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nameis a name describing the packaged software.
versionis the version of the packaged software.
releaseis the number of times this version of the software has been packaged.
architectureis a shorthand name describing the type of computer hardware the packaged software is meant to run on. It may also be the string
nosrc. Both of these strings indicate the file is an RPM source package. The
nosrcstring means that the file contains only package building files, while the
srcstring means the file contains the necessary package building files and the software's source code.
A few notes are in order. Normally, the package name is taken verbatim
from the packaged software's name. Occasionally, this approach won't work
— usually this occurs when the software is split into multiple
"subpackages," each supporting a different set of functions. An example
of this situation would be the way
packaged on Red Hat Linux Linux. The package incorporating
ncurses basic functionality was called
ncurses, while the package incorporating those parts
ncurses' program development functionality was
The version number is normally taken verbatim from the package's version.
The only restriction placed on the version is that it cannot contain a
The release can be thought of as the package's version. Traditionally it is a number, starting at 1, that shows how many times the packaged software, at a given version, has been built. This is tradition and not a restriction, however. Like the version number, the only restriction is that dashes are not allowed.
The architecture specifier is a string that indicates what hardware the package has been built for. There are a number of architectures defined:
i386— The Intel x86 family of microprocessors, starting with the 80386.
alpha— The Digital Alpha/AXP series of microprocessors.
sparc— Sun Microsystem's SPARC series of chips.
mips— MIPS Technologies' processors.
ppc— The Power PC microprocessor family.
m68k— Motorola's 68000 series of CISC microprocessors.
SGI— Equivalent to "MIPS".
This list will almost certainly change. For the most up-to-date list,
please refer to the file
/usr/lib/rpmrc. It contains
information used internally by RPM, including a list of architectures and
equivalent code numbers.