Rapid release management (RPM) is a software installation management tool that allows software developers to install, update, and remove software packages in a controlled manner. RPM also includes tools for managing software dependencies and configuration files.
An RPM package is a collection of files that includes the application’s source code, installation scripts, and configuration files. RPM packages are typically distributed as self-extracting archives (SFX) and can be installed on computers running RPM-based distributions such as Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).
The purpose of an RPM package is to simplify the process of installing and updating software on a computer. When a user downloads an RPM package, the package’s installation scripts automatically determine the software required to install and update the package.
The installation scripts also determine the location of the required files on the user’s computer.
The RPM package manager was originally developed by Red Hat in 1998. At its inception, RPM was designed as a replacement for the GNU Software Installation System (GSS), which was then Red Hat’s primary installation tool.
GSS was based on the GNU Install Program (GIP), which was developed by Caldera Systems. GIP was later replaced by the GNU Installer (GIMP), which is still used today by many Linux distributions.
RPM has since become the most popular installation tool for Linux distributions. According to Red Hat, “RPM is used on more than two million Linux systems worldwide.
” In addition, “more than half of all RHEL installations are done using RPM.”.