Linux Tips


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

No Title

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Reference: Cisco: Internetworking Basics

This document contains an overview of the principal RPM commands for installing, un-installing, upgrading, querying, listing, and checking RPM packages on your Red Hat Linux system.

Purpose Description / Example
Install an RPM Package

RPM packages have file naming conventions like foo-2.0-4.i386.rpm, which include the package name (foo), version (2.0), release (4), and architecture (i386). Also notice that RPM understands FTP and HTTP protocols for installing and querying remote RPM files.

rpm -ivh foo-2.0-4.i386.rpm
rpm -i
rpm -i
Un-install an RPM Package

To un-install an RPM package, we use the package name foo, not the name of the original package file foo-2.0-4.i386.rpm above.

rpm -e foo
Upgrade an RPM Package

To upgrade an RPM package, RPM automatically un-installs the old version of the foo package and installs the new package. It is safe to always use rpm -Uvh to install and upgrade packages, since it works fine even when there are no previous versions of the package installed! Also notice that RPM understands FTP and HTTP protocols for upgrading from remote RPM files.

rpm -Uvh foo-1.0-2.i386.rpm
rpm -Uvh
rpm -Uvh
Query all Installed Packages

Use RPM to print the names of all installed packages installed on your Linux system.

rpm -qa
Query an RPM Package

Querying an RPM package will print the package name, version, and release number of the package foo only if it is installed. Use this command to verify that a package is or is not installed on your Linux system.

rpm -q foo
Display Package Information

RPM can display package information including the package name, version, and description of the installed program. Use this command to get detailed information about the installed package.

rpm -qi foo
List Files in Installed Package

The following command will list all of files in an installed RPM package. It works only when the package is already installed on your Linux system.

rpm -ql foo
Which package owns a file?

Use the following command to determine which installed package a particular file belongs to.

rpm -qf /usr/bin/mysql
For example:
# rpm -qf /usr/bin/mysql
List Files in RPM File

Use RPM to query a (possibly) un-installed RPM file with the use of the the "-p" option. You can use the "-p" option to operate on an RPM file without actually installing anything. This command lists all files in an RPM file you have in the current directory. Also note that RPM can query remote files through the FTP and HTTP protocols.

rpm -qpl kernel-2.4.20-18.10.1.i686.rpm
rpm -qpl
rpm -qpl
Verify an Installed Package

Use RPM to list all files that do NOT pass the verify tests (done on size, MD5 signature, etc).

rpm --verify mysql

Where a file does NOT pass, the output is listed using the following codes that signify what failed:

S File size
M Mode (includes permissions and file type)
5 MD5 sum
L Symlink 
D Device 
U User 
G Group 
T Mtime

Take for example the following:

# rpm --verify mysql
S.5....T c /etc/my.cnf

This example indicates that file /etc/my.cnf failed on:

File size
MD5 Sum
Modified Time

However, the "c" tells us this is a configuration file so that explains the changes. It should still be looked at to determine what the changes were.

Check an RPM Signature Package

RPM can be used to check the PGP signature of specified packages to ensure its integrity and origin. Always use this command first before installing a new RPM package on your system. Also, GnuPG or Pgp software must be already installed on your system before you can use this command.

rpm --checksig foo

Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Jeffrey M. Hunter. All rights reserved.

All articles, scripts and material located at the Internet address of is the copyright of Jeffrey M. Hunter and is protected under copyright laws of the United States. This document may not be hosted on any other site without my express, prior, written permission. Application to host any of the material elsewhere can be made by contacting me at

I have made every effort and taken great care in making sure that the material included on my web site is technically accurate, but I disclaim any and all responsibility for any loss, damage or destruction of data or any other property which may arise from relying on it. I will in no case be liable for any monetary damages arising from such loss, damage or destruction.

Last modified on
Wednesday, 28-Dec-2011 14:10:13 EST
Page Count: 644545