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How do I install a src rpm with dnf?

asked 2016-04-30 11:46:04 -0500

Planetar gravatar image

Whenever I try to install a src rpm with dnf, I get an error message that says "Error: Will not install a source rpm package".

For example:

# dnf info gcc.src
Last metadata expiration check: 1:52:25 ago on Sat Apr 30 11:43:51 2016.
Available Packages
Name        : gcc
Arch        : src
Epoch       : 0
Version     : 5.1.1
Release     : 4.fc23
Size        : 78 M
Repo        : fedora-source
Summary     : Various compilers (C, C++, Objective-C, Java, ...)
URL         :
License     : GPLv3+ and GPLv3+ with exceptions and GPLv2+ with exceptions and LGPLv2+ and
            : BSD
Description : The gcc package contains the GNU Compiler Collection version 5.
            : You'll need this package in order to compile C code.

# dnf install gcc.src
Last metadata expiration check: 1:53:05 ago on Sat Apr 30 11:43:51 2016.
Error: Will not install a source rpm package (gcc-5.1.1-4.fc23.src).

I'm on Fedora 23 and have dnf 1.1.8.

I'm wondering what I might be doing wrong. (Since Fedora 23 I haven't been able to use yum; calls to yum just turn into invocations of dnf.)

Surely it cannot be that dnf does not permit the user to have the sources?

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1 Answer

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answered 2016-05-02 08:37:25 -0500

jmt gravatar image

Some of these things you might already know, but I'm trying to write an answer that would benefit all readers.

You should install source packages as a non-root user. In order to do this, you need to install the package rpmdevtools. To build a source tree from an rpm package you also need rpm-build.

Download the source package:

dnf download --source gcc

If you have not already done so, create a directory hierarchy for rpm development:


This will create a directory tree under ~/rpmbuild although it is not strictly necessary - the required directories are created one by one by other commands.

Then you can install the source package:

rpm -ivh gcc-5.3.1-6.fc23.src.rpm

At this point you probably don't have the necessary dependencies installed and without them the following steps won't work. So at this point as a root user or sudo install the missing dependencies:

sudo dnf builddep gcc

Check out the spec file name in ~/rpmbuild/SPECS and then unpack sources and apply patches:

rpmbuild -bp ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/gcc.spec

Take a look at various options of the rpmbuild command with rpmbuild --help or man rpmbuild

Also check out the available documentation: rpm -qd rpm-build and rpm -qd rpmdevtools

Of course you can do all this a the root user, but it is not recommended.

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And finally to install, do something like sudo dnf install -y ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/*.rpm

user02202017 gravatar imageuser02202017 ( 2017-03-11 06:25:37 -0500 )edit

If you did rpmbuild -bp ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/gcc.spec that did a

build through %prep (unpack sources and apply patches) from <specfile>

but if you want to compile without re-running the %prep step(where re-running it implies removing the already unpacked sources that the -bp step above just did), you'd do rpmbuild -bc --noprep ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/gcc.spec which does

build through %build (%prep, then compile) from <specfile>

constantoverride gravatar imageconstantoverride ( 2018-08-16 21:35:33 -0500 )edit

But what you actually want is the rpm, that is

build binary package only from <specfile>

which means you'd do rpmbuild -bb --noprep --nobuild (assuming you already did the -bp and -bc above, for which the --noprep and --nobuild here are supposed to skip for you, else if you don't specify them, everything is cleaned and rebuild from %prep then %build stages, so having ran -bp and -bc above would've been useless, assuming you didn't use ccache which if used would've been primed)

constantoverride gravatar imageconstantoverride ( 2018-08-16 21:36:16 -0500 )edit

Note: sudo dnf install rpmdevtools already installs the rpm-build package also (on Fedora 28, at least)

constantoverride gravatar imageconstantoverride ( 2018-08-16 21:46:31 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-04-30 11:46:04 -0500

Seen: 21,469 times

Last updated: May 02 '16