How to install EPEL repository on CentOS

How to install EPEL repository on CentOS

Learn How to Install EPEL Repository on CentOS VPS Server


Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the right packages for your CentOS VPS server? Well, that’s where the EPEL repository comes in handy! EPEL stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, and it’s a treasure trove of additional packages that you can use on your CentOS system. Let’s dive into why EPEL is a game-changer and how you can get it up and running on your CentOS VPS server.

Understanding CentOS and VPS

What is CentOS?

CentOS, short for Community ENTerprise Operating System, is a free, open-source, enterprise-class Linux distribution. It’s derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and aims to provide a robust, stable, and secure operating environment for servers.

Why Use a VPS?

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) offers a dedicated environment within a larger server. It’s like having your own little corner of the internet, with the power to run applications, host websites, and much more. With a VPS, you get more control and flexibility compared to shared hosting, making it perfect for businesses, developers, and enthusiasts.

Benefits of Using CentOS on a VPS

CentOS on a VPS combines the reliability of CentOS with the flexibility of a VPS. You get a stable operating system that’s widely used in the industry, along with the ability to customize and scale your server environment as needed. This setup is perfect for hosting websites, running applications, and managing various services with ease.

Preparation Before Installation

Backing Up Your System

Before diving into the installation, it’s always a good idea to back up your system. This ensures that you can restore your server to its previous state in case anything goes wrong during the installation process.

Ensuring System Compatibility

Make sure your CentOS version is compatible with the EPEL repository. EPEL is available for different versions of CentOS, but it’s essential to double-check to avoid any compatibility issues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing EPEL Repository

Updating Your System

First things first, let’s make sure your system is up to date. Open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo yum update

Installing EPEL Repository

Install the EPEL Repository Package: Use the yum package manager to install the EPEL repository package. You can do this by running the following command:

sudo yum install epel-release

Install the EPEL Repository Package

This command will install the EPEL repository package from the CentOS repositories.

Confirm Installation: After the installation completes, you can confirm that the EPEL repository has been added to your system by running the following command:

sudo yum repolist
Confirm Installation

This command will display a list of enabled repositories on your system, including EPEL.

That’s it! The EPEL repository should now be installed on your CentOS 7 system, and you can use it to install additional packages not provided by the default CentOS repositories.

Using EPEL Repository

Installing Packages from EPEL

With the EPEL repository enabled, you can now install additional packages that are not available in the default CentOS repositories. For example, to install htop, a popular system monitoring tool, you can use the following command:

sudo yum install htop

Popular Packages Available in EPEL

EPEL offers a wide range of packages that can enhance your server’s functionality. Some popular packages include:

  • nginx: A high-performance web server.
  • fail2ban: A tool to protect your server from brute-force attacks.
  • Node.js: A JavaScript runtime for building scalable network applications.
  • Python-pip: A package manager for Python.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Installation Errors

If you encounter any errors during the installation, check your internet connection and ensure that your system is up to date. Sometimes, temporary network issues can cause installation failures.

Network Issues

If you’re facing network-related issues, make sure your firewall and network settings are configured correctly. You can also try clearing the yum cache with the following command:

sudo yum clean all

This command cleans up the cached data, which can help resolve network-related problems.

Advanced Tips

Automating Updates

To keep your EPEL packages up to date automatically, you can enable automatic updates. Install the yum-cron package with the following command:

sudo yum install yum-cron

Then, enable and start the yum-cron service:

sudo systemctl enable yum-cron
sudo systemctl start yum-cron

Managing Multiple Repositories

If you have multiple repositories enabled, you can manage them using the yum-config-manager tool. This tool allows you to enable or disable repositories and configure repository settings.

Security Considerations

Keeping Your VPS Secure

Security is paramount when managing a VPS. Ensure that your system is regularly updated and patched. Use tools like fail2ban and firewalld to protect your server from unauthorized access.

Regular Updates and Patches

Regularly updating your system and applying security patches is crucial. This helps protect your server from vulnerabilities and exploits. Make it a habit to check for updates frequently.


Installing the EPEL repository on your CentOS VPS server opens up a world of possibilities. With access to a vast collection of additional packages, you can enhance your server’s functionality and make the most out of your VPS. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily set up EPEL and start exploring its benefits. Happy hosting!


What is the EPEL repository?

The EPEL repository is a collection of additional packages for Enterprise Linux distributions like CentOS. It provides a wide range of software that is not available in the default repositories.

Why should I use EPEL on CentOS?

EPEL offers a variety of useful packages that can enhance your CentOS system. It’s maintained by the Fedora project, ensuring that the packages are reliable and up to date.

Can I use EPEL on other distributions?

EPEL is designed for RHEL and its derivatives like CentOS and Fedora. While some packages might work on other distributions, it’s primarily intended for these systems.

How do I remove the EPEL repository?

To remove the EPEL repository, you can use the yum remove command:

sudo yum remove epel-release

This command removes the EPEL repository package from your system.

What are the most popular packages in EPEL?

Some popular packages in EPEL include nginx, fail2ban, Node.js, and Python-pip. These packages provide essential tools and utilities for managing and enhancing your server.


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