Linux Package Management: Keeping Up with the Times - page 2
Introduction to Package Types
RPM is the Swiss army knife of the package manager world, in that you use a single command to do a wide variety of things. Well, that's not entirely true: you use a single command, with a whole pile of possible option flags.
At the base of working with RPM files is the rpm command. Some common variations you'll see of using this one include:
rpm -qa | more
|List all installed RPM packages, and of course display them only one screen at a time, there's a lot of them on an RPM-based system!|
rpm -ql perl
|List all of the files added to the filesystem when I installed the Perl package, and where they were placed.|
rpm -qlp perl-5.6.1.i386.rpm
|List all of the files and where they will be added to the filesystem if I install the Perl package specified.|
rpm -qi perl
|Display information about the Perl package I installed.|
rpm -qip perl-5.6.1.i386.rpm
|Display information about the Perl package I'm thinking about installing.|
rpm -ivh perl-5.6.1.i386.rpm
|Install this Perl package, give verbose output, and display hashes to show me progress.|
rpm -Uvh perl-5.6.1.i386.rpm
|Install this Perl package, or if it's already installed but a previous version, update my Perl installation with the new version. Also, give verbose output, and display hashes to show me progress.|
rpm -Fvh perl-5.6.1.i386.rpm
|Install this Perl package even if I'm getting errors about conflicts or versions. Also, give verbose output, and display hashes to show me progress.|
rpm -e perl
|Uninstall the Perl package.|
In the old days, it was smart to only install or update one package at a time, since if RPM ran into conflicts trying to install a long list in order, the entire installation or update would fail--this is what caught me up in the KDE installation. Nowadays, the rpm command is a much smarter tool and can figure out the proper order if all of the necessary packages are listed. Even better, if you want to install every RPM in the current directory, just use:
rpm -Uvh *
Popular distributions that utilize RPM are Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE. I'm sure I've left someone's favorite out, my apologies in advance. Each of these distributions has at least one tool available that helps you to grab all of the latest security patches, bug fixes, and more for what you've got installed on your system.
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