rpmdb – Initialize and Rebuild the RPM Database

The rpmdb command is used to initialize and rebuild the RPM database. The RPM database is a package management system used by Red Hat-based Linux distributions to keep track of installed software packages. The rpmdb command can be used to repair a corrupted RPM database or to initialize a new RPM database.


The rpmdb command has two main functions: initializing a new RPM database and rebuilding an existing RPM database.

Initializing a New RPM Database

To initialize a new RPM database, use the following command:

rpmdb --initdb

This command will create a new RPM database in the default location (/var/lib/rpm).

Rebuilding an Existing RPM Database

To rebuild an existing RPM database, use the following command:

rpmdb --rebuilddb

This command will rebuild the RPM database using the package metadata in the /var/lib/rpm/Packages file. This can be useful if the RPM database becomes corrupted or if there are errors when installing or removing packages.


The rpmdb command has several options that can be used to customize its behavior. The following table lists the available options:

Option Description
--initdb Initialize a new RPM database
--rebuilddb Rebuild an existing RPM database
--dbpath Specify the location of the RPM database
--root Specify the root directory of the system
--verbose Display verbose output
--help Display help information

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter issues with the RPM database, the following tips may help:

  • If you receive an error message when using the rpmdb command, try running the command with the --verbose option to get more detailed output.
  • If the RPM database becomes corrupted, try rebuilding it using the rpmdb --rebuilddb command.
  • If you are unable to install or remove packages due to RPM database errors, try rebuilding the RPM database and then retry the package installation/removal.


  • The rpmdb command should only be used by experienced Linux users and system administrators.
  • Initializing or rebuilding the RPM database can take some time, especially on systems with a large number of installed packages.
  • Always make a backup of the RPM database before attempting to initialize or rebuild it.