Installing software with only RPM access

This article explains how to install RPMs with yumdownloader on machine where you don't have root access but do have RPM privileges. Without full root access it isn't possible to install applications with the yum command under CentOS. Fortunately, it is possible to use yumdownloader to first fetch the rpm and its dependencies and then pass these to the rpm command.

First use yumdownloader with the --resolved switch. This later switch will fetch the RPMs for any missing dependencies.

yumdownloader --resolve mutt

Next make sure that the rpms are on local partition. The rpm command has a problem with network paths as well as relative paths. In which case you may see the following errors.

error: open of something.rpm failed: failed: No such file or directory

error: open of something.rpm failed: Permission denied

These can fixed by ensuring the rpms are on local drive and the full path is specified to the rpm command. For example:

sudo rpm -ivh /tmp/mutt-1.5.20-2.20091214hg736b6a.el6_1.1.x86_64.rpm

That should install the package with all the off the dependencies!