Oct 13, 2011

Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL)

Today I am going to fill you in on EPEL, a repository maintained by a Fedora group (made up by Red Hat engineers, volunteer community members, etc.) which offers a set of additional packages for Enterprise Linux distributions, such as RHEL, CentOS, Scientific Linux and so on.

For instance, when you purchase a license for RHEL, Red Hat guarantees you support for a series of packages included within its repositories, but other many applications are not provided through them.

Thereby, you have got several options to install packages not located into the official repositories, such as grabbing them from RPM PBone. But another smart option is to set up on your machine, an EPEL repository, whereby you will have high quality add-on packages which will complement your system.

EPEL packages are built from the equivalent ones in Fedora project and they are updated as far as the corresponding RHEL release is supported.

There are EPEL repositories for RHEL4, RHEL5 and RHEL6 (they are too valid for their derived). For my tests, I am going to use a CentOS 6.0 distro where I will install the appropiate 'epel-release' package. By default, only the stable EPEL repository is enabled. Later, you might enable testing and not yet considered stable repositories (I don't recommend it).

[root@centos ~]# rpm -ivh http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-5.noarch.rpm

[root@centos ~]# ls -l /etc/yum.repos.d/epel*
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  957 oct 12  2010 /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1056 oct 12  2010 /etc/yum.repos.d/epel-testing.repo

How can we check out if a package comes from EPEL?

[root@centos ~]# yum install keychecker

[root@centos ~]# keychecker httpd
CentOS-6 Key (CentOS 6 Official Signing Key)

[root@centos ~]# keychecker keychecker
EPEL (6)

Other way is by using yum.

[root@centos ~]# yum info htop
Repo       : epel
Summary    : Interactive process viewer

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