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Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux & Fedora, Fourth Edition by Bill McCarty

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Chapter 8. Installing Software Using the RPM Package Manager

This chapter explains the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), a tool that facilitates installing, uninstalling, and upgrading software for your Red Hat Linux system. The chapter explains how to use RPM to find the package associated with an application and how to quickly and easily install the package. It also explains how to use RPM to upgrade packages and query the status of installed packages.

An RPM package (or more simply, an RPM or a package) is a file that contains executable programs, scripts, documentation, and other files needed by an application or software unit. RPM packages are generally named using a convention that lets you determine the name of the package, the version of the software, the release number of the software, and the system architecture for which the application is intended. Figure 8-1 shows how the components of a package name are arranged.

The structure of a package name

Figure 8-1. The structure of a package name

The Package Management Tool

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core feature a package management tool that’s much easier to use than GnoRPM, the tool included in previous versions of Red Hat Linux. To launch the package management tool, choose System Settings Add/Remove Applications from the main menu. Only the root user can manipulate packages. If you’re not logged in as the root user, the tool helpfully prompts ...

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