Yum command to download rpm file without installing in linux system

In this tutorial,we will learn how to use yum command to download rpm file without installing in linux system.It was before RHEL 5 arrival, when I used to download the source rpm packages by using up2date -d package-name

Now things are changed,in Red Hat based Operating System above version 5.x . We use the yum command for package management.

In this post,we are sharing two methods to download RPM packages using yum command.

How to download rpm files by using yum command without installing in linux system

We generally use two ways.
(1) By using downloadonly plugin
(2) By using yumdownloader command

Method 1: By using downloadonly plugin with yum

We will first install downloadonly plugin.

To install package in RHEL6.x /CentOS 6.x,use below given command

yum install yum-plugin-downloadonly

To install package in RHEL5.x /CentOS 5.x,use below given command

yum install yum-downloadonly

After installation get completed,you can find two new options in yum command
Run the command yum --help for more information.

Downloadonly Plugin Options:

(1) --downloadonly : don’t update, just download

(2) --downloaddir=/path/to/directory : specifies an alternate directory to store packages


(1) The downloadonly plugin can be enable/disable from /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/downloadonly.conf file. To enable the downloadonly, in downloadonly.conf file confirm “enabled=1” (to disable “enabled=0”)

(2) Without using –downloaddir option,files are saved in by-default path /var/cache/yum/. Further from this path,you have to change directory into OS-architecture/channel/package-directory

Example. In this eg. path is /var/cache/yum/x86_64/6/base/packages/ (Reference from CentOS 6.5,arch:x86_64)

[root@localhost ~]# ls -l /var/cache/yum/x86_64/6/base/packages/
total 152
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 154576 Mar  1  2013 vsftpd-2.2.2-11.el6_4.1.x86_64.rpm
[root@localhost ~]#

(3) This is not applicable to “yum groupinstall”.It is applicable to “yum install” and “yum update”.Whereas, you can use “yum groupinfo” to check the packges in a specific group

(4) By-default it downloads latest available package from yum repository.To download particular package,use the full package name.(example- vsftpd-2.2.2-11.el6)

How to download rpm file by using downloadonly plugin

After installing downloadonly plugin,we are ready to download rpm package.

Example: In this we are downloading vsftpd.By-default it will download to /var/cache/yum directory

yum install --downloadonly vsftpd

Check the path in dir /var/cache/yum . (After this directory path,the location of downloaded package may be differ as per Operating System Version and architecture)


[root@localhost ~]# ls -l /var/cache/yum/x86_64/6/base/packages/
total 152
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 154576 Mar  1  2013 vsftpd-2.2.2-11.el6_4.1.x86_64.rpm
[root@localhost ~]# 

How to download rpm file in specific directory by using downloadonly plugin

To download rpm file in specific directory, we will use option –downloaddir along with –downloadonly

Example: In this eg. we are creating new directory called packages, for downloading rpm into it.You can specify to any other accessible pre exist directory(like /opt , /tmp , user’s home directory) . Specify the path of destination directory in –downloaddir option

mkdir -p ~/packages
yum install --downloadonly --downloaddir=~/packages wget

Check the file,in specified directory

[root@localhost ~]# ls -l ~/packages/
total 636
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 494344 Feb 11 16:24 wget-1.12-1.11.el6_5.x86_64.rpm
[root@localhost ~]# 

Method 2: Using yumdownloader for downloading rpm files without installing it in linux system

By using yumdownloader,we can also download rpm packages from yum repositories without installng it.The yumdownloader command has lots of option.We will specify only few ,which are frequently we use.

With yumdownloader command,the package will be downloaded into the current path of user. (See given below examples)

Install yum-utils package.After installation ,we can use the yumdownloader command

yum install yum-utils

Download rpm packages with yumdownloader command

Syntax :

yumdownloader package-name

Example: In below given example,we have downloaded the package called zip . With ls command, we checked the downloaded file and its location.

[root@localhost ~]# yumdownloader zip
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: centosmirror.go4hosting.in
 * extras: centosmirror.go4hosting.in
 * updates: centosmirror.go4hosting.in
zip-3.0-1.el6.x86_64.rpm                                                     | 260 kB     00:00     
[root@localhost ~]# 
[root@localhost ~]# ls -lhrt zip-3.0-1.el6.x86_64.rpm 
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 260K Jul  3  2011 zip-3.0-1.el6.x86_64.rpm
[root@localhost ~]# 
[root@localhost ~]#  

Note: yumdownloader command has many option,you can check these option by command yumdownloader --help

[root@localhost ~]# yumdownloader --help
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Usage: "yumdownloader [options] package1 [package2] [package..]

  Plugin Options:

  Yum Base Options:
    -h, --help          show this help message and exit
    -t, --tolerant      be tolerant of errors
    -C, --cacheonly     run entirely from system cache, don't update cache
    -c [config file], --config=[config file]
                        config file location
    -R [minutes], --randomwait=[minutes]
                        maximum command wait time
    -d [debug level], --debuglevel=[debug level]
                        debugging output level
    --showduplicates    show duplicates, in repos, in list/search commands
    -e [error level], --errorlevel=[error level]
                        error output level
    --rpmverbosity=[debug level name]
                        debugging output level for rpm
    -q, --quiet         quiet operation
    -v, --verbose       verbose operation
    -y, --assumeyes     answer yes for all questions
    --version           show Yum version and exit
                        set install root
                        enable one or more repositories (wildcards allowed)
                        disable one or more repositories (wildcards allowed)
    -x [package], --exclude=[package]
                        exclude package(s) by name or glob
                        disable exclude from main, for a repo or for
    --obsoletes         enable obsoletes processing during updates
    --noplugins         disable Yum plugins
    --nogpgcheck        disable gpg signature checking
                        disable plugins by name
                        enable plugins by name
    --skip-broken       skip packages with depsolving problems
    --color=COLOR       control whether color is used
                        set value of $releasever in yum config and repo files
    --setopt=SETOPTS    set arbitrary config and repo options

  yumdownloader options:
    --destdir=DESTDIR   destination directory (defaults to current directory)
    --urls              just list the urls it would download instead of
    --resolve           resolve dependencies and download required packages
    --source            operate on source packages
                        only download packages of certain architecture(s)
[root@localhost ~]#

Example from my real time experience:

We got a server which was facing low bandwidth problem because of ISP networking issue.
Next day we had Outage for System update including kernel upgrade.Outage period was for 1 hour only.
As per the download speed we were getting,it was not possible to finish the task within 1 hour.Because yum update first download the package and later update into the system.

A day before planned outage,we first downloaded all the rpm packages into the linux system ,into a specific directory with the help of downloadonly method.

Next day,during planned outage,we installed the packages with rpm command.Due to kernel upgrade we also rebooted the server within 1 hour outage time.And task was successfully completed.

If you have any stories,would like to share with us.Write down in comments,it helps other linux users.

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