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Linux Command Line: urpmi

written by: jlwallen•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/22/2008

If you use Mandriva Linux then you might know about the urpmi installation tool. If you don't know about it, you should. The urpmi tool is a one stop shop for downloading, dependency resolving, and installing applications. In this Linux Command Line series entry you will learn about urpmi.

  • slide 1 of 3

    What does urpmi do?

    The urpmi command is actually part of a suite of tools developed by Pascal Rigaux to overcome some of the limitations of the rpm command. The suite of tools urpmi belongs to contains the following commands:

    • urpmi: Install a package
    • urpme: Uninstall a package
    • urpmf: Find a package (NOTE: This does not search your local database but the urpmi media)
    • urpmq: Query the package database
    • urpmi.update: Update your package listing

    Obviously each command handles a different task, but each command is related to package management.

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    Basic Usage

    First and foremost, the urpmi-related commands all must be run as the root user. The only exceptions to this rule are urpmq and urpmf which can be run as the standard user.

    Let us examine the command structure of urpmi.

    the structure of the urpmi command is: urpmi [OPTIONS] APP_NAME (Where APP_NAME is the name of the application to install.)

    The possible options for urpmi are:

    --media: Select specific media to use.

    --excludemedia: Do not use the specified media.

    --update: Search packages in media that is marked as containing updates.

    --auto: Install all dependencies without asking.

    --auto-update: Same as above but also automatically runs urpmi.update.

    Now, let's say you want to install Kopete, the KDE chat client. To do this you would issue, as root, urpmi kopete. In the case of Kopete you might have to answer a question such as:

    In order to satisfy the 'qca2-plugin-openssl-lib' dependency, one of the following packages is needed:

    1- qca2-plugin-openssl-lib-2.0.0-1mdv2008.1.i586: OpenSSL plugin for QCA (to install)

    2- libqca2-plugin-openssl-2.0.1-2mdv2008.1.i586: OpenSSL plugin for QCA (to install)

    What is your choice? (1-2)

    After that you will have returned exactly what is being done on your system. You will be asked if you wish to continue with the installation. The default is yes so you can just hit enter to continue. If you add the --auto switch to the command you will not have to answer "y" to install dependencies. As the package, and the package dependencies, install you will see "#" symbols fly by, indicating progress. Once your requested package finally installs you will returned back to the command prompt. Congratulations, your package is installed.

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    Final Thoughts

    The urpmi tool takes an already solid installation too (rpm) and gives it a shot in the arm, making it easier to use and even more reliable. If you use Mandriva Linux, it will behoove you to get to know this handy tool.

Simplify Linux application installation and archiving

If you are new to Linux than you might be baffled as to how to handle two important tasks: Application installation and directory archiving. Never fear, Bright Hub is hear. In this series of articles you will learn how to master the tools to help you tackle these tasks.
  1. Simplifying Linux Installation and Archiving
  2. Linux Command Line: apt-get
  3. Linux Command Line: urpmi
  4. Linux Command Line: rpm
  5. Linux Command Line: tar
  6. Linux Command Line: bzip2/bunzip2