Enterprise linux extra packages

What’s EPEL, and how do I use it?

Most people know that Fedora is the upstream for major releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). You might also notice that Red Hat ships a smaller package set for RHEL than you’ll find with Fedora, for a number of reasons. What if you’re a Fedora user who also wants ImageMagick or Chromium on your RHEL workstation? You may want to take a look at EPEL.

What is EPEL, and how do I use it with RHEL?

RHEL ships with only a subset of packages that you’ll find in Fedora Linux. This makes sense, because there’s a lot of software in Fedora that isn’t needed in an enterprise environment or falls outside the scope of RHEL. Red Hat maintains and supports the packages in RHEL far longer than the lifespan of a Fedora release, and we select the software we feel is necessary for our customers to be successful in deploying and using RHEL to run their workloads.

But Fedora users sometimes find that they miss this or that application that’s available in Fedora but not through RHEL. So, EPEL was formed. Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a special interest group (SIG) from the Fedora Project that provides a set of additional packages for RHEL (and CentOS, and others) from the Fedora sources.

To get a package into EPEL, it has to be in Fedora first. EPEL follows the Fedora Packaging Guidelines to ensure successful integration, and only includes free and open source software that isn’t patent encumbered. So you won’t find any proprietary software in EPEL or things like multimedia codecs that are restricted by patents, even if software enabling them is under an open source license.

Do you know about Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s latest features and updates?

Is EPEL supported?

Before we get into the «how» we should probably address the question of support. EPEL is supported in the finest open source community tradition. («If it breaks, you get to keep both pieces.») That is to say, EPEL isn’t supported in the sense that RHEL is supported. Like most open source projects (as opposed to enterprise open source), it’s a «we do what we can» arrangement that provides a lot of benefits for users but without the assurance of production readiness or support.

Red Hat doesn’t support the packages in EPEL or offer any SLAs around bugfixes or patches for CVEs. It’s possible, too, that packages in EPEL will «come and go» (to use the project language) over the course of a single RHEL release. It’s possible that updates will require administrator intervention. The EPEL project recommends that users of EPEL subscribe to the epel-announce mailing list to be aware of upcoming issues and to have time to test before the update have any impact.

That doesn’t mean EPEL doesn’t have a place in your environment, just that you should consider where and how you deploy packages from EPEL.

What’s included with EPEL?

EPEL is a selection of packages from Fedora, but only packages that are not in RHEL or its layered products to avoid conflicts. (So, for example, you won’t find a newer version of something in EPEL that already ships with RHEL.) My back-of-napkin math shows about 3,166 packages in EPEL 8, whereas Fedora has nearly 19,000 packages for x86_64 (not counting «noarch» packages).

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The package list for EPEL varies by release and architecture. Packages that are available for, say, EPEL 7 on x86_64 may not be available for EPEL 8 on Power or ARM. You can find links to the package sets on the Fedora Wiki. Packages are not automatically branched from release to release as various maintainers do not want to add their packages until they are ready to do so. This means that packages may take time to enter into a new release like EPEL 8.

Currently EPEL has packages for RHEL 6, RHEL 7, and RHEL 8. The packages in EPEL include things like modules for Python, Perl, Ruby gems, and other extras for other programming languages. You’ll find also utilities like etckeeper , ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick, and the Chromium browser builds. (Not a complete list, of course.)

I want the EPEL. Show me how!

If you are ready to give EPEL a spin, here’s how you can get started. Instructions are on the Fedora Wiki for each release. I’m going to give the commands to get EPEL running on RHEL 8, but if you’re on RHEL 6 or RHEL 7 you can find those instructions on the wiki.

First, the EPEL folks require enabling the CodeReady Linux Builder repo for RHEL 8. This is a repo with some tools you might need to build applications for RHEL (among other things).

