Working with RPM and DEB


This article cover all the basics of Redhat package manager and debian package manager .This  article is comprised of two sections

  1. Working with Red hat packge manager
  2. Working with Debian package manager

Note : there are many other package manager’s available in market today some are distribution specific and other are general covering all PM’s is beyond the scope of this article ,this is the reason why we are including the two most  popular PM’s in the world.For this article please follow FEDORA ,RHEl,SUSE,CENTOS.

Definition: This was originally named Red-hat package manager but later recursively renamed RPM.This is preferred package manager format  in SUSE,RHEL,FEDORA,CENTOS  etc.The RPM works or can be initiated in using ‘rpm’ command.

Understanding  RPM

An RPM package is a consolidation of files needed to provide a application such as image viewer ,library themes.Inside RPM there are configuration files , commands,directory structure,meta data that makes up the software.

Working with rpm

Before you even look inside rpm any package you can tell much about it just by looking inside it,type the following command inside your Linux terminal:

# rpm -q firefox

from this you can infer that the basename of package is ‘firefox’ .The release number is 25.7 .The Version number is 1 .This package is compatible with RHEL 7 as it says ‘el7_0’ and is compiled for x86_64 architecture.

For more detailed inquiry  of a rpm package you can type:

# rpm -qi <package name>

installing rpm’s

when you install any red-hat based distribution such as fedora or centos many rpm’s comes preinstalled but if you have a rpm package and want to install then just type:

# rpm -i <package name>

For checking the dependencies a rpm package has :

# rpm -qR <package name>

For Upgrade rpm to a newer version:

# rpm -Uvh <package name>



Definition:The debian GNU/Linux project created .deb packaging,which is used by debian and other distribution based on debian(Ubuntu,Mint,KNOPIX,etc). Using tools such as apt-get or dpkg ,Linux user could install remove or upgrade debian packages.

Understanding Deb Package

The debian package contains many files such as configuration files ,meta data related to that package or other in form of an archive file.The files can be commands,metadata which includes dependencies ,licensing ,package sizes etc.

Working with Debian

Some of tools for managing debian package are:

  • aptitude – The aptitude command is a package installation tool that provides a screen-oriented menu that runs in the shell.After you run the commands ,use arrow keys for highlighting the selection you want and then press enter.
  • apt(Advance package tool)* – There is a set of apt commands that you can use to manage package installation
    • apt-get update :- get the latest package versions
    • apt-get  search <keyword>:- search the package with respective keyword
    • apt-get install <package name>:-Install the package with specified package name.
    • apt-get upgrade <packege name>:- Upgrade the package name

Working efficiently with packages is a must have skill when trying to learn linux or becoming system admin, so learn this essential skill and become a System admin.


About the author


I write blogs about Machine Learning and data science

By abhinavsinghml

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