Operating Systems

RPM (RPM Package Manager)

RPM Package Manager (RPM) (originally Red Hat Package Manager; now a recursive acronym) is a free and open-source package management system. The name RPM refers to .rpm file format and the package manager program itself. RPM was intended primarily for Linux distributions; the file format is the baseline package format of the Linux Standard Base.

Even though it was created for use in Red Hat Linux, RPM is now used in many Linux distributions. It has also been ported to some other operating systems, such as Novell NetWare (as of version 6.5 SP3), IBM’s AIX (as of version 4), CentOS, Fedora (operating system) created jointly between Red Hat and the Fedora community, and Oracle Linux. All versions or variants of the these Linux operating systems use the RPM Package Manager.

An RPM package can contain arbitrary set of files. Most RPM files are “binary RPMs” (or BRPMs) containing the compiled version of some software. There are also “source RPMs” (or SRPMs) containing the source code used to build a binary package. These have an appropriate tag in the file header that distinguishes them from normal (B)RPMs, causing them to be extracted to /usr/src on installation. SRPMs customarily carry the file extension “.src.rpm” (.spm on file systems limited to 3 extension characters, e.g. old DOS FAT).

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