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.rpm the filename extension conventionally used on files in the Red Hat Package Management format (http://www.rpm.org/). Internally these are cpio archives with a custom header. The rpm command is used to build, verify, install, remove, and query (list information about) .rpm files.

There is an rpm2cpio command which skips the headers and returns only the archive contents of the RPM file. The contents and metadate of an RPM file can also be viewed and extracted using the mc (midnight commander) utility. Highlight the rpm file in one of your mc file manager panels and simple hit the [Enter] key --- the contents of the file will then appear as a virtual subdirectory directory in that panel. (This technique also works with .tar, .tar.gz, .zip, .deb and many other archive and package files under midnight commander).

Though it was created by Red Hat for their Linux distribution, RPM is used by many other Linux distributions (including S.u.S.E.) and is occasionally used by system administrators on other UNIX platforms.

The .rpm extension has also been used for "Real Player" media files. This has occasionally caused confusion for Linux users attempting to download RPM package files using web browsers that are configured to handle Real Player media files using a helper applications.


  • () JimDennis - 23 Sep 2003
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Topic revision: r1 - 2003-09-23 - JimDennis
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