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
Description
noarch
Architecture-independent, can run on any architecture
i386
Generic build for a 32-bit x86 system
i586
Sometimes used when building kernels for older x86 processors
i686
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.)
x86_64
64-bit processors such as AMD Athlon64, AMD Opteron, and Intel EM64T
ia64
Intel® Itanium™
s390x
64-bit IBM eServer System z
ppc
32-bit IBM® POWER, IBM eServer™ pSeries®, and IBM eServer iSeries

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