The Red Hat Package Manager

The Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) is a freely available packaging system for software distribution and installation. In addition to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core distributions, both SuSE and Mandrake are among the Linux distributions that use RPM.

Using RPM is straightforward. A single command, rpm, has options to perform all package management functions except building packages.[*] For example, to find out if the Emacs editor is installed on your system, you could say:

$ rpm -q emacs
emacs-21.3-17

This command prints the full package name, confirming its presence.

You use the rpmbuild command to build both binary and source packages.

[*] In older versions of RPM, the build options were part of the rpm command.

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