How to Install RPM Packages on Ubuntu

March 28, 2024


RPM is a package format used by Red Hat-based derivatives like Rocky Linux, CentOS, RHEL, or Fedora. The name comes from the RPM Package Manager (RPM), a free and open-source package management system for installing, uninstalling, and managing software packages in Linux.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install .rpm packages on Ubuntu.

How to install RPM packages on Ubuntu - a tutorial.


  • A user account with root privileges.
  • Access to the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T).
  • A working internet connection.

Convert and Install an RPM Package on Ubuntu

This section shows the steps for converting an .rpm package to a .deb package and then installing it. However, note that when you convert an .rpm package to install it on Ubuntu, you may encounter dependency and compatibility issues. An issue may happen because the package manager is unable to resolve the software dependencies properly and because the package was not originally intended for a Debian system.

Depending on which software you want to install and the dependencies it requires, you can manually resolve the dependencies by installing the required packages separately using Ubuntu's apt package manager.

Follow the steps below to convert and install RPM packages using the alien utility.

Note: Learn the difference between apt and snap, two package managers for Ubuntu.

Step 1: Install Alien Package

Alien is a useful tool that facilitates conversions between Red Hat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tsz, and Solaris pkg file formats. Follow the steps below to install alien:

1. Update your package repository information to get the latest program version:

sudo apt update

2. Install the alien conversion utility using the command below:

sudo apt install alien -y

Wait for the process to finish.

Step 2: Convert .rpm Files to .deb Format

After installing the alien utility, you can convert .rpm files to the .deb format. Follow the steps below:

1. Download the .rpm package for the software you want to install. Make sure to use a trusted source for your download.

2. Open the terminal and use the cd command to move to the directory where you saved the .rpm file.

3. Use the syntax below to convert the RPM file and install it:

sudo alien [package_name].rpm

Replace [package_name] with the full name of the package you want to convert. You can list the contents of the directory with the ls command and copy the package name for the command above. For example:

Converting the .rpm package to a .deb package in Ubuntu using the alien utility.

The command instructs alien to initiate the process of converting the .rpm file to a .deb file. Wait for the process to complete.

Note: You need to log in as a user with sudo access to install packages on Ubuntu.

Step 3: Install the converted .rpm package on Ubuntu

Once the conversion has run its course, use the following syntax to install the .deb package:

sudo dpkg -i [package_name].deb

Replace [package_name] with the actual name of the converted package. For example:

Installing a converted .rpm file on Ubuntu.

You have now successfully installed a converted .rpm file on Ubuntu.

Install .rpm Package Directly on Ubuntu

You can also directly install .rpm packages on Ubuntu without previously converting them. However, you need to have installed the alien tool mentioned in the previous section.

Warning: This command can lead to serious compatibility issues if you attempt to run it with important system packages since RPM was not developed for Debian-based distributions.

The syntax for installing .rpm packages directly is:

sudo alien -i [package_name].rpm

For example:

Installing an .rpm file on Ubuntu without conversion.

The command installs the package on your system.


By following the tutorial, you can install an RPM package on Ubuntu. However, be aware that installing packages that were not originally meant for your system can cause compatibility issues, especially if you are updating essential system packages. In that case, a better option would be to use Ubuntu repositories or adequate alternative packages.

Next, check out our tutorial for crucial Linux commands and download a cheat sheet, or see how to install and use winget, a Linux-style Windows package manager.

Was this article helpful?
Vladimir Kaplarevic
Vladimir is a resident Tech Writer at phoenixNAP. He has more than 7 years of experience in implementing e-commerce and online payment solutions with various global IT services providers. His articles aim to instill a passion for innovative technologies in others by providing practical advice and using an engaging writing style.
Next you should read
How to Fix add-apt-repository command not found on Ubuntu & Debian
March 21, 2024

This guide shows you how to fix the 'add-apt-repository command not found' error in Ubuntu. This specific...
Read more
How to List Installed Packages on Ubuntu
March 9, 2022

Having a precise list of installed packages helps system admins maintain, replicate, and reinstall systems...
Read more
How to Install an RPM File On Linux OS (CentOS, RHEL, & Fedora)
February 8, 2024

RPM Package Manager (RPM) is a free and open-source package management system. RPM makes software...
Read more
How to use apt Package Manager on Ubuntu Linux
January 7, 2019

In Linux, special tools were developed for managing applications. Application software for Linux typically...
Read more