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|Maximum RPM: Taking the Red Hat Package Manager to the Limit|
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RPM takes most of the work out of removing software from your system, and that's great. As with everything else in life, however, there's a downside. RPM also makes it easy to erase packages that are critical to your system's continued operation. Here are some examples of packages not to erase:
RPM: RPM will happily uninstall itself. No problem — you'll just re-install it with rpm -i… Oops!
Bash: The Bourne-again Shell may not be the shell you use, but certain parts of many Linux systems (like the scripts executed during system startup and shutdown) use
/bin/sh, which is a symbolic link to
/bin/sh, no system!
In many cases, RPM's dependency processing will prevent inadvertent erasures from causing massive problems. However, if you're not sure, use rpm -q to get more information about the package you'd like to erase. 
See Chapter 5 for more information on rpm -q.