How to Install or Remove an RPM Package

Many GNU/Linux distributions use the popular Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) system of adding or removing programs. Almost all Linux users will encounter the desire to add software to their computer, or remove a program that came with their version of Linux. While installing new software can be a complex, error-prone job, RPM will turn that arduous task into a single command.


Download your desired RPM package.

There are many RPM depositories on the Internet, but if you’re looking for Red Hat RPM packages, you can find them here:

  • The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation media, which contain many installable RPMs.
  • The initial RPM repositories provided with the YUM package manager.
  • The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) provides high-quality add-on packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Install the RPM package.

Once downloaded, you have two options:

  • Double-click the package. A package management window will appear with instructions to guide you through the process.
  • Open a terminal window, and type rpm -i *package_location_and_name* (without the spaces in and )


Open a terminal window, and type:

. Do not type the extension on the file. For example:

Helpful RPM Flags

The rpm -i command syntax is listed below.

Install-specific options:

  • -h (or –hash) Print hash marks (“#”) during install
  • –test Perform installation tests only
  • –percent Print percentages during install
  • –excludedocs Do not install documentation
  • –includedocs Install documentation
  • –replacepkgs Replace a package with a new copy of itself
  • –replacefiles Replace files owned by another package
  • –force Ignore package and file conflicts
  • –noscripts Do not execute pre- and post-install scripts
  • –prefix Relocate package to if possible
  • –ignorearch Do not verify package architecture
  • –ignoreos Do not verify package operating system
  • –nodeps Do not check dependencies
  • –ftpproxy Use as the FTP proxy
  • –ftpport Use as the FTP port


  • -v Display additional information
  • -vv Display debugging information
  • –root Set alternate root to
  • –rcfile Set alternate rpmrc file to
  • –dbpath Use to find the RPM database


  • Rarely, you will need to force an installation. To do this, pass the –force argument to the rpm command. – This will only work on the command line.
  • Using the parameter -U (update) instead of -i (install) guarantees that you install the latest version of the RPM.
  • Some packages will have dependencies. All this means is that you must install another package for the desired one to work. An example of this is Ogle, an open-source DVD player. On its own, Ogle can’t play a DVD, but requires a few other programs to be installed, in addition to the main Ogle package. If the rpm has dependencies and you don’t care about satisfying them you can use the –nodeps option as well.


  • It is possible to over-write some data that is required for another program to run. Always be cautious whenever you add or remove anything from your system.

Leave a Comment