How to enable EPEL repository?

What’s an ‘EPEL repository’?

The EPEL repository is an additional package repository that provides easy to install packages for commonly used software. The EPEL repository is managed by the EPEL group, which is a Special Interest Group within the Fedora Project. ‘EPEL’ stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux.

The EPEL group creates, maintains and manages a high quality set of additional packages. These packages may be software not included in the core repository, or even updates which haven’t been provided yet.

The EPEL repository can be used and enabled on the following Linux Distributions:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
  • Fedora
  • CentOS
  • Scientific Linux
  • Oracle Linux

Enabling the EPEL repo

Enabling the EPEL repo will differ slightly depending on which OS you are enabling it from. Overall the installation process for EPEL should be pretty straight forward, there are some distros that make it even easier though! At Liquid Web the only distributions that this will apply to are: CentOS and Fedora; however we’ll also cover the process for RHEL.

Pre-flight Check:

  • These instructions were created with Liquid Web servers in mind.
  • Root level command line access via SSH will be necessary to follow along.

Installing EPEL on CentOS via yum

By far CentOS is the easiest distro to install EPEL on. The CentOS distribution includes a repo called ‘CentOS Extras’ by default. Within this repo users can find a EPEL package, so in this case enabling EPEL is as easy as installing any other package.

yum install epel-release
That’s it, it’s really that simple. If for some reason your version of CentOS is missing the CentOS Extras repo necesary for this to work you can follow the directions below.

Installing EPEL on RHEL/Fedora/CentOS/etc

If you are running a different supported distribution you can install the EPEL rep with the following method. This method should also work on CentOS if you’d like to do a manual install. First start by running the following command:

cd /tmp

Then download the rpm file for installation. The file download depends on what OS version you are using, select from the list bellow:

  • RHEL 7/Fedora 19-25/CentOS 7:
    wget https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
  • RHEL 6/Fedora 12-18/CentOS 6:
    wget https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-6.noarch.rpm
  • RHEL 5/ CentOS 5/etc:
    wget https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-5.noarch.rpm

Once you’ve downloaded the EPEL rpm file for your OS version, you can now install the EPEL repository. To install the EPEL rpm run:
yum install ./epel-release-latest-*.noarch.rpm

The above command uses a wildcard (*), this allows the command to work no matter which version you are installing.
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About the Author: Dan Pock

Dan Pock does Technical Writing & Marketing at Liquid Web with a background in System Administration, Public Relations, and Customer Service.

His favorite things include: his cats, Oscar Boots and Dash Nouget; experimenting with PHP; and making up recipes (or at least attempting to). You can find his coding hijinks on GitHub, where he shares most of his projects and open source work.

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