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How can I install an RPM on a machine where I don't have root permissions? I want to install a package for my use only in a personal work directory. I'm running SuSe SLES10.

Please don't flame me with "This idea is so dumb, you shouldn't do it because all requests must go through the corporate root god, may he live forever."

I know I can request this of the root god, but I'll be shot down (for immaculate, impeccable reasons, I'm sure...). Besides, he'll never get around to installing it even if he does say he'll do it.

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This isn't a duplicate at all. Overriding the path does not always allow a non-priviledged user to utilize rpm. – John T Nov 11 '10 at 19:08
Thanks HarryMC. I'll check that out. Also, adding link to the other ticket that people thought mine was a duplicate of. Maybe the breadcrumbs will help someone else : – Ross Rogers Nov 11 '10 at 22:47
up vote 17 down vote accepted
cd my-dir;
rpm2cpio to-install.rpm | cpio -idv

See How To Extract an RPM Package Without Installing It (rpm extract command).

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I did this and cpio doesn't seem to do anything except print '1 block'. Did I do something wrong? – Nate Parsons Nov 16 '10 at 15:44
Thanks. Turns out I was able to install from source, so I don't need to bother with RPMs – Nate Parsons Nov 16 '10 at 16:11
That just unpacks the contents of the RPM and dumps it where you are. That doesn't mean the result works (its configuration isn't where it should be, ...) – vonbrand Jan 18 '13 at 17:07

Another option is to install from source, where you can usually change the install directory using the --prefix switch.

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That's what I normally do, but I was hoping for some more automation. – Ross Rogers Feb 10 '11 at 19:11
     #how-to extracts rpm packages contents
     export ins=foo-bar.rpm
     rpm2cpio $ins | cpio -idv
     #how-to extract *.tar.gz 
     gzip -dc foo-bar.tar.gz | tar xvf –
     cd foo-bar-dir
     # how-to extract tar.gz packages in the cwd
     export file=foo-bar.tar.gz
     # gotcha xovf - switch order matters !!!
     gzip -dc $file| tar -xovf -
     #how-to build binaries as a non-root 
     ./configure --prefix=$HOME && make && make install
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