Adding Third-Party Repositories to CentOS
Desktop Training - Linux Newbie

Adding Third-Party Repositories to CentOS. . .

. . .and other Red Hat-derived distros


Even if you're new to the World of Linux, you've no doubt heard of Red Hat, and of its legendary stability and security. But, since Red Hat's target audience is large enterprises with very deep pockets, you can't get a copy for your desktop. That's where the magic of Open Source comes in.

Since Linux is licensed under the GPL, Red Hat are required to make their source code available to the public free-of-charge. Anybody who wants to, and who has the technical ability, can download the source code and compile it into their own distro. (They just have to be sure to remove all Red Hat branding before releasing it to the public.) The best known of the Red Hat-derived distros is CentOS Linux, but there are other alternatives, such as StartCom Linux, Whitebox Linux, and Scientific Linux.

If you browse through the package repositories for any of these distros, you'll find that they're lacking a lot of software that is available with other distros. Where other distros will provide the means to play .mp3 or Windows Media files, the Red Hat-derived distro's don't. Things that you might need for setting up an enterprise-grade server, like Heartbeat and OpenVPN, are also missing. Fortunately, there's an easy solution for both scenarios. Just add a third-party repository to your repository list.

The best one that we've found is at Dag Wieer's RPMForge. On the FAQ page, you'll find commands that will install the repository version that's appropriate for your particular distro. They're all labeled as "Red Hat", but they'll still work for the derivatives. So, if you're running CentOS 5 or StartCom 5, just copy and paste the Red Hat Enterprise 5 command into your command-line terminal. (Likewise, use the Red Hat Enterprise 4 command if you're still running CentOS 4 or StartCom 4.)


Dag Wieers rpmforge

When you open YUM Extender, you'll see "rpmforge" listed as one of your repository choices. You can now install an RPMForge package the same as you'd install one from the official distro repositories.

Yum Extender with RPMForge