Linux logo PyRPM

The current location of the PyRPM project is at, and

The newest version can be downloaded from

Please send patches to Florian La Roche, Phil Knirsch, Thomas W├Ârner and Florian Festi.

The cvs source code repository is automatically converted to a git repository at;a=summary. (This is experimental only, automatically converted from a cvs repository.)


PyRPM is an experimental project to look at rpm package management. It is a python module and a collection of scripts that provide similar functionality as rpm, yum and co. It is written from ground up and is implemented only in python. It mainly deals with rpm packages, the rpm database rpmdb in /var/lib/rpm, comps.xml files and yum repositories (called repo data).

The reason for this project was to have a codebase with which we can test and verify rpm, rpmdb and yum itself and experiment with new features and implementations very quickly. Python is Red Hat's in-house defacto standard, so using python to do rapid prototyping was only logical.

The code itself is still very small and modular. We're constantly looking to improve the code, make it more production ready and remove duplicate functionality. Results from this project back to rpm and co are very important for us to improve the current available Linux tools and not rush with only adding another project for this. Next to working on good algorithms and sane implementations, most code is backed up with verify and testing scripts.


The PyRPM project is by no means meant to be a full replacement of rpm or yum. In its current state we feel confident that in general it won't break anything, but the code isn't production quality yet.

The check scripts can be safely used as they won't modify anything on your system, so feel free to use them at your convenience.

We personally have been using the yum replacement very extensively and even used it to update our own systems, but that's not even remotely a guarantee that it will work on your machine. It has only been run by a few people until now.

Using it to set up buildroots on the other hand should be very safe as this all happens in a very contained environment (sandbox principle).

We do have run lots of installation tests into buildroots and then run update tests. We have also updated between releases like going from Fedora Core 1 over to release 2, 3, 4, … Same with enterprise releases. At least 32bit x86 and 64bit x86_64 should be extensively tested, most other archs should also be ok.

Please let us know of any problems you encounter, if possible with some reproducible test cases so we can figure out what might have happened.

Warning about Locking

An additional warning about locks when using the pyrpm tools: When using pyrpmyum you will get the yum lock, but unfortunately due to the nature of how rpm locks the rpmdb we can't do those locks from within python. So while using yum and pyrpmyum concurrently works nicely, don't ever use rpm while running pyrpmyum, it's basically guaranteed to break your rpmdb and/or your system.


Over time quite a few nice things have come out of the project:

Requirements for PyRPM

This is required for PyRPM to work:

There are also optional dependencies like:

PyRPM is currently spending most of its CPU and memory on the list of files that are stored within rpm packages. Those are needed for dependency resolution. Re-writing all in C could improve this again and also allow production usage of it. Another possibility would be to change the repodata to allow for reduced data sets and better algorithms. Currently we move most data lookups to sqlite and try to remove unnecessary data lookups.

Other PyRPM Project Pages

Last updated 2008-02-18 08:02:42 CEST