Installing support for the EPEL repository on CentOS

I found that when I attempted to install many packages on a CentOS 7 system, I would see the "Error: Nothing to do" message indicating the package wasn't found in the software repositories the system was configured to check.

# yum install sshfs
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: reflector.westga.edu
 * extras: mirror.trouble-free.net
 * updates: mirror.netdepot.com
No package sshfs available.
Error: Nothing to do
#

When I checked the repository list for the system, I saw the following:

# yum repolist
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: mirror.atlanticmetro.net
 * extras: mirror.cc.columbia.edu
 * updates: mirrors.advancedhosters.com
repo id                             repo name                             status
base/7/x86_64                       CentOS-7 - Base                       9,007
extras/7/x86_64                     CentOS-7 - Extras                       375
updates/7/x86_64                    CentOS-7 - Updates                    2,231
repolist: 11,613
#

When I checked the repositories for another CentOS 7 system where I wasn't encountering the same difficulties with installing packages with yum, I saw the following repositories listed:

$ yum repolist
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Determining fastest mirrors
 * base: mirror.tzulo.com
 * epel: mirrors.mit.edu
 * extras: www.gtlib.gatech.edu
 * updates: mirror.cs.vt.edu
repo id               repo name                                           status
!base/7/x86_64        CentOS-7 - Base                                      9,007
!epel/x86_64          Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 7 - x86_64      10,386
!extras/7/x86_64      CentOS-7 - Extras                                      356
!updates/7/x86_64     CentOS-7 - Updates                                   2,070
repolist: 21,819
$

The system where I was able to install the packages I wanted with yum was using the Extra Packages for Linux (EPEL) repository in addition to the base, extras, and updates ones. So I also saw an EPEL file in /etc/yum/repos.d on that system:

$ ls /etc/yum.repos.d
CentOS-Base.repo  CentOS-Debuginfo.repo  CentOS-Sources.repo  epel.repo
CentOS-CR.repo    CentOS-fasttrack.repo  CentOS-Vault.repo    epel-testing.repo
$

But there was no file for it within the same directory on the system where I was having issues installing packages for many of the programs I wanted to have on the system.

# ls /etc/yum.repos.d
CentOS-Base.repo  CentOS-Debuginfo.repo  CentOS-Media.repo    CentOS-Vault.repo
CentOS-CR.repo    CentOS-fasttrack.repo  CentOS-Sources.repo

The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository is a "community approved" repository, which is listed on the CentOS wiki under Available Repositories for Linux, which notes that though community repositories are not associated with the CentOS project, that "These repositories are frequently recommended by the community, are usually well maintained, and provide a substantial number of additional packages to CentOS." The wiki also notes:

Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) - (See http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL) provides rebuilds of Fedora packages for EL5, EL6 and EL7. Packages should not replace base, although there have been issues around point releases in the past. You can install EPEL by running yum install epel-release. The epel-release package is included in the CentOS Extras repository that is enabled by default. Support available on Freenode in #epel, on mailing lists, and its issue tracker.

Fortunately, it is simple to install support for the repository on a CentOS system; you just need to install the epel-release package with yum install epel-release.

Udemy
# yum install epel-release
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: mirror.cs.pitt.edu
 * extras: mirror.cc.columbia.edu
 * updates: mirrors.advancedhosters.com
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package epel-release.noarch 0:7-6 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

================================================================================
 Package                Arch             Version         Repository        Size
================================================================================
Installing:
 epel-release           noarch           7-6             extras            14 k

Transaction Summary
================================================================================
Install  1 Package

Total download size: 14 k
Installed size: 24 k
Is this ok [y/d/N]: y
Downloading packages:
epel-release-7-6.noarch.rpm                                |  14 kB   00:10     
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction
  Installing : epel-release-7-6.noarch                                      1/1 
  Verifying  : epel-release-7-6.noarch                                      1/1 

Installed:
  epel-release.noarch 0:7-6                                                     

Complete!
#

When the package is installed epel.repo and epel-testing.repo files will be placed in the /etc/yum.repos.d directory.

The package information for the current release of epel-release is shown below:

# rpm -qi epel-release
Name        : epel-release
Version     : 7
Release     : 6
Architecture: noarch
Install Date: Mon 08 Aug 2016 09:12:51 PM EDT
Group       : System Environment/Base
Size        : 24873
License     : GPLv2
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Fri 06 May 2016 08:51:55 AM EDT, Key ID 24c6a8a7f4a80eb5
Source RPM  : epel-release-7-6.src.rpm
Build Date  : Thu 31 Mar 2016 12:09:34 AM EDT
Build Host  : buildhw-12.phx2.fedoraproject.org
Relocations : (not relocatable)
Packager    : Fedora Project
Vendor      : Fedora Project
URL         : http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel
Summary     : Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux repository configuration
Description :
This package contains the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository
GPG key as well as configuration for yum.
#

When you are installing a package with yum, you will see the repository the package is coming from listed. E.g.:

# yum install sshfs
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: mirror.atlanticmetro.net
 * epel: mirror.symnds.com
 * extras: mirrors.rit.edu
 * updates: mirrors.advancedhosters.com
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package fuse-sshfs.x86_64 0:2.5-1.el7 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

================================================================================
 Package              Arch             Version             Repository      Size
================================================================================
Installing:
 fuse-sshfs           x86_64           2.5-1.el7           epel            58 k

Transaction Summary
================================================================================
Install  1 Package

Total download size: 58 k
Installed size: 130 k
Is this ok [y/d/N]:

 

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