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7.3.5. urpmi and RpmDrake

Mandrake provides a set of software similar to the combination of up2date and Red Hat Network or current that can be used with the Mandrake Linux distribution. Links to the source code for the Mandrake applications can be found at This suite of applications is typically referred to as urpmi and includes both the urpmi command and several helper applications. urpmi itself is a command that acts as a wrapper around the rpm command. When given the name of a package to install, urpmi determines what dependencies, if any, required by the application are not already resolved and offers to install the packages necessary to fulfill those dependencies.
When installing packages, urpmi can install from a variety of sources: FTP repositories, Web servers, local or NFS directories, and removable media such as CD-ROMs. The helper application urpmi.addmedia is used to add package sources, and the corresponding utility urpmi.removemedia is used to remove package sources no longer desired.
Mandrake’s urpmi program includes one very handy feature. It comes with an autoirpm helper utility that can be used to configure the system to install packages on demand. This is done by running the command autoirpm.update-all, an application that scans all packages available for installation via urpmi. For every package available through urpmi, autoirpm.update-all determines what executable programs it provides, and it creates a symbolic link from that executable’s name to the autoirpm script. Attempting to execute such a symbolic link executes autoirpm, which in turn automatically uses urpmi to install the associated package. The result: on-demand installation of packages when users on the system attempt to execute the programs that those packages provide.
Two different interfaces are available for urpmi. The urpmi command starts up urpmi in command-line mode, and the gurpmi command (or urpmi --X) starts urpmi in a graphical X-based mode. In addition, Mandrake provides a more full-featured graphical application: RpmDrake. RpmDrake provides the same package-management capabilities as urpmi, including the capability to install all required dependencies whenever installing any new packages.