RPM front ends
rpm from the console is easy, but
sometimes it is more convenient to work with a graphical interface. In
typical Linux style, there are front-end programs which provide an
interface to the rpm program. Each distribution has a front end, which
will vary. Consult your distribution documentation for information about
the package management tool provided.
Webmin software packages
Webmin also provides a simple Web-based front end for dealing with RPM packages.
Figure 1. Webmin RPM interface
Software can be easily installed erased and queried from here. Software
can also be installed directly from URL sites. If you have rpm enhancement
tools installed such as
apt or the Redhat
Network, Webmin will pick them up and provide an interface to them.
Since Linux is an open source operating system, it comes with all of the development tools required to compile software. While most of the packages that you work with will be provided as binary RPMs, you are not limited to only those packages. If you wish, you can download the raw source code and custom-compile it for your system.
You should be cautious about compiling from source on a production system as it may cause problems or void your support for commercial software which you are using on the system, such as IBM DB2. However, being familiar with compiling from source will allow you to apply patches to software and work with packages ported from other environments. Once you have compiled the code successfully, it is even possible to create your own RPM!