RPM Tags

The package’s meta data in stored in the RPM header. The header is a binary data structure that stores the single pieces of data in tags. Each tag has a pre-defined meaning and data type. These are not stored in the header itselfs but need to be known by the code reading the header. In the header the tags are only refered by their number.

Tag types

Scalar types

There are four unsigned integer types for RPM tags:

  • int8
  • int16
  • int32
  • int64

Additionally there is a char datatype that is also only used once.

There is a bin datatype for arbitrary data that is basically an char array.

There are two string types: Plain string with is zero terminated and of arbitary length (within the header size restriction).

i18nstrings are translated to the requested locale when queried.


Each tag is either of a plain scalar type or is an array of one of these types. While not enforced by the type system the RPM code assumes that tags belonging together have the same number of entries e.g. one for each file.


While not technically a type on its own there are several mappings. These consists of two or more tags working together. One array (called dictionary, often named *dict) contains a list of values while another tag (called an index) contains integers referencing a position in the first one. The index can either be a plain integer or an integer array.

Base package tags

Tag Name Value Type Description
Name 1000 string Package name.
Version 1001 string Package version.
Release 1002 string Package release.
Epoch 1003 int32 Package epoch (optional). An absent epoch is equal to epoch value 0.
License 1014 string License of the package contents.
Summary 1004 i18nstring One line summary of the package’s purpose.
Description 1005 i18nstring Multiline description of the package’s purpose
Os 1021 string The operating system the package is for
Arch 1022 string The architecture the package is for. noarch is a special case denoting a architecture independent package.

Informative package tags

Tag Name Value Type Description
Buildhost 1007 string Hostname of the system the package was built on.
Buildtime 1006 int32 Unix timestamp of package build time.
Bugurl 5012 string URL to package bug tracker.
Changelogname 1081 string array Per entry changelog author information, typically name <email>.
Changelogtext 1082 string array Per entry changelog text.
Changelogtime 1080 int32 array Per entry changelog Unix timestamp.
Cookie 1094 string An opaque value for tracking packages from a single build operation.
Distribution 1010 string Distribution name.
Disttag 1155 string Distribution acronym.
Disturl 1123 string Distribution specific URL of the package.
Encoding 5062 string Encoding of the header string data. When present it is always utf-8 and the data has actually been validated.
Group 1016 i18nstring Group of the package.
Modularitylabel 5096 string  
Optflags 1122 string %{optflags} value at the time of package build.
Packager 1015 string Packager contact information.
Platform 1132 string Package platform (arch-os-vendor).
Policies 1150 string array  
Policyflags 5033 int32 array  
Policynames 5030 string array  
Policytypes 5031 string array  
Policytypesindexes 5032 int32 array  
Rpmversion 1064 string Version of rpm used to build the package.
Sourcepkgid 1146 bin  
Sourcerpm 1044 string Package source rpm file name.
Url 1020 string Package URL, typically project upstream website.
Vcs 5034 string (Public) upstream source code VCS location. Format <vcs>:<address> with <vcs> being the VCS command used (e.g. git, svn, hg, …) and <address> being the location of the repository as used by the VCS tool to clone/checkout the repository (e.g. https://github.com/rpm-software-management/rpm.git).
Vendor 1011 string Package vendor contact information.

Packages with files

Tag Name Value Type Description
Archivesize 1046 int32 (Compressed) payload size.
Dirnames 1118 string array dirname(3) components of contained paths
Filedigestalgo 5011 int32 ID of file digest algorithm. If missing, considered 0 for md5.
Longarchivesize 271 int64 (Compressed) payload size when > 4GB.
Longsize 5009 int64 Installed package size when > 4GB.
Payloadcompressor 1125 string Payload compressor name (as passed to rpmio Fopen())
Payloadflags 1126 string Payload compressor level (as passed to rpmio Fopen())
Payloadformat 1124 string Payload format (cpio)
Prefixes 1098 string array Relocatable prefixes (on relocatable packages).
Size 1009 int32 Installed package size.

