Have you heard of the .RPM file extension? It is likely that it sounds to you if you are a Linux user, since it was created especially for him. In fact, the files with this format are those used to install programs and software for this operating system.
The meaning of the acronym RPM is Red Hat Package Manager File . It is an extension with format very easy to manipulate and, above all, with the ability to be versatile , since it serves for all versions of Linux that exist in the market and, in theory, it will remain so. The files in rpm format corresponding to the installation of programs are usually contained in source code packs of type .tar.gz or tar.bz2.
If you are interested in knowing more interesting facts about this type of files, you can continue reading below because with us you will know their characteristics, what they are for and, more importantly, how to use them.
What is it and what are files used with .RPM extension?
.RPM files are a set of compressed data that include, among them, elements to enable the installation of a program . It should be noted that they are also used to verify, update or uninstall a particular software. In essence, they serve all the important tasks of a program, that is, to achieve it, customize it and eliminate it.
Thus, we can say that we are talking about a tool and not a mere file. This is the starting package format that Linux Standar Base has , a multi-distribution project to normalize the internal structure of this OS at a general level.
We have already advanced that it is now used in a number of extensions of this operating system, although its versatility has made it a product that is exported to others .
What are the most important features of these files?
As we have indicated previously, the files with extension .rpm contain source code that can be used to install programs and that is enclosed in packages . For this reason, the systems administrator who is updating the software will use a package manager that will help you much more than having to build them himself.
Among the most important features that these files have are the following:
- Packages are sent, encrypted and verified through MD5 and GPG .
- The SPRMs contain a set of packages that they have inside the source code files in files with .rpm format. This will make a simpler verification of the packages possible.
- If we need to update several RPMs packages at the same time we need to use patch files .
- The Linux package manager is responsible for resolving dependencies automatically , thus avoiding the problem of newbies having to know all the ones that need to be installed in a team, it is very specific.
- You can convert , without problem to other useful formats such as PKG, DEB, SLP or TGL .
How to open and run an RPM file on my Linux from the console?
The installation of an .rpm file is very easy, since for this you only have to follow a few very simple steps. Next, we are going to show you so that you can follow them so that you can open and run an .rpm file on Linux, even if your knowledge is minimal.
The manipulation of these files takes place from the system console although at present we could also manage them from simple software and complex GUI administrations . Some examples, among many others, would be AnyToISO, Zipeg, PeaZip, iArchiver, Unarchiver, Alien or Red Hat Package Manager.
In this case, and because we have the console naturally in any of the Linux extensions, it is the method we teach you to use.
Open a terminal
First, you must open a terminal , the so-called Linux console. You just have to press the Ctrl + Alt + T buttons or simply with a double click if you already have access. You will start writing commands . In this case, we will work with rpm command, that is, indications that start with this set of letters, which will be the operational entry point .
Be very careful, since this is very rigorous and only accepts written commands in the right way, which is logical not to start accidental actions.
Start by typing “sudo” as a command. Next you must write “rpm -uvh package-to-install.rpm” . Press “Enter” .
The system will start reading inside the package and will return a message indicating “updating / installing” . Then its name will appear and, next to it, a lot of ###### symbols followed by the percentage installed in square brackets.
Another option is to update a package or application . In order to do so, the following “rpm -uvh package.rpm” command must be used, typing it as is, without the quotes and pressing “Enter” .
A very interesting option is also to be able to remove a package or application. To achieve this, you only need to enter the following “rpm -ev package-to-delete.rpm» command in the console.
Another of the commands that can be frankly interesting is the list all the .rpm files that are inside the system. It is not useful to use any specific one but to know what tools you have on the computer to be installed and used.
There are three commands to do so:
- “Rpm -qa”.
- “Rpm -qa l less”.
- “Rpm -qa l grep something”.
RPM vs DEB how do they differ and which is better?
Now that we know everything the indispensable about the .rpm files , we must know another very important and recognized file format within the Linux operating system. This is the .deb format extension, with many similarities to the one previously seen but created, specifically, for the Debian GNU Linux distribution.
The program used by default to control these packages is DPKG and is controlled by commands through apt . Although there are also other softwares that contain a graphical interface that helps us visualize and use them in a more graphical way, such as Synaptic .
These types of files contain two .tar files ; one has the control information of the package and the other has the concrete data of the package. In order to work with this type of files from the console, very similar commands are used to those described above. To do it from a program it is only necessary to double click with the mouse on the file and use the default File Manager.
The main difference between these two formats lies in the distribution for which they were created . Files with .deb format have been made for Debian-based Linux distributions and those with .rpm format are designed for RedHat-based distributions and are more general.
The .deb files are much faster in the sense of looking for dependencies, since, in addition, they require less of these. In the case of .rpm files the number of dependencies is much larger .
In addition, the .deb files are simpler to install, although this does not make an overwhelming difference either, as we have seen, both use console and software for it.
On the other hand, packaging or encapsulating files of type .rpm is much simpler, faster and less confusing . Only your own libraries are necessary, assuming, of course, a harder job for end users.
As you can see, each of the formats has specific characteristics and is aimed at a different type of users. Therefore, the decision to choose which of the two formats is better also depends on the user and is as personal as the type of Linux distribution you want to have installed on your computer.