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Installing and removing software packages in Rocky Linux 8

In this tutorial, we show you how to install or remove software packages in Rocky Linux 8 and how to find out in which repository the software can be found.

Follow the steps in this article from command-line as root user, or with sudo.

Installing a package


In Rocky Linux 8, you install packages with the command:

dnf -y install packagename

DNF is a meta package handler with which you can manage packages, for example, or create repositories. It is similar to Yum which was originally used in CentOS and is still present in Rocky Linux 8 installations by default.

By adding -y, you automatically give permission when you are asked for permission to install the relevant package.

Finding out in which package software is included


Do you want to use a command, but do you see a message saying that the command cannot be found? Then you can find out if you can install it by checking if it is part of a package that is included in a repository which you use in Rocky Linux 8. You do this with the command:

dnf whatprovides */nameofcommand

If you want to use netstat, for example, you use the command:

dnf whatprovides */netstat

In addition to repository and/or meta data information, the output will include a section similar to this:

Loaded net-tools-2.0-0.52.20160912git.el8.x86_64 : Basic networking tools 
Repo        : baseos 
Matched from: 
Filename    : /usr/bin/netstat

The first line shows is the package you need, in this case net-tools. Therefore, to use the netstat command, you install net-tools:

dnf -y install net-tools

Finding out in which repository software is included


It may happen that the software you want to install is not included in a repo that you are currently using. In that case, the relevant software cannot be installed. This applies, for example, to a default installation of CentOS when you try to install Fail2Ban, which is part of the EPEL repository.

You can determine whether this is the case by seeing if the software is part of a package included in your current repositories. You use one of the commands for this:

dnf whatprovides */nameofcommand

If you get the message 'No matches found', or you do not see any results with the line Filename: /bin/softwarename, then this means that the required package does not exist, or is part of another repository.

In Linux, the idea is that, for security reasons, you can only search and install software in your own sphere of influence, but not outside of it. So, you have access to repositories that you have installed, but you cannot perform a search in uninstalled repositories. The only option to find out in which repository a package is included if you have not yet installed the repository is to look it up via a search engine such as Google / DuckDuckGo, or, for example, on Gitlab.

Updating installed software packages


You can easily update all installed software in Rocky Linux 8 with the command:

dnf -y update

It's always safest to afterwards reboot your VPS to ensure updates that require a reboot are processed and you won't run into potential surprises at a later date.

Removing installed software packages


Software packages are removed using a single command:

dnf -y remove nameofpackage

Should you have forgotten the package name, you can first look up the package name again using the command:

dnf whatprovides */nameofcommand


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