This, of course, assumes you have a RHEL 8 machine that is subscribed. After you’ve added these repos, go ahead and install the EPEL RPM:

Now you can check to see which packages are available from EPEL:

If you want one of the packages, just install it normally using yum . So, for example, if you want to install Chromium browser on your RHEL workstation:

That will grab the appropriate packages from EPEL and install them. The -y just tells yum to go ahead and run the operation without having to confirm, if you want to see all the packages that will be installed to get Chromium before installing, omit that from the command.

EPEL is not an official part of the RHEL subscription or an official offering from Red Hat. But it can come in handy for admins and developers who work with RHEL and need a few utilities packaged for RHEL from a source they can feel good about.


How to use Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL)?



  • How to configure a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system to use Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL)?


Important Notice

  • The following information has been provided by Red Hat, but is outside the scope of the posted Service Level Agreements and support procedures.
  • Installing unsupported packages does not necessarily make a system unsupportable by Red Hat Global Support Services
    • However, Red Hat Global Support Services will be unable to support or debug problems with packages not shipped in standard RHEL channels.
  • Installing packages from EPEL is done at the user’s own risk.
  • The EPEL repository is a community supported repository hosted by the Fedora Community project.
  • The EPEL repository is not a part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and does not fall under Red Hat’s Production Support Scope of Coverage. The repository is considered an optional repository and is not tested by Red Hat quality engineers.

Enabling EPEL

  • Follow the directions on the EPEL website to install the epel-release package appropriate to the RHEL version of the system in question.
  • Ensure that you install the EPEL release that corresponds to the RHEL release you are running.
    • EPEL X must be installed on a RHEL X system (where X is 7/8/9 .. will probably continue in this fashion)

If the installation fails with No package epel-release available. , you can install the package directly from http URL, as is also described on the EPEL website.

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NOTE: Please do not confuse EPEL with the new Extras channel/repository in RHEL 7.


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This solution is part of Red Hat’s fast-track publication program, providing a huge library of solutions that Red Hat engineers have created while supporting our customers. To give you the knowledge you need the instant it becomes available, these articles may be presented in a raw and unedited form.


This article should be updated to use yum instead of rpm for the installation command. Using rpm causes the next yum command to gripe thusly:

Warning: RPMDB altered outside of yum.

This site can’t be reached

fedoraproject.org’s server DNS address could not be found. Search Google for fedoraproject org wiki EPEL ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED

Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription- : manager rhel-7-desktop-extras-rpms | 3.8 kB 00:00
rhel-7-desktop-optional-rpms | 3.5 kB 00:00
rhel-7-desktop-rpms | 3.5 kB 00:00
(1/6): rhel-7-desktop-extras-rpms/x86_64/group | 104 B 00:01
(2/6): rhel-7-desktop-extras-rpms/x86_64/primary_db | 8.9 kB 00:00
(3/6): rhel-7-desktop-extras-rpms/x86_64/updateinfo | 4.5 kB 00:02
(4/6): rhel-7-desktop-optional-rpms/7Client/x86_64/group | 1.6 kB 00:01
(5/6): rhel-7-desktop-optional-rpms/7Client/x86_64/updatei | 2.2 MB 00:02
(6/6): rhel-7-desktop-optional-rpms/7Client/x86_64/primary | 9.0 MB 00:06
No package ntfs-3g available. Error: Nothing to do

unable to mount HPFS/NTFS/exFA on rhel 7

Until late 2018, Microsoft did not share it’s IP with Linux. So at that time, things like ntfs-3g wouldn’t be available in various ‘indemnified’ distributions (a real issue for users in countries like German, the UK, the US, et al.).

However, ntfs-3g is now build in EPEL since the change in IP stance. Here is the Fedora Project Koji page, including the EPEL builds for RHEL (.elX) . — https://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=2654

Couldn’t figure out how to enable extra packages so I can install nedit. The article just gives links to other pages that don’t explain exactly how to enable extras for RH 6.

See the Wiki page link in the document, https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL, just above the «How can I use these extra packages?» is the quick start which includes the yum install syntax for 6, 7, and 8 that will install the ‘epel-release’ package reference in the first line of «How can I use these extra packages?» ; «EPEL has an ‘epel-release’ package that includes gpg keys for package signing and repository information. Installing this package for your Enterprise Linux version should allow you to use normal tools such as yum to install packages and their dependencies. «

The instructions for installing the appropriate ‘epel-release’ package is in the quick start section of the wiki.

These solutions only work if you have an internet connected system with access to a repor. Installs of xdrp and tigervnc-server fail because yum cannot reach metadata for epel. Corrective actions REALLY need to take the isolated network owner into consideration.

You can download and install the epel-release package.

$ wget https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm; $ sudo yum install epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

Dear Red Hat, please include the correct material to cover RHEL 8 for this solution.

As per https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/epel/#_el9

subscription-manager repos —enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-9-$(arch)-rpms

dnf install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm

was what I did to get it working

I ran the same above commands and for the first command :

subscription-manager repos —enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-9-$(arch)-rpms», the following message was displayed : » 1 local certificate has been deleted.
Repository ‘codeready-builder-for-rhel-9-x86_64-rpms’ is enabled for this system»

As for the second command, I got the following message :

Public key for epel-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm is not installed
Error: GPG check FAILED».

I wonder what meant «1 local certificate has been deleted» and also wonder why the public key would be missing while it is part of the installation — if I understand correctly the information shown on EPEL at the beginning of this post :
Red Hat article about installing EPEL 9.

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Then, I tried to import the key for EPEL 9 with rpm, doing something similar to that :
Red Hat article on GPG key import with rpm.

This is what I tried :

rpm —import RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-9
error: RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-9: import read failed(2).

Not sure what to do here — one thing I may think to mention is that the OS is configured with a FIPS level crypto-policy, (draft STIG 9 profile).


Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux (EPEL) for CentOS

Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux (or EPEL) is a Fedora Special Interest Group that creates, maintains and manages a high-quality set of additional packages for Enterprise Linux. These packages are made available but not limited to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Oracle Linux.

The developers base these packages on their Fedora counterparts and they make sure that the packages will not conflict or replace packages in base Enterprise Linux distributions. EPEL packages are built much like Fedora with the same infrastructure including the build system, Bugzilla instance, updates manager, mirror manager, and many others.EPEL is a volunteer-based community effort from the Fedora project to create a repository of high-quality add-on packages that complement the Fedora-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and its compatible spinoffs, such as CentOS. As part of the Fedora packaging community, EPEL packages are 100% free/libre open source software (FLOSS).

​Do you want to know how to enable EPEL under CentOS and install packages from it? Read along.

How Can I Use These Extra Packages?

EPEL has an ‘epel-release’ package that includes gpg keys for package signing and repository information. Installing this package for your Enterprise Linux version should allow you to use normal tools such as yum to install packages and their dependencies. By default the stable EPEL repo is enabled, there is also an ‘epel-testing’ repository that contains packages that are not yet deemed stable.How To Install CentOS?

EPEL Repository Installation

Starting from CentOS 7, EPEL release RPM package is available in “extras” repo. Therefore, simply use yum command to set up EPEL repository on these platforms. You can install EPEL by running –

For earlier versions of CentOS, you can use rpm command to download and install an RPM file manually as follows –

To verify your EPEL Repo installation

To verify that EPEL repository has been set up successfully, run the following command to list all available repositories on your system –

How do I list all packages in EPEL repo?

To list all available packages under a repo called epel, enter the following command –

How do I get more info about a package?

To get more info about the package, enter the following command –

How do I install a package?

To install packages the commands are as follows –
To install Bugzilla, for example, use the following command –

How do I install a package specifically from EPEL repo?
To install packages in epel repo only, the commands are as follows –


And, there you have it, a larger number of packages to install from EPEL repository on a CentOS (Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) also). The EPEL is strongly recommended for users of CentOS and RHEL. Add the repo as it provides access to many high-quality and free software packages. Once again, after you have added the repository, you can go ahead and install close to 7000 packages from by using the yum command.

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