Per-file information

Tag Name Value Type Description
Basenames 1117 string array basename(3) of the path.
Dirindexes 1116 int32 array Index into dirname(3) array of the pacakge (see Dirname tag).
Filedevices 1095 int32 array Abstract device ID (hardlink calculation only).
Filedigests 1035 string array File cryptographic digest (aka hash) using algorithm specified in Filedigestalgo.
Fileflags 1037 int32 array File virtual attributes (doc, license, ghost, artifact etc)
Filegroupname 1040 string array Unix group name.
Fileinodes 1096 int32 array Abstract inode number (hardlink calculation only).
Filelangs 1097 string array Optional language of the file (eg man page translations)
Filelinktos 1036 string array Symlink target for symlink files.
Filemodes 1030 int16 array Unix file mode.
Filemtimes 1034 int32 array Unix file modification timestamp (aka mtime).
Filerdevs 1033 int16 array Device ID (of device files)
Filesizes 1028 int32 array File size (when all files are < 4GB)
Fileusername 1039 string array Unix owner name
Fileverifyflags 1045 int32 array File verification flags (which aspects of file to verify)
Longfilesizes 5008 int64 array File size (when files > 4GB are present)

Optional file information

Tag Name Value Type Description
Classdict 1142 string array File class (libmagic string) dictionary
Dependsdict 1145 int32 array File dependencies dictionary
Filecaps 5010 string array cap_to_text(3) textual representation of file capabilities.
Fileclass 1141 int32 array Index into Classdict
Filecolors 1140 int32 array File “color” - 1 for 32bit ELF, 2 for 64bit ELF and 0 otherwise
Filedependsn 1144 int32 array Number of file dependencies in Dependsdict, starting from Filedependsx
Filedependsx 1143 int32 array Index into Dependsdict denoting start of this file’s dependencies.
Filesignaturelength 5091 int32 IMA signature length.
Filesignatures 5090 string array IMA signature (hex encoded).
Veritysignaturealgo 277 int32 fsverity signature algorithm ID.
Veritysignatures 276 string array fsverity signature (base64 encoded).

Dependency information

All dependency tags follow the same pattern. The name tag contains dependency token names, the flags tag may contain additional context information and the dependency is versioned as per (RPMSENSE_* bitfield), the range related to the version specified in the version tag.

Hard dependencies

Tag Name Value Type
Providename 1047 string array
Provideversion 1113 string array
Provideflags 1112 int32 array
Requirename 1049 string array
Requireversion 1050 string array
Requireflags 1048 int32 array
Conflictname 1054 string array
Conflictversion 1055 string array
Conflictflags 1053 int32 array
Obsoletename 1090 string array
Obsoleteversion 1115 string array
Obsoleteflags 1114 int32 array

Soft dependencies

Tag Name Value Type
Enhancename 5055 string array
Enhanceversion 5056 string array
Enhanceflags 5057 int32 array
Recommendname 5046 string array
Recommendversion 5047 string array
Recommendflags 5048 int32 array
Suggestname 5049 string array
Suggestversion 5050 string array
Suggestflags 5051 int32 array
Supplementname 5052 string array
Supplementversion 5053 string array
Supplementflags 5054 int32 array
Ordername 5035 string array
Orderversion 5036 string array
Orderflags 5037 int32 array


Basic scriptlets

All scriptlet tags follow the same pattern. The main tag contains the corresponding scriptlet (eg %postin) body. If present, the prog tag denotes the scriptlet interpreter and possible arguments, and flags tag contains additional processing information such as whether to macro expand the scriptlet body.

%postin script is executed right after the package got installed

Tag Name Value Type
Postin 1024 string
Postinflags 5021 int32
Postinprog 1086 string array

%posttrans scripts are all executed at the end of the transaction that installed their packages

Posttrans 1152 string
Posttransflags 5025 int32
Posttransprog 1154 string array

%postun script is executed right after the package was removed

Postun 1026 string
Postunflags 5023 int32
Postunprog 1088 string array

%prein script is executed right before the package is installed

Prein 1023 string
Preinflags 5020 int32
Preinprog 1085 string array

%pretrans scripts are executed for to be installed packages before any packages are installed

Pretrans 1151 string
Pretransflags 5024 int32
Pretransprog 1153 string array

%preun script is executed right before the package gets removed

Preun 1025 string
Preunflags 5022 int32
Preunprog 1087 string array

%verify script is executed when the package is verified (e.g. with rpm -V)

Verifyscript 1079 string
Verifyscriptflags 5026 int32
Verifyscriptprog 1091 string array


Triggers are stored in a combination of dependency and scriptlet tags.

