Silly Yum Tricks: whatprovides, groups & repolist

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Mattias Geniar, February 07, 2011

Follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar

These are a few I’ve only learned recently.

yum (what)provides

Ever needed to find out in which package a certain binary or file resides? The whatprovides option lets you do so. Let’s assume you’re looking for the package that contains ‘ab’ (the Apache Benchmark).

[root@dev ~]# yum whatprovides */ab
httpd-2.2.3-43.el5.centos.x86_64 : Apache HTTP Server
Repo        : base
Matched from:
Filename    : /usr/bin/ab

It’s important to do the search for ‘*/ab’ (including the star & dash), or you won’t find anything. Now you know you need to install the ‘httpd-2.2.3-43’ package to get it.

This one gets all credits to Rackerhacker!

yum grouplist, groupinfo & groupinstall

Say you’re preparing a system to build your own RPM packages or compile your own tools. I previously just ran a “yum install ” for each package that I would need, but you can make this easier.

Via grouplist you list all grouped packages provided by yum.

[root@dev ~]# yum grouplist
Installed Groups:

Available Groups:
Development Libraries
Development Tools

If your’re interested to know what’s in the “Development Tools” group, you can run a yum groupinfo.

[root@dev ~]# yum groupinfo "Development Tools"
Group: Development Tools
Description: These tools include core development tools such as automake, gcc, perl, python, and debuggers.
Mandatory Packages:

Default Packages:

Optional Packages:

And if that’s what you need, you install it.

[root@dev ~]# yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

yum repolist

Knowing which repositories are enabled for yum, could mean checking out the files in /etc/yum.repos.d/*.repo, or it could be as simple as this.

[root@dev ~]# yum repolist
repo id                 repo name                                          status
addons                  CentOS-5 - Addons                                  enabled:     0
base                    CentOS-5 - Base                                    enabled: 3,434
epel                    Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 5 - x86_64     enabled: 6,192
extras                  CentOS-5 - Extras                                  enabled:   297
updates                 CentOS-5 - Updates                                 enabled: 1,135

repolist: 11,069

Feels easier that running through those files, personally.

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