What is RPM Fusion and how can I use it to expand my possibilities in Fedora, Red Hat and derivatives


Most Linux distributions obtain their software from official repositories. In them we find, above all, open source and/or free software packages, but they do not offer everything that a distro could install. One option that Linux users have when there is not something in these repositories is to compile the software, and there are also others such as AUR for Arch-based distributions or RPMFusion for those based on Fedora or Red Hat.

What better way to explain what RPM Fusion is than to use the definition that they give us: "RPMFusion provides software that the Fedora Project or Red Hat do not wish to distribute. That software is provided as precompiled RPMs for all current versions of Fedora and current versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or clones; you can use RPM Fusion repositories with tools like yum and PackageKit«.

RPM Fusion provides software not found in official repositories

As someone who has tried and used different Arch-based distros, my way of defining it would be that it is as an AUR, but for Fedora and other distributions that support repositories for software in RPM packages. There are differences, the clearest being that in AUR we can find several options of the same program to cover all possibilities, but the fact is that both AUR and the repository we are dealing with here allow us to install software that is not in the official ones.

Its objective is «become the "official" Fedora repository for all legally distributable free and non-free software that the Fedora project does not wish to ship«. Offers:

  • Free software: they use a free license, such as video players.
  • Non-free software: they use a non-free license, such as NVIDIA drivers.
  • “Free Tainted” software, which is free but with restrictions in some countries.
  • “Nonfree Tainted” software, which uses a non-free license and is not explicitly distributable.

How to install Fusion RPMs

To use RPM Fusion repositories you have to install/add them.


sudo dnf install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion -nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm sudo dnf config-manager --enable fedora-cisco-openh264

The last command is to use the openh264 library, which they use by default.

Fedora OSTree (Immutables, like SilverBlue or Kinoite)

In Atomic Fedora, name given to the new family of immutables:

sudo rpm-ostree install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora /rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm sudo reboot

RHEL and compatible, such as CentOS

sudo dnf install --nogpgcheck https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-$(rpm -E %rhel).noarch.rpm sudo dnf install --nogpgcheck https://mirrors. rpmfusion.org/free/el/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %rhel).noarch.rpm https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/el/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm - E %rhel).noarch.rpm

In CentOS Steam 8 you also have to write:

sudo dnf config-manager --enable powertools

In the older version of CentOS 8 it is written PowerTools in the previous command.

And in RHEL 8 the following is also written:

sudo subscription-manager repos --enable "codeready-builder-for-rhel-8-$(uname -m)-rpms"

Once installed, to also get the "Tainted" you have to install its packages:

sudo dnf install rpmfusion-free-release-tainted rpmfusion-nonfree-release-tainted

Is RPM Fusion safe?

For someone like me who doesn't like to state almost anything categorically, answering these types of questions is not easy. The theory says yes, that they are safe, and that the most serious problem we may encounter is no different from what happens when Canonical packages the Steam launcher as a snap. The software is the official one for each project, it is compiled and uploaded to RPM Fusion.

The opinion of the community is that it is a repository totally reliable without differences with the repositories (PPA) that can be added manually. They have a quality control process, policies and some Fedora packagers maintain packages in this repository as well.

In mine, and as I have already explained, I see it as the Arch User Repository and I think it should be treated in the same way: to install any software, the first thing should be official repositories, followed by the project repositories and , if it is not found in any of the previous two, then install whatever RPM Fusion is.

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