RPM, or RedHat Package Manager, was developed by RedHat for their flavors of Linux, though it is now used also in SUSE flavors.

What was the package system in SUSE predating the adoption of RPM, and what was the reason for the transition? Why was RPM chosen as a successor, instead of improvements to the existing one, or perhaps adopting Debian packages?

  • 1
    They had "YaST" which I believe was their own homegrown - I used SuSE for a while way back. See suse.com/c/… - Writing a good package manager that stands the test of time is hard. I would expect that they found that it didn't and instead of writing a new and improved replacement, found it easier and cheaper to use what was already there. Dec 2, 2022 at 0:57
  • All the SuSE distributions I've used always used YaST. They also use a utility called zypper, similar to apt in Ubuntu/Debian.
    – cup
    Dec 3, 2022 at 10:34
  • @cup, YaST is the front end for all administrative tasks, and zypper is one of the tools for installing from an RPM repository.
    – brainchild
    Dec 3, 2022 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


SUSE added RPM already in 1997 with Version 5.0 - which is only about a year after their first boxed release 4.2 (*1).

I only remember TAR files and YaST from SUSE 4.2 (*2).

SUSE is essentially Slackware + YaST. Slack did use at that time no packet manager but basic TAR files and expected the user to do every setup manually. Extreme KISS is part of their philosophy until today. And IIRC all configuration settings which are nowadays done by packet managers were done by YaST.

*1 - Using this as their first version number is a Douglas Adams reference - likewise the first YaST was 0.42 :))

*2 - I still have the box :)


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