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How to install EPEL on RHEL and CentOS Stream

Get a wider range of software choices than what's in the official Linux repositories by installing Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL).
wrapped packages on a doorstep

For a Linux user, a software repository (a "repo" for short) is the quickest and easiest way to discover and install new applications. Linux projects like Fedora tend to have vast repositories because part of the value of a community-supported distribution is the ability and willingness to test up-and-coming application releases.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is usually selected for its reliability and stability, tends to be strict about what makes it into its repositories because quality is paramount. If your RHEL server is running mission-critical applications, then using tried and tested software from official repositories is a valuable strategy.

However, there's more software out there than what's in the official repositories, and sometimes it's useful to have access to a wider range of choices, especially during development and testing, not to mention just general everyday use.

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What is EPEL

Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a repository maintained by Fedora packagers for use with CentOS Stream and RHEL. It's an admittedly odd assortment of packages, probably mostly based on what other CentOS Stream and RHEL admins happen to be using. Personally, I find it indispensable whether it's because I want to install the excellent inxi command or the entire KDE Plasma Desktop.

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Install EPEL in 3 easy steps

  1. First, enable the CodeReady Linux Builder repository. You already have access to it; you just need to enable it.

    On CentOS Stream:

    $ sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled crb

    On RHEL:

    $ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-9-$(arch)-rpms
  2. Next, install the EPEL RPM.

    On CentOS Stream:

    $ sudo dnf install epel-release epel-next-release

    On RHEL:

    $ sudo dnf install \
  3. That's it! There isn't actually a third step, so now you can install software from EPEL. For example, here's how to install inxi, a handy command to gather system stats:

    $ sudo dnf install inxi

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EPEL for better living

The EPEL repository is a great convenience repo to help you get the software you may not necessarily need but definitely want. The first thing I installed on my RHEL laptop was EPEL, and I love the applications it makes available to me.

Try EPEL out, and if you package applications, consider contributing to the repository, so others can benefit from your hard work!

Topics:   Linux   Software  
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Seth Kenlon

Seth Kenlon is a UNIX geek and free software enthusiast. More about me

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