Triggerscripts, Triggerscriptflags and Triggerscriptprog form a scriptlet triplet, and Triggername, Triggerflags, Triggerversion form a dependency triplet. Triggerindexes is a per dependency index into Triggerscripts, binding the two triplets together.

Tag Name Value Type
Triggerflags 1068 int32 array
Triggerindex 1069 int32 array
Triggername 1066 string array
Triggerscriptflags 5027 int32 array
Triggerscriptprog 1092 string array
Triggerscripts 1065 string array
Triggerversion 1067 string array

File triggers

File trigger tags are like normal trigger tags, with an additional priority tag to affect trigger running order. File triggers in Filetrigger-tags run once per triggered package, whereas triggers in Transfiletrigger-tags run once per transaction.

Tag Name Value Type
Filetriggerflags 5072 int32 array
Filetriggerindex 5070 int32 array
Filetriggername 5069 string array
Filetriggerpriorities 5084 int32 array
Filetriggerscriptflags 5068 int32 array
Filetriggerscriptprog 5067 string array
Filetriggerscripts 5066 string array
Filetriggerversion 5071 string array
Transfiletriggerflags 5082 int32 array
Transfiletriggerindex 5080 int32 array
Transfiletriggername 5079 string array
Transfiletriggerpriorities 5085 int32 array
Transfiletriggerscriptflags 5078 int32 array
Transfiletriggerscriptprog 5077 string array
Transfiletriggerscripts 5076 string array
Transfiletriggerversion 5081 string array

Signatures and digests

Signatures allow to verify the origin of a package.

Tag Name Value Type Description
Dsaheader 267 bin OpenPGP DSA signature of the header (if thus signed)
Longsigsize 270 int64 Header+payload size if > 4GB.
Payloaddigest 5092 string array Cryptographic digest of the compressed payload.
Payloaddigestalgo 5093 int32 ID of the payload digest algorithm.
Payloaddigestalt 5097 string array Cryptographic digest of the uncompressed payload.
Rsaheader 268 bin OpenPGP RSA signature of the header (if thus signed).
Sha1header 269 string SHA1 digest of the header.
Sha256header 273 string SHA256 digest of the header.
Siggpg 262 bin OpenPGP DSA signature of the header+payload (if thus signed).
Sigmd5 261 bin MD5 digest of the header+payload.
Sigpgp 259 bin OpenPGP RSA signature of the header+payload (if thus signed).
Sigsize 257 int32 Header+payload size.

Installed package headers only

The following tags are added to the headers during installation and do not exist in RPM package files.

Tag Name Value Type Description
Filestates 1029 char array Per-file installed status information (installed/skipped/forced etc)
Installcolor 1127 int32 “Color” of transaction in which the package was installed.
Installtid 1128 int32 ID of transaction in which the package was installed.
Installtime 1008 int32 Unix timestamp of package installation.
Instprefixes 1099 string array  
Origbasenames 1120 string array Original Basenames (relocated packages only)
Origdirindexes 1119 int32 array Original Dirindexes (relocated packages only)
Origdirnames 1121 string array Original Dirnames (relocated packages only)

Source packages

Tag Name Value Type Description
Buildarchs 1089 string array If present, specifies the architectures the package may be built for.
Excludearch 1059 string array If present, limits the architectures on which the package is buildable by excluding those specified.
Excludeos 1060 string array If present, limits the operating systems on which the package is buildable by excluding those specified.
Exclusivearch 1061 string array If present, limits the architectures on which the package is buildable exclusively to those specified.
Exclusiveos 1062 string array If present, limits the operating systems on which the package is buildable exclusively to those specified.
Nopatch 1052 int32 array Denotes a patch number for which source is not supplied.
Nosource 1051 int32 array Denotes a source number for which source is not supplied.
Patch 1019 string array Patch file names.
Source 1018 string array Source file names.
Sourcepackage 1106 int32 Denotes a source rpm.
Spec 5099 string Expanded and parsed spec contents.

Internal / special

Tag Name Value Type Description
Headeri18ntable 100 string array Locales for which the header has translations.
Headerimmutable 63 bin Special tag to return the unmodified, original image of the header even after data has been added to it in eg installation.
Pubkeys 266 string array used in gpg-pubkey special packages in the RPM data base

Deprecated / Obsolete

These tags are not longer in active use. If encountered in packages they are ignored.

Tag Name Value Type Description
Filecontexts 1147 string array  
Fscontexts 1148 string array  
Gif 1012 bin  
Icon 1043 bin  
Oldenhancesname 1159 string array  
Oldenhancesversion 1160 string array  
Oldenhancesflags 1161 int32 array  
Oldfilenames 1027 string array  
Oldsuggestsname 1156 string array  
Oldsuggestsversion 1157 string array  
Oldsuggestsflags 1158 int32 array  
Patchesflags 1134 int32 array  
Patchesname 1133 string array  
Patchesversion 1135 string array  
Recontexts 1149 string array  
Removetid 1129 int32  
Xpm 1013 bin  


Aliases are simply shorthands or alternative names for other tags.

Alias Name Tag Type Description
C Conflictname string array  
Conflicts Conflictname string array  
E Epoch int32  
Enhances Enhancename string array  
Filemd5s Filedigests string array  
Hdrid Sha1header string  
N Name string  
Obsoletes Obsoletename string array  
O Obsoletename string array  
Oldenhances Oldenhancesname string array  
Oldsuggests Oldsuggestsname string array  
P Providename string array  
Pkgid Sigmd5 bin  
Provides Providename string array  
R Release string  
Recommends Recommendname string array  
Requires Requirename string array  
Suggests Suggestname string array  
Supplements Supplementname string array  
V Version string  


Extension tags do not exist in concrete form anywhere, their data is constructed at query time based on other information in the headers or runtime environment. A few physical tags do have an extension format as well however, these exceptions noted below.

Tag Name Value Type Description
Archsuffix 5098 string Package file arch suffix (“.src”, “.nosrc” or .arch)
Dbinstance 1195 int32 Header ID of installed package, 0 otherwise.
Epochnum 5019 int32 Package epoch as numeric value (0 if not present).
Evr 5013 string Formatted epoch:version-release string of the package
Fileclass 1141 string array Per-file formatted libmagic classification strings, calculated from the Fileclass and Classdict tags. Note overlap with the concrete Fileclass tag with different type (integer array)!
Headercolor 5017 int32 Header “color” calculated from file colors.
Nevr 5015 string Formatted name-epoch:version-release string of the package
Nevra 5016 string Formatted name-epoch:version-release.arch string of the package
Nvr 5014 string Formatted name-version-release string of the package
Nvra 1196 string Formatted name-version-release.arch string of the package
Filenames 5000 string array Per file paths contained in the package, calculated from the path triplet.
Filenlinks 5045 int32 array Per file hardlink number, calculated from inode/device information.
Fileprovide 5001 string array Per file dependency capabilities provided by the corresponding files.
Filerequire 5002 string array Per file dependency capabilities required by the corresponding files.
Instfilenames 5040 string array Per file paths installed from the package, calculated from the path triplet and file status info.

These tags provide 64bit values regardless of underlying storage size. They return the value of the concrete tag if present or the value of the corresponding 32bit tag as an 64bit value. Always use these to access the sizes. See Large File support for details.

Longfilesizes Per file sizes in 64bit format
Longarchivesize Archive size in 64bit format
Longsize Uncompressed size in 64bit format
Longsigsize Header+payload size in 64bit format
Tag Name Value Type Description
Origfilenames 5007 string array Original Filenames in relocated packages.
Providenevrs 5042 string array Formatted name [op version] provide dependency strings.
Conflictnevrs 5044 string array Formatted name [op version] conflict dependency strings.
Obsoletenevrs 5043 string array Formatted name [op version] obsolete dependency strings.
Enhancenevrs 5061 string array Formatted name [op version] enhance dependency strings.
Recommendnevrs 5058 string array Formatted name [op version] recommend dependency strings.
Requirenevrs 5041 string array Formatted name [op version] require dependency strings.
Suggestnevrs 5059 string array Formatted name [op version] suggest dependency strings.
Supplementnevrs 5060 string array Formatted name [op version] supplement dependency strings.
Filetriggerconds 5086 string array Formatted file trigger condition information.
Filetriggertype 5087 string array Formatted file trigger type information.
Transfiletriggerconds 5088 string array Formatted transaction file trigger condition information.
Transfiletriggertype 5089 string array Formatted transaction file trigger type information.
Triggerconds 5005 string array Formatted trigger condition information.
Triggertype 5006 string array Formatted trigger type information.
Verbose 5018 int32 Returns 1 if rpm is running in verbose mode.