The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository

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EPEL is a software package repository for CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which is maintained by IBMs subsidiary RedHat through their Fedora Team. It has a lot of "extra" packages the base repositories of those distributions do not have.

EPEL packages are currently available for CentOS, Scientific Linux and RHEL versions 6, 7 and 8 on Intel/AMD x64-64m PowerPC and ARM. The packages are based on packages from Fedora Linux but they are not for Fedora. Note that 32-bit x86 EPEL packages were discontinued with EPEL 7, packages for 32-bit x86 are available for version 6 which will soon be discontinued.

Enabling EPEL

CentOS and RHEL have a package called epel-release. Installing this package with

yum -y install epel-release

as root is enough to enable it.

This will create the two files /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo and /etc/yum.repos.d/epel-testing.repo where the first is for the stable EPEL packages and the latter is for the repositories experimental "testing" packages.

Useful packages that are not in the base repositories such as htop will become available once the epel-release package is installed.

Disabling EPEL can be done by either removing the epel-release package OR by simply changing the line enabled=1 to enabled=0 in /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo. Similarly, enabling the testing packages is done by changing enabled=0 to enabled=1 in /etc/yum.repos.d/epel-testing.repo

Tips

You can check what repositories are enabled by running yum repolist as root.

Links

EPEL's homepage is on the fedoraproject WIKI at fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL.

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