How To: Extract an RPM Package Files Without Installing It

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Data recovery, Howto, Linux, Linux distribution, package management, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Sys admin, Tips last updated October 18, 2006

As most of you may know to how extract a tarballs and/or a zip files. Someone, recently PM me with a question:

Dear nixCraft,

How do I extract an RPM package without installing it on my Fedora Linux or CentOS or RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) Suse Linux?


CentOS user.

Install PHP 5 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 4

Posted on in Categories Howto, lighttpd, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Tips last updated October 18, 2006

It appears that many people or sys admin want to run php 5 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unfortunately Redhat does not provide this package (RPM file) for RHEL. You can download source code and install php 5 from official php site. This requires compiler collection on your system. Download source code and just follow instructions presented in INSTALL or REDME file.

Another option is search and installs PHP 5 packages. You can download x86_64 PHP 5 package here. Use wget command to download these packages and rpm command to install new packages. But first remove old php4 package using rpm -e command.

Alert: This post is outdated. Please use the latest version of RHEL/CentOS v6.x+ for PHP 5.x. The author no longer support php 5 rpm on RHEL 4.x.

However these rpm packages 64 bit so if you are running 32 bit os rebuild RPM file.

Step # 1: Download src rpm

# cd /tmp
# wget
# rpm -ivh php-5.1.4-1.esp1.src.rpm

Step #2: Rebuild RPM for 32 bit RHEL version

# cd /usr/src/redhat/SPECS
# rpmbuild -bb php.spec

It will take some time to compile and rebuild RPM files.

Step #3: Install new php5 RPM file

Remove old php4 rpm. Go to /usr/src/redhat/RPMS directory and install PHP5 RPM files.

Please note that PHP 5 is not official supported by Red Hat on RHEL 4.0. You are using these packages on your own risk 😉

Linux : How to delete file securely

Posted on in Categories File system, Gentoo Linux, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Ubuntu Linux last updated June 22, 2005

Recently we had lot of discussion regarding this issue. How to remove files securely so that it cannot be undeleted. Peter Gutmann paper “Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory” has very good information. Here are some commands/tools available under Debian GNU/Linux (it should work with other Linux distributions) to delete file securely.

srm: Securely remove files or directories

This command is a replacement for rm command. It works under Linux/BSD/UNIX-like OSes. It removes each specified file by overwriting, renaming, and truncating it before unlinking. This prevents other people from undelete or recovering any information about the file from the command line. Because it does lots of operation on file/directory for secure deletion, it also takes lot of time to remove it. Download srm from (RPM file is also available for RPM based Linux distributions)

i) Untar and install the srm:

# ./configure
# make
# make install 

ii) How to use srm?
srm syntax is like rm command. Read man srm. Here is simple example:

$ srm privateinfo.doc

wipe: It is a secure file wiping utility

Download wipe from
i) Untar and install the wipe

# ./configure
# make
# make install

ii) How to use wipe?

$ wipe filename

Read man page of wipe for information.

shred: Delete a file securely, first overwriting it to hide its contents.

It is available on most of Linux distributions including Debian GNU/Linux. To remove file called personalinfo.tar.gz :

$ shred -n 200 -z -u  personalinfo.tar.gz


  • -n: Overwrite N (200) times instead of the default (25)
  • -z: Add a final overwrite with zeros to hide shreddin
  • -u: Truncate and remove file after overwriting

Read the man page of shred(1) for more information. Most of these utilities are not effective (read as useless) only if :

  • File system is log-structured or journaled filesystems, such as JFS, ReiserFS, XFS, Ext3 etc
  • Your filesystems is RAID-based, compressed filesystem etc
  • In addition, file system backups and remote mirrors may contain copies of the file that cannot be removed by these utilities.

See also:

Linux wget: Your Ultimate Command Line Downloader

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, FreeBSD, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, Networking, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Shell scripting, Solaris, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Tuning, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX last updated June 21, 2005

It is a common practice to manage UNIX/Linux/BSD servers remotely over the ssh session. You may need to download download the software or other files for installation. There are a few powerful graphical download manager exits for Linux and UNIX like operating systems:

How to: Extract files from ISO CD images in Linux

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, File system, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Ubuntu Linux last updated April 27, 2004

Under many situations you may need to get a single file/many files from Linux ISO image.

You can mount ISO images via the loop device. You need to use mount command. First login as a root user:

Extract File(s) Under Linux OS

Let us assume that your ISO image name is disk1.iso.

Step # 1: First you need to create a directory /mnt/iso

# mkdir /mnt/iso
# mount -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/iso

Step # 3: Extract file

Now you can easily copy file called file.txt from iso disk image to /tmp directory :

# cd /mnt/iso
# cp file.txt /tmp

Step # 4: Copy foo.rpm from ISO disk image:

# cd /mnt/iso/RedHat/RPMS
# cp foo.rpm /tmp 

Extract File(s) Under Windows XP or Vista Os

Windows do not have in built capability as provided by Linux to extract file. Luckly many third party software exist my favorite is Winimage Download trial version (I’m sure you will love to registered this tiny utility later):

1) Install Winimage software

2) Just double click on Linux ISO file

3) Select the desired file and hit CTRL + X (or from Image menu select extract)

For more information read man pages:

man cp
man mv
man rpm
man mount
man mkdir