Installing RPM Packages on Ubuntu

If you happen to have .rpm file package that you would like to install on your Ubuntu machine, you will have to convert that file to .deb first for it to be installed. How will you do it? --Use the package converter application called “alien”.

From the project’s website:
Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it.

Despite the large version number, alien is still (and will probably always be) rather experimental software. It has been used by many people for many years, but there are still many bugs and limitations.

You can get alien through Synaptic Package Manager or via the command line:

$sudo apt-get install alien

After you have installed alien, you can now start converting your .rpm files.

To convert .rpm file to .deb using the command line, first you have to go to the directory where you saved your .rpm file. Assuming it’s on your desktop:

$cd ~/Desktop

Then, convert the .rpm file to .deb with this command:

$sudo alien –k rpm-file-name.rpm

After that, you can now install the .deb file in Ubuntu using a Debian package installer or with this command:

$sudo dpkg –i deb-file-name.deb

It’s worth noting that “alien” can also convert other kinds of packages, so you may want to check out its mapage for instructions. You can also visit its website HERE for more details.


  1. Use Alien and screw your system!

  2. alien command can install rpm package itself by using "-i" option.