Installing binary rpm files

There are thousands of applications that you can install on your system that can be obtained from many sources. If you can find a binary package already compiled for your system, the installation will be a little quicker and easier than compiling the application yourself. Binary files end with the extension .rpm, which stands for Red Hat Package Manager. In this section, I show you how to find an application by searching the Web and then how to install that application.

Be sure that the file you download does not end in .src.rpm because this is a source .rpm and can't be installed directly by using the procedure in this section.

One of my favorite applications for viewing pictures of my daughter is gqview. This package is not installed as part of an Enterprise Linux installation and must be installed separately. First, you need to find it. I did a search on the Web looking for gqview. The results showed the rpm file that I needed to download and then install to be able to use gqview to look at all the pictures of my daughter that I took with my digital camera. I installed the rpm file by following this procedure:

1. Find the file that you want to download and then save it to a directory on your system.

Be sure that you download the appropriate file for your system and that it ends with the extension .rpm.

2. Change to the directory containing the file that you downloaded.

3. Enter this command at a terminal prompt:

where <name of rpm> is the file that you downloaded. Be sure that you are logged in as root.

You see a progress dialog box while the rpm file is installed. When the command prompt returns, the rpm file is installed.

You can browse to the directory where you saved the downloaded file with a graphical file manager and then click the filename to install it.

Look a little deeper into the rpm command. The rpm command can be used to build, install, update, query, and remove packages from your system. The syntax for the command is rpm (basic options} <general options} <specific options} name of application

The basic options are required, and your rpm command must contain one of the basic options. Basic options consist of the following:

¡^ -q: Use this option to query the rpm database for information about the selected package.

¡^ -e: Use this option to remove an already installed package.

¡^ -F: Use this option to upgrade an existing package.

¡^ -U: (note capitalization) Use this option to install a new package or upgrade an existing one and remove earlier versions after the upgrade.

¡^ -V: (note capitalization) Use this option to verify information about the package compared with the rpm database.

General options can be used with any of the basic options. Some of the commonly used general options are

¡^ -v: This option instructs the rpm command to display details about the command.

¡^ --quiet: (note use of double hyphens) Using this option prints only error messages about the command.

In addition to the basic and general options, specific options are used, depending on the basic option chosen — for example, install-specific options that are used only with the install option, erase-specific options only used with the erase option, and so on.

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