Installing an RPM program

If you have an rpm file for a package you wish to install, and if you cannot find a .deb debian package in any of the Ubuntu repositories or elsewhere, you can use the alien package converter application to install the .rpm file.

Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it.

Despite the large version number, alien is still (and will probably always be) rather experimental software. It has been used by many people for many years, but there are still many bugs and limitations.

Alien should not be used to replace important system packages, like sysvinit, shared libraries, or other things that are essential for the functioning of your system. Many of these packages are set up differently by Debian and Red Hat, and packages from the different distributions cannot be used interchangably. In general, if you can’t uninstall the package without breaking your system, don’t try to replace it with an alien version.

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Instructions for Installing RPM Files Using Alien

Installing Alien

You can install alien itself from the Ubuntu Universe repository by adding the repository to your list of sources and doing:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install alien

Installing the .rpm file

To install the .rpm file, you first need to convert it to a .deb file which can be installed on Ubuntu.
I assume that you downloaded the package to your Desktop (~/Desktop is the directory)
You can convert the .rpm to a .deb by using the following commands.
$cd ~/Desktop
-This will change the directory to your desktop, where you have the .rpm file.

$sudo alien -k name-of-rpm-file.rpm
- This will convert the .rpm to a .deb.
- The “-k” will keep the version number. Otherwise alien adds a “1″ to the version number.

$sudo dpkg -i name-of-deb-file.deb
- This will install the .deb package

Try reading the alien manpage for more details on how to convert other kinds of packages and the options available.

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