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SecurityPortal.com: Care and Feeding of RPM

Apr 12, 2001, 20:30 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kurt Seifried)

"Stuff". That's how every single one of my weekly articles starts out -- as one word. Then, I usually have an idea and write down a few sentences that summarize it, sometimes along with URL's. It usually sits in my holding bin while I think about it, and when I get energetic enough, or simply bored, I sit down and write the article. Since I can't find my lighter (or cigarettes), I guess procrastinating is out of the question, so here goes."

"I'm always amazed at the lack of articles on topics like RPM and PAM. These are basic systems components and tools that people use every day but which, generally speaking, are poorly understood (if at all). Prepare to be educated."

"RPM is "Red Hat Package Manager" and is currently the most widely used package format for Linux (yes, I know about dpkg and tar packages), with most vendors utilizing it. RPM allows you to easily install, uninstall and query packages and the RPM database for information. Generally speaking, RPM's must be installed as root, which means that RPM's can do anything on your system: install new files, overwrite files, reconfigure system settings, add new users, etc."

"Why is this important? Because many people download RPM's from semi-trusted or untrusted sources and blindly install them."

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