownloader packagename
If you wanted to download the files for Apache, for instance, you’d replace packagename with httpd. You can then install the file as above.
Note: In Linux, administrators find it helpful to have a single tool to manage software. That tool – called a package manager – can install software, keep track of software requirements, and track updates and patches. Package managers also work with repositories, which are secure and standardized libraries of commonly-used and well-supported applications. If you had to install wget in Step 1, that’s an example of installing from a repository.
In this tutorial, we covered three different options for installing RPM files on Linux.
As with most Linux software, your default package manager makes it simple to track installations, updates, and prerequisites.