Unpacking / extracting a .rpm file

I have never figured out the RPM package management system. It’s mostly because I haven’t tried hard, but it still makes me feel like a moron.

Every now and then I stumble across a package that, for whatever reason, is only distributed in .rpm form. Right now I wanted to install nano on godaddy.com’s shared hosting (because I’m also too lazy to learn vi), and the easiest way I could think of was to nab the .rpm and just rip out the nano binary.

Turns out this is really easy from a Linux shell:

# rpm2cpio [rpm filename] | cpio -idv

Another victory for laziness! It spewed out a bunch of stuff, I nabbed the nano binary, threw it on my godaddy shared hosting using wget via ssh, and now I have a fully functional and awesome editor (no matter what anyone tells you).

One thought on “Unpacking / extracting a .rpm file”

  1. I love nano. I have to use vi at work, it annoys the hell out of me. Escape, i, shift, insert, release, escape, dd, dd, escape, shift, colon, release, w, q ,enter. I don’t understand why I have to use such an unwieldy tool in this day and age.

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