Introduction to the rpm.versions System

Last modified: August 10, 2021


The rpm.versions system manages many of the RPMs on your cPanel & WHM server.

The packages that the rpm.versions system manages may include the following types of RPMs:

  • cPanel-provided RPMs.
  • Third-party software RPMs.
  • Custom RPMs that system administrators choose to install.

The rpm.versions system does not manage the packages for your operating system’s distribution. To install these packages, use WHM’s Install an RPM interface (WHM >> Home >> Software >> Install an RPM). To change how your server handles updates for these packages, use the Operating System Package Updates section of WHM’s Update Preferences interface (WHM >> Home >> Server Configuration >> Update Preferences).

What is an RPM?

RPM stands for RPM Package Manager. In our documentation, the term may refer to any of the following items:

  • The packaged .rpm file (for example, MySQL56-client-5.6.14-1.cp1142.i386.rpm).
  • The software that the package contains (for example, MySQL® version 5.6).
  • The package manager itself.

For more information about RPMs, visit the RPM website.

What is an SRPM?

Source RPMs (SRPMs) contain the source code for each RPM on your system. Unlike RPMs, SRPMs are not compiled. For more information, read our The rpm.versions File documentation.


The rpm.versions system manages RPMs based on the settings that it finds in several YAML files on your server. These files use the following priority:

  1. The /var/cpanel/rpm.versions.d/local.versions file contains settings that system administrators set locally. These settings override all other rpm.versions system settings on the server.
  2. Third-party developers can create other .versions files in the /var/cpanel/rpm.versions