How to Install RPM Packages on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

The Ubuntu repositories contain thousands of deb packages installed from the Software Center or by using the apt command line. Deb is an installation package format used in all Debian-based distributions, including Ubuntu, but some aren’t available through these methods; alternative sources such as existing RPM repositories may contain these.

RPM package format is used by Red Hat and its forks such as Almalinux, CentOS Stream, and Rocky Linux, to name a few. For Ubuntu users, an application called alien allows you to install RPM packages on Ubuntu or convert an RPM package into a Debian (.deb) file for Ubuntu.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install RPM packages and convert a Debian package into an RPM package on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

Update Ubuntu

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid any conflicts.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install RPM Support

By default, the package needed for RPM support named Alien, funnily enough, is on Ubuntu 22.04’s repository.

To begin the installation, use the following command.

sudo apt install alien -y

Next, confirm the installation and the version installed.

alien --version

Example output:

alien version 8.95.5

Convert/Install RPM to Debian

The first example will be downloading an existing RPM package, converting it to a Debian package, and installing it.

First, download the type of RPM to convert.

Next, use the alien command to convert the package into a .deb package file.

Example only:

sudo alien package.rpm

Example output:

package.deb generated

Note this can take a few minutes, depending on the package size.

The –scripts may be required if the alien command was in case you get the error NOKEY.

Usually, the alien application will relay a message in the terminal if needed.

Example possible error:


Install the package with the dpkg -install command as follows.

sudo apt install ./package.deb

Another method uses the dpkg -i command.

sudo dpkg -i package.deb

Install RPM Directly

Alternatively, a faster method is to install the RPM directly. This can be done using the following command.

sudo alien -i package.rpm

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to convert and install RPM Packages to the Debian package format on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Installing packages should be an absolute last resort using the RPM method, and converting RPM packages to update or replace system packages should never occur. It will likely break or cause instabilities in your Ubuntu system.


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