As a system administrator or a regular Ubuntu user, you may occasionally encounter software packages in RPM format that you want to install. Although Ubuntu, like all Debian-based distributions, primarily uses DEB packages managed with the APT tool, it is possible to install and manage RPMs on Ubuntu. However, it’s essential to note that this is not the recommended approach due to potential dependency issues and conflicts with existing DEB packages.
In this article, we’ll explore different methods to install and manage RPMs on Ubuntu, including converting RPMs to DEB format using Alien, using Smart Package Manager (SmartPM), and compiling from source.
Converting RPM to DEB using Alien
Alien is a handy tool that converts between different Linux package formats, including RPM, DEB, Stampede SLP, and Slackware TGZ. Here’s how to use it:
- Install Alien: Run the following command in your terminal to install Alien:
sudo apt-get install alien
- Convert the RPM package to DEB format: Use the following command, replacing ‘package.rpm’ with the name of your RPM file:
sudo alien -d package.rpm
In this command,
-d tells Alien to generate a DEB package.
- Install the converted DEB package: You can now install the converted package using the dpkg tool:
sudo dpkg -i package.deb
Replace ‘package.deb’ with the name of the output file from the Alien command.
Using Smart Package Manager (SmartPM)
SmartPM is a versatile package management tool that can handle both DEB and RPM packages.
- Install SmartPM: Use the following command to install SmartPM:
sudo apt-get install smartpm
- Use SmartPM to manage packages: Once installed, you can use SmartPM to install, remove, or upgrade both DEB and RPM packages.
For example, to install an RPM package, use:
smart install package.rpm
Compiling from Source
If a DEB package is not available, another option is to download the source code and compile it. This method is more complex and requires more knowledge of Linux, but it can be a good solution in some cases.
- Download the source code: Download the source code for the software you want to install. This is usually available from the software’s official website.
- Compile the source code: Follow the instructions provided with the source code to compile it. This usually involves running a
./configurescript, followed by
sudo make install.
- Create a DEB package (optional): If you want to create a DEB package from the compiled software, you can use the
checkinstalltool. This will create a DEB package that you can install using dpkg, making it easier to manage and uninstall the software later.
While it’s generally recommended to stick with DEB packages and the APT tool on Ubuntu, there are several methods available for installing and managing RPMs when necessary. Whether you choose to convert the RPMs to DEB format, use a tool like SmartPM, or compile from source, remember to be cautious to avoid potential dependency issues and conflicts.
Yes, it is possible to install RPM packages on Ubuntu, although it is not the recommended approach due to potential dependency issues and conflicts with existing DEB packages.
You can use the Alien tool to convert RPM packages to DEB format. Install Alien using the command
sudo apt-get install alien, and then use the command
sudo alien -d package.rpm to convert the RPM package. Finally, install the converted DEB package using
sudo dpkg -i package.deb.
SmartPM is a package management tool that can handle both DEB and RPM packages. It allows you to install, remove, and upgrade packages from both formats. You can install SmartPM using the command
sudo apt-get install smartpm.
To compile software from source, you need to download the source code from the software’s official website, and then follow the instructions provided with the source code to compile it. This usually involves running a
./configure script, followed by
sudo make install.
Yes, you can create a DEB package from compiled software using the
checkinstall tool. This tool creates a DEB package that you can install using
dpkg, making it easier to manage and uninstall the software later.