Understanding RPM package

All of us install multiple rpms while working on our Linux machines. But do you look at the rpm file

and ever wonder what does those i586, i686 or any other used similar attributes mean?

Let me help you understand a rpm file

For example:

mysql-5.0.95-5.i386.rpm is a RPM file name for 5 release of version 5.0.95 of the MYSQL package built for i386 architecture.

Now apart from the version number what you should concentrate on is the CPU architecture type which the RPM will support and using which it has been built. Because different processors must use different software libraries, have different system calls, and utilize different optimizations, software must be built with the proper version of the compiler compatible with the architecture.

Some of the famous architecture are explained below

Architecture-independent, can run on any architecture
Generic build for a 32-bit x86 system
Sometimes used when building kernels for older x86 processors
Intel® Pentium® II, Intel Pentium III, Intel Pentium 4, AMD® Athlon, and AMD Duron systems (Most RPMs for these architectures are built using the i386 architecture, with the kernel for these architectures being built with the i686 for optimal performance.)
64-bit processors such as AMD Athlon64, AMD Opteron, and Intel EM64T
Intel® Itanium™
64-bit IBM eServer System z
32-bit IBM® POWER, IBM eServer™ pSeries®, and IBM eServer iSeries

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