Using the EPEL repository for a CentOS 7 system

When you install software packages on a CentOS Linux system with yum, the utility will query repositories, which are sources for software packages, to find the package you wish to install. There are some packages, such as Iperf and fail2ban, which aren't in the default repositories for CentOS, but which can be found in the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository. EPEL 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 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.

If the epel-release package is already installed, an RPM query will show it is present.

# rpm -qi epel-release
Name        : epel-release
Version     : 7
Release     : 5
Architecture: noarch
Install Date: Sun 04 Jan 2015 12:48:24 PM EST
Group       : System Environment/Base
Size        : 24914
License     : GPLv2
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Tue 25 Nov 2014 01:06:15 PM EST, Key ID 6a2faea2352c64e5
Source RPM  : epel-release-7-5.src.rpm
Build Date  : Tue 25 Nov 2014 11:26:18 AM EST
Build Host  :
Relocations : (not relocatable)
Packager    : Fedora Project
Vendor      : Fedora Project
URL         :
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.

If the system is already configured to use that repository, you should see it listed if you issue the yum repolist command.

$ yum repolist
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Determining fastest mirrors
 * base:
 * epel:
 * extras:
 * updates:
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      9,710
extras/7/x86_64       CentOS-7 - Extras                                     264
updates/7/x86_64      CentOS-7 - Updates                                  1,213
repolist: 20,194

If EPEL support isn't installed, issue the command yum install epel-release to install it. Once it is installed, you will see the repository listed in /etc/yum.repos.d.

$ ls -l /etc/yum.repos.d
total 32
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1664 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-Base.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1309 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-CR.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  649 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-Debuginfo.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  290 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-fasttrack.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1331 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-Sources.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1002 Mar 31  2015 CentOS-Vault.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  957 Nov 25  2014 epel.repo
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1056 Nov 25  2014 epel-testing.repo


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