16.0 RPM—the Package Manager
In SUSE® Linux, RPM (RPM Package Manager) is
used for managing software packages. Its main commands are
rpm and rpmbuild. The powerful RPM
database can be queried by the users, system administrators, and package
builders for detailed information about the installed software.
Essentially, rpm has five modes: installing, uninstalling,
or updating software packages; rebuilding the RPM database; querying RPM
bases or individual RPM archives; integrity checking of packages; and signing
packages. rpmbuild can be used to build installable
packages from pristine sources.
Installable RPM archives are packed in a special binary format. These
archives consist of the program files to install and certain meta information
used during the installation by rpm to configure the
software package or stored in the RPM database for documentation purposes.
RPM archives normally have the extension .rpm.
HINT: Software Development Packages
For a number of packages, the components needed for software development
(libraries, headers, include files, etc.) have been put into separate
packages. These development packages are only needed if you want to compile
software yourself, for example, the most recent GNOME packages. They can be
identified by the name extension -devel, such as the
packages alsa-devel, gimp-devel, and kdelibs3-devel.