EPEL or Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux is an extensive, third-party software repository resource. It’s maintained by the people behind the Fedora project and is an excellent resource for those using CentOS or RedHat Enterprise Linux in a production environment.
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux isn’t set up by default on CentOS or RHEL because, though it’s open source, it contains software that might not conform to free software standards, for one reason or another.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to enable EPEL on CentOS/RedHat Enterprise Linux. We’ll also go over some other ways to get software on these operating systems that aren’t provided through the included software repositories.
Install EPEL on CentOS/RHEL server (terminal)
The majority of people using CentOS or RedHat Enterprise Linux are going to be running servers. It’s the nature of Linux in the enterprise space, so it’s understandable. For this reason, we’ll show you how to get it going on a server, through the command-line.
To start the installation, launch a terminal window and log into your CentOS or RHEL server over SSH or sit down at it and access the console remotely and follow the step-by-step instructions below that match the release of CentOS or RHEL you’re currently running.
Step 1: Using the su command, log into the Root account on your system. Alternatively, access an elevated terminal window using sudo -s if Root is shut off.
Step 2: Assuming the wget command is already installed on your Linux system, use it to download the latest EPEL RPM package to the server.
Step 3: With the Yum package manager, set up the EPEL 7 release RPM on the system, so that the repo will be up and running on RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.
Step 4: Using the subscription-manager tool, subscribe your RHEL 7 system to the “optional,” “extras,” and “HA” software repositories, to ensure your system will get RPM packages that EPEL doesn’t provide.
subscription-manager repos --enable "rhel-*-optional-rpms" --enable "rhel-*-extras-rpms" --enable "rhel-ha-for-rhel-*-server-rpms"
Step 1: Start by transferring the command-line from a non-root user to the Root account using the su command. Or, if it’s not possible to access the Root account, gain an elevated shell with the sudo -s command.
Step 2: Install the wget downloader program (if it’s not already on your CentOS 7 system). Then, use it to download the latest release of the EPEL RPM file.
Step 3: Now that the download is completed, use the Yum package manager to install EPEL on CentOS 7.
yum install epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
Step 1: Log into the command-line with the Root account, using su. Alternatively, access an elevated terminal shell with the sudo -s command, if Root is shut off on your system.
Step 2: Install the wget downloader app on RHEL6, if you do not already have it. After that, use it to grab the latest release of EPEL on your system quickly.
Step 3: In the command-line, use the Yum package manager to install EPEL version 6 to your RHEL 6 system.
yum install epel-release-latest-6.noarch.rpm
Step 1: The first step in enabling EPEL 6 on CentOS 6 is to gain Root access in the Linux command-line. To do this, log into the Root account with the su command. Or, use the sudo -s command, if your CentOS 6 system has the Root account shut off for security reasons.
Step 2: Make sure the wget download program is set up on your system. After that, enter the command below to automatically download the latest release of EPEL 6 for CentOS 6.
Step 3: In the Root terminal, use the Yum package manager to install the EPEL 6 RPM file you recently downloaded.
yum install epel-release-latest-6.noarch.rpm
Install EPEL on CentOS/RHEL desktop (GUI)
Using CentOS or RedHat Enterprise Linux as a workstation and need access to the software that EPEL provides? Here’s how to get it working.
Step 1: Using your favorite web browser, head over to the EPEL page on the Fedora Project Wiki website.
Step 2: Scroll through the page and look for the release you need. For CentOS 7/RHEL 7, click on the link that says “epel-release-latest-7”. For CentOS 6, grab “epel-release-latest-6”.
Step 3: Launch the file manager on your CentOS/RHEL workstation and navigate to the “Downloads” folder. Then, locate the EPEL release RPM you downloaded and double-click on it with the mouse to open it up with the default GUI RPM installation tool on your system.
Step 4: Follow the prompts in Gnome Software, KDE Discover, or whatever GUI RPM package installer you use to install the EPEL package on your CentOS or RHEL workstation.