Question: How do I view or extract the files that are bundled inside the packages of various operating system. For example, I would like to know how to view (and extract) the content of a rpm, or deb, or depot, or msi file.
Answer: You can use tools like rpm, rpm2cpio, ar, dpkg, tar, swlist, swcopy, lessmsi as explained below.
1. RPM package in Redhat / CentOS / Fedora
Listing the files from a RPM package using rpm -qlp
RPM stands for Red Hat package manager. The following example shows how to view the files available in a RPM package without extracting or installing the rpm package.
$ rpm -qlp ovpc-2.1.10.rpm /usr/src/ovpc/-5.10.0 /usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples /usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/bin /usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/lib /usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/test . . . /usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/pcs
Explanation of the command: rpm -qlp ovpc-2.1.10.rpm
- rpm — command
- q — query the rpm file
- l — list the files in the package
- p — specify the package name
Extracting the files from a RPM package using rpm2cpio and cpio
RPM is a sort of a cpio archive. First, convert the rpm to cpio archive using rpm2cpio command. Next, use cpio command to extract the files from the archive as shown below.
$ rpm2cpio ovpc-2.1.10.rpm | cpio -idmv ./usr/src/ovpc/-5.10.0 ./usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples ./usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/bin ./usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/lib ./usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/examples/test . . . ./usr/src/ovpc/ovpc-2.1.10/pcs $ ls . usr
2. Deb package in Debian
deb is the extension of Debian software package format. *.deb is also used in other distributions that are based on Debian. (for example: Ubuntu uses *.deb)
Listing the files from a debian package using dpkg -c
dpkg is the package manager for debian. So using dpkg command you can list and extract the packages, as shown below.
To view the content of *.deb file:
$ dpkg -c ovpc_1.06.94-3_i386.deb dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:54 ./ dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:54 ./ovpc/ dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:54 ./ovpc/pkg/ dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:54 ./ovpc/pkg/lib/ dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:48 ./ovpc/pkg/lib/header/ -r-xr-xr-x root/root 130 2009-10-29 17:06 ./ovpc/pkg/lib/header/libov.so . . . -r-xr-xr-x root/root 131 2009-10-29 17:06 ./ovpc/pkg/etc/conf dr-xr-xr-x root/root 0 2010-02-25 10:54 ./ovpc/pkg/etc/conf/log.conf
Extracting the files from a debian package using dpkg -x
Use dpkg -x to extract the files from a deb package as shown below.
$ dpkg -x ovpc_1.06.94-3_i386.deb /tmp/ov $ ls /tmp/ov ovpc
DEB files are ar archives, which always contains the three files — debian-binary, control.tar.gz, and data.tar.gz. We can use ar command and tar command to extract and view the files from the deb package, as shown below.
First, extract the content of *.deb archive file using ar command.
$ ar -vx ovpc_1.06.94-3_i386.deb x - debian-binary x - control.tar.gz x - data.tar.gz $
Next, extract the content of data.tar.gz file as shown below.
$ tar -xvzf data.tar.gz ./ ./ovpc/ ./ovpc/pkg/ ./ovpc/pkg/lib/ ./ovpc/pkg/lib/header/ ./ovpc/pkg/lib/header/libov.so . . ./ovpc/pkg/etc/conf ./ovpc/pkg/etc/conf/log.con
3. Depot package in HP-UX
Listing the files from a depot package using tar and swlist
DEPOT file is a HP-UX Software Distributor Catalog Depot file. HP-UX depots are just a tar file, with some additional information as shown below.
$ tar -tf ovcsw_3672.depot OcswServer/MGR/etc/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/OV/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/OV/share/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/OV/share/conf/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/OV/share/conf/OpC/ OcswServer/MGR/etc/opt/OV/share/conf/OpC/opcctrlovw/
swlist is a HP-UX command which is used to display the information about the software. View the content of the depot package as shown below using swlist command.
$ swlist -l file -s /root/ovcsw_3672.depot # Initializing... # Contacting target "osgsw"... # # Target: osgsw:/root/ovcsw_3672.depot # # OcswServer 8.50.000 Ocsw Server product # OcswServer.MGR 9.00.140 Ocs Server Ovw /etc /etc/opt /etc/opt/OV /etc/opt/OV/share /etc/opt/OV/share/conf /etc/opt/OV/share/conf/OpC
Extracting the files from a depot package using swcopy
Swcopy command copies or merges software_selections from a software source to one or more software depot target_selections. Using uncompress option in swcopy, you can extract the files from a depot software package.
$ swcopy -x uncompress_files=true -x enforce_dependencies=false -s /root/ovcsw_3672.depot \* @ /root/extracted/ $ ls /root/extracted MGR catalog osmsw.log $
Since depot files tar files, you can extract using normal tar extraction as shown below.
$ tar -xvf filename
4. MSI in Windows
Microsoft installer is an engine for the installation, maintenance, and removal of software on windows systems.
Listing the files from a MSI package using lessmsi
The utility called lessmsi.exe is used to view the files from the msi packages with out installing. The same utility is also used to extract the msi package. Select the msi which you want to view the content. lessmsi will list the files available in msi.
Extracting the files from a MSI package using msiexec
Windows Installer Tool (Msiexec.exe) is used to extract the files from the MSI package. It can open a MSI package in “Administrator” installation mode, where it can extract the files without performing the install as shown below.
C:\>msiexec /a ovcsw_3672.msi /qb TARGETDIR="C:\ovcsw"
Comments on this entry are closed.
Nice summary, thanks. When I want to take a look at a content of rpm, I usually use Midnight Commander (mc). It knows how to open rpm files; they look like directories and mc allows you to not only to browse cpio archives, but also pre/postinstall scripts, changelogs etc.
Good compilation. Maybe usefull when you’re on a system where you don’t have your favorite tools, but, IMHO, the easiest way to access these things is Midnight Commander (at least for rpm’s, deb’s and tgz).
You can use 7zip to uncompress an MSI Package.
Is there a way of just extracting a particular file from an RPM ? (on Red hat linux)
I have not found a way for this yet.
rpm2cpio | cpio -idmv
will actually extract all the files from the RPM and place it in the current working directory.
To extract a single file from rpm,
rpm2cpio rpmname | cpio -ivd ./absolute path of the file in a RPM
RPM is /tmp/set-ex-5.10.0-1.i486.rpm which has a file called /usr/src/examples/set-5.10.0/ex/newconfig.set
Now go to /tmp directory and execute the following command,
rpm2cpio set-ex-5.10.0-1.i486.rpm | cpio -ivd ./usr/src/examples/set-5.10.0/ex/newconfig.set
File newconfig.set is available in /tmp/usr/src/examples/set-5.10.0/ex/newconfig.set.
What is diff between rpm and deb packages ?
How i make deb and rpm packages if i have make a software ?
Nice article thanks. I searched for the dpkg -x.
On Windows, Orca allows to explore/edit MSI packages, so it is a bit more than just a way to extract files.
Orca is part of the Windows SDK.
I’ve installed kbox on android.
On dpkg,I can’t see options you wrote,but I can see those options on dpkg-deb .
But,I can’t extract it if that file has symlink,for example: ./data/dalvik-cache to /android_root/data/dalvik-cache .
If only to view deb file,we can use ZArchiver on android.