DEB vs. RPM: 6 Difference, Definition, Pros & Cons

On Linux operating systems, package management uses both DEB and RPM files. With these two file packages, you can install different apps and programs. But when it comes to DEB and RPM, they are different in small ways.

What is DEB?

DEB files are used by Linux distributions like Linux Mint, Deepin, Kali, and many others that are based on Debian.

DEB files are usually used to install or update UNIX software. This file has two more files, one with data that can be installed and the other with information about how to install.

Which Linux distributions use DEB packages?

As this article shows, Linux is the core of a number of different systems, which are called “distributions.” The Debian distribution is well-known, but it’s not the only one.


DEB packages are used in Debian and other distributions that are based on it to install new software. It has well-known distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali Linux, and many others.

How to install DEB packages?

As was already said, DEB packages are usually installed in the background with tools like apt or a graphical equivalent. But you can also download and install them by hand.

For example, if you download the Opera web browser from its official website, you will get a file called opera-stable (77.0.4054.64 amd64.deb).

Use the following command to install it once it has been downloaded:
dpkg -i opera-stable 77.0.4054.64 amd64.deb sudo

“Install” is what “-i” means.
For a package file to work properly, it may need to depend on other files. If this is the case, you must first install those files.

What is RPM?

RPM was made by the community and Red Hat working together. It is a file format that the computer’s package management system uses to install new software.

A package management tool, which is used to install RPM packages, is always included with the Red Hat-based system. ClearOS, CentOS, Alma Linux, and Rocky Linux are all kinds of RPM.

Which Linux distributions use RPM packages?

All Red Hat-based distributions use RPM packages to install new software. Fedora, CentOS, and OpenSuse, for example, can read and install RPM packages on their own.

How to install RPM packages?

Systems that are based on Red Hat come with an RPM package manager that can be used to install new RPM packages.

rpm -ivh <package_name>

Options are:

  • i: Install a new package
  • v: Print verbose information
  • h: Better display for the verbose information

Key Differences Between DEB and RPM

DefinitionDEB is an extension or a format of the software package for the Linux distribution DebianRPM means the Red Hat Package Manager. The Red Hat Package Manager uses this file format.
DistributionLinux distribution which is based on Debian can only install DEB filesThe distribution based on Red HAT only installs the RPM packages.
PatchesThe Debian project community accepts the patches in DEB filesThe Red HAT project community does not accept patches in their ROM files
Depends uponDEB files depend upon the ‘control file’ for defining the software which is necessary to be installed for the proper functioning of the target applicationRPM files depend upon the ‘spec files’ for the information about the smaller application needed to be installed for proper functioning.
InstallationDEB packages are installed in the background mostly, with the help of tools like graphical equivalent or apt.A New RPM package can be installed with the help of the RPM package manager tool, which comes with a Red HAT-based system.
ExamplesKali, Parrot OS, Deepin, Linux Mint, UbuntuClear OS, Cent OS, Alma Linux, and Rocky Linux

Is Linux RPM or Deb?

You can find out if your Linux distribution uses RPM or DEB packages in a number of ways. Use the command user name -r to find out how your system is set up.

RPM packages can be used to install the software if the Linux distribution is based on Debian. The DEB package can be used with the Red Hat system.

Is Ubuntu DEB or RPM?

Ubuntu Linux can use either the DEB or RPM file format, depending on how it was set up.

DEB files are the standard way for Linux to share programs and applications, and Ubuntu users often use them. The DEB files can also be put on the system with the help of free programs like apt-get.

DEB vs. RPM Similarities

Both DEB and RPM packages can be changed into each other by using an alien command line.
Both are software packages that are used to add new programs or apps to a computer’s system.

DEB vs. RPM Pros and Cons

DEB Pros and Cons

Pros of DEB

  • DEB is carefully tested, and its testing is just as stable as that of many other distributions.
  • DEB is an old piece of software that has been around for a long time. Because of this, many skilled developers still use it.

Cons of DEB

  • It is not user-friendly software because it was made for developers and administrators. A new user will be confused when they try to use it.
  • You have to go a long way to get the latest software updates. Because of this, you won’t get new features as quickly as with other distributions.


RPM Pros and Cons

Pros of RPM

  • RPM may make it easy to install and remove programs, and it may also be able to install programs automatically.
  • This can be used by both the system administrator and the user to install, remove, and update system software packages in the Linux operating system.

Cons of RPM

  • One thing about RPM is that it is always wrong.
  • RPM does not handle dependencies automatically.


Both DEB and RPM are archive files that include metadata. Both have installation paths that are hardcoded, and both are just as mysterious.

But RPM and DEB are not the same in many important ways. The main difference between RPM and DEB is that RPM can only be used on distributions based on Red Hat, while DEB can only be used on distributions based on Debian.


Does Ubuntu use DEB or RPM?

Since Ubuntu is based on Debian, DEB packages are used to install new apps. Ubuntu also uses SNAP, which is another system for managing packages (bundling apps and their dependencies in one file).

Does CentOS use DEB or RPM?

CentOS is based on Red Hat, so just like any other Red Hat distribution, software is installed using RPM files.

Is Fedora RPM or DEB based?

Fedora is built on Red Hat, and RPM files are used to add new software.

Does Linux Mint use DEB or RPM?

Linux Mint is another Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Like all other Debian-based distributions, it uses DEB files to manage packages.

What’s the difference between DPKG and RPM?

Dpkg is a tool for Linux that can be used to install DEB files from Debian-based distributions. On distributions based on Red Hat, it is the same as the rpm command.

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