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It seems to me that when I download RPM packages that the names they use are sometimes different from the programs they install. For example:

yum install httpd
apache -v

I install the RPM package httpd to be able to use apache program. This does not seem to make sense to me.

My question is why do RPM packages have different names to the programs they install? Why is there no consistent naming convention or system that means package names more accurately reflect the programs they install? No doubt this was done for a good reason, I just don't know it yet! Thanks in advance.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The package maintainer chooses a name that they think makes sense.

In the case of the Apache Software Foundation's "HTTP server" product, it makes sense to name the RPM after the specific program, not after the organisation as it produces many other products.

$ ps -ef | grep httpd
apache   21416 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21417 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21418 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21419 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21420 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21421 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21422 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
apache   21423 31916  0 Sep09 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start
root     31916     1  0 Jul26 ?        00:00:01 /usr/sbin/httpd -k start


The ASF [Apache Software Foundation] is made up of over 100 top level projects that cover a wide range of technologies.

Some distributions will have naming conventions for packages, for example

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Is the package maintainer always the software author? So am I correct in thinking there are no hard and fast rules in naming RPM packages? It's just down the to package maintainer? – GhostInTheSecureShell Sep 12 '12 at 10:08
Packages for specific platforms are sometimes maintained by people who are not the original authors. Some guidelines exist (see updated answer) but I believe there is no single authority for such things. – RedGrittyBrick Sep 12 '12 at 10:20
Ok, thanks for your answer. – GhostInTheSecureShell Sep 12 '12 at 10:22

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