Using RedHat based Linux distributions has quite a few benefits. They’re usually more rewarding for advanced users, the installation process gives you more options and the package manager is awesome. However, there is one major downside to using a Linux distribution like Fedora or OpenSUSE over Debian or Ubuntu – software availability. Since RedHat-based Linux distros are the second-most popular, they often get packages developed for them – most of the time.
Sometimes, though, software is harder to come by. This usually forces users to convert Debian package files to compatible RPM packages or, alternatively, search Google for repos and packages. This can sometimes be tedious and at times even frustrating. It is because of this that we’ve decided to create a list of the top five best places to find RPM package files.
1. RPM Fusion
You might have heard of RPM Fusion. Many Fedora users swear by it. Why? It’s a repository filled with packages deemed “unworthy” for the main Fedora repositories. After adding this repository to your system, finding certain pieces of software for your operating system will be a little easier.
Adding RPM Fusion to your system is mostly straightforward. Just open up a terminal window and enter the command below.
su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm'
Once the command has been entered, your system will download the RPM Fusion package and add the repository to your system.
2. Linux Packages Search (Pkgs.org)
Sometimes you just need to search for an RPM. Pkgs.org is probably one of the best sites for searching for them. When you search for a package, it doesn’t just spit out an RPM file, per se. It’s a lot more organized. Everything is designed to make locating the package you need super easy. What’s even cooler is that it’s easy to scroll down and find the package you need for the right operating system.
If you need a package and you can’t find it anywhere else, you should probably try out Pkgs.org first. They have a lot of files for a lot of different distributions. So even if you can’t find an RPM, but instead find a Debian package, you’ll at least be able to convert the file with alien.
3. RPM Pbone
Another great resource to find RPMs is RPM Pbone. When you use the site, for the most part, you’ll find what you need. Like the other RPM searching tools on this list, they sort the packages and tag them based on what operating system the packages have been compiled for (which is always a welcomed feature).
The site doesn’t have a whole lot of features to aide in sorting (like Pkgs.org does), but what it does have is a repository that you can easily add to your system. This is handy if, for whatever reason, you don’t like going to the Pbone website and instead would prefer a massive repository added to your system. You can go to this link to gain access to the Pbone repository.
Note: you’ll need a username and password on rpm.pbone.net to access the directions.
4. RPM Find
RPM Find is yet another searching tool for RPM package files. Much like the others listed, this website has a fairly robust database of all things RPM. The website isn’t exactly the prettiest thing to look at, and the interface isn’t the greatest, but it definitely makes up for this shortcoming with features. While searching, you’re able to sort the RPM Find index by distribution type, creation date, vendor, name, etc.
5. OpenSUSE Build Service
Out of every resource on this list, the OpenSUSE Build Service is probably the most interesting of the lot. Think of it like Arch Linux’s AUR. All you have to do is submit your software to the build service and soon a package will be generated. The result is quite awesome. OBS has dozens of software packages to download, and best of all, it doesn’t just have OpenSUSE packages available.
Many developers use the build service as a means to ease packaging across many Linux distributions. It’s great! The OBS has RPM packages available for almost any Linux distribution out there (even ones that are not RPM-based, making it a great place to find RPM package files.
RedHat based Linux distributions are great! In fact, some of my all time favorite Linux distributions choose RPM over DEB. Each and every one of them offer something truly unique to the Linux community. That’s why it can be a bit of a bummer that most of these distros aren’t able to have a robust software repository by default.
Don’t worry! With the help of this list, finding the software you need will be a lot less tedious. Each source is useful in its own way, so be sure to make use of all of them.
Do you have a favorite way of finding RPMs not listed here? Let us know in the comments!