[CentOS] Cleaning up an RPM repository.

Greg Bailey gbailey at lxpro.com
Wed Jan 7 15:54:36 UTC 2009

Friedrich Clausen wrote:
> Hello All,
> At my $WORK we have lots of in-house applications used to support the
> services we offer to customers and we deploy these to servers as RPMS.
> This works well for us except we have thousands of obsolete packages
> in our Yum repository that need to be cleaned up. What I would like to
> achieve is to keep the latest version + the last 3 revisions of a
> package and delete the older revisions.
> I was attempting to do this based on file timestamps but they are not
> reliable and in some cases packages were restored from backup in a way
> that did not preserve timestamps. So I am investigating writing a Perl
> script to do this but it is far from trivial due to the vast variety
> of version and release strings used. And there are certain situations
> in which the version strings are completely ambiguous (even to me)
> but, even if those have to be handled manually, then great time
> savings in cleaning up the rest automatically can still be achieved.
> So, before I start (re)inventing this particular wheel, I thought I
> would check with the folks on this list since I cannot be the only
> person with this problem. Are there any ready to use tools available
> to trim down an overwheight RPM repository by deleting obsolete
> packages?
> Many thanks!
> Fred.


I've also faced this problem, and you're right:  relying on timestamps 
and/or sort order of the RPM filenames doesn't work.

The best tool I've found is "repomanage.py" from the yum-utils package 
available at:

Even though yum-utils claims it needs a newer version of yum than I 
usually have, I've run the repomanage.py script that's included without 
any problems.

My typical use has been:

repomanage.py -o RPMS | xargs rm -f

where 'RPMS' is a directory with a whole mess of RPMs.  The 
repomanage.py script with '-o' as an argument spits out only obsoleted 
RPMs, so the above command removes all but the most recent version.

I see that there's a '--keep' option that *might* do what you're looking 
for (keeping the last 3 or 4 versions), but I have not used this option 


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