August 10, 2010

RPM Package Manager

RPM Package Manager

RPM Package Manager is a package management system. The name RPM refers to two things: a software package file format, and 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.

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 4.

Originally standing for "Red Hat Package Manager", RPM now stands for "RPM Package Manager", which is a recursive acronym.

Package managers have many advantages over relying on manual installation such as:

  • They present a uniform, clean way for users to install and remove programs with a single command.

  • There are many popular interfaces, both command-line and graphical.

  • Non-interactive installation makes it easy to automate.
RPM also has a few advantages over some other package managers:

  • It is the Linux (LSB) standard format.

  • It is popular: the typical rpm repository (the place where the packages are made available publicly) contains thousands of free applications.

  • RPM packages can be cryptographically verified with GPG and MD5

  • Original source archive(s) (e.g. .tar.gz, .tar.bz2) are included in SRPMs, making verification easier (for security-critical packages like OpenSSH it is possible to check with md5sum that the sources were not modified).

  • PatchRPMs and DeltaRPMs, the RPM equivalent of a patch file, can incrementally update RPM-installed software without needing the original package

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