How to set up EPEL repository on CentOS

If you are using CentOS or RHEL, it is strongly recommended that you configure EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) repository on your system. EPEL is a community effort to create a repository of high-quality add-on free software packages for RHEL-based distributions. Once you set up EPEL repository, you can use yum command to install any of close to 7,000 EPEL packages.

In order to enable EPEL repository on your CentOS system, you need to check CentOS version. To do that, run the following command.

$ cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 6.3 (Final)

Then install a corresponding EPEL release RPM package as follows. Note that the EPEL release RPM does not depend on the underlying processor architecture (e.g., 32-bit/64-bit x86, ppc, sparc, alpha, etc), so no need to pay attention to processor architecture difference.

Set up EPEL on CentOS 7

Starting from CentOS 7, EPEL release RPM package is available in "extras" repo. Therefore, simply use yum command to set up EPEL repository on these platforms:

$ sudo yum install epel-release

Set up EPEL on CentOS 6 or Earlier

For earlier versions of CentOS, you can use rpm command to download and install a RPM file manually as follows.

For CentOS/RHEL 6.*:

$ sudo rpm -Uvh http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora-epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

For CentOS/RHEL 5.*:

$ sudo rpm -Uvh http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora-epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm

During installation, you may see the following warning, which indicates that EPEL's GPG key is missing.

warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.3TKM2G: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 0608b895: NOKEY

The EPEL's official GPG key is found in /etc/pki/rpm-gpg. Go ahead and import the GPG key as follows.

$ sudo sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-6 (for CentOS 6)
$ sudo sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-7 (for CentOS 7)

To verify that EPEL repository has been set up successfully, run the following command to list all available repositories on your system.

$ yum repolist

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

4 thoughts on “How to set up EPEL repository on CentOS

  1. The packages in the EPEL repository are NOT Freeware. They are Free Software.

    Not one of them is in anyway Proprietary, they are all Open Source Software licensed under a Free Software License.

    Freeware is Proprietary Software that is released under a Proprietary EULA, no source code is ever made available. The Free in freeware relates to the amount of money charged, which is to say none. This is quite different from the case with Free Software, which while it is typicalally made available at no monetary cost, is Free because the license associated with it transfers rights to the user of the software, rather than taking them away, as a proprietary license does.

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