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Where to Go from Here

There is a lot more you can do with the RPM library; you're limited only by your imagination. The best way to get started is to follow the examples in this chapter and then try out some RPM programs on your own. After working with the RPM library for a while, you can delve into other RPM topics.
The RPM Web site, at, has most of the available documentation on the RPM system. This site also includes official RPM released software.
One of the best ways to help find out about how to perform RPM tasks is to look at the source code for the rpm program itself. For this, download the rpm-src source RPM, too. To see the rpm command-line interface functions in action, look especially at tools/rpmcache.c and tools/rpmgraph.c, two relatively short RPM files that show how to take advantage of a number of short cuts. The source code for the Python and Perl bindings can also provide extra hints about the purposes of the RPM API calls.
The RPM Web site also has a cross-referenced set of HTML pages on the RPM programming API. The pages for version 4.1 of RPM are available at A good starting page is, which lists a number of modules within the overall RPM library. This extra level of organization can help you locate the functions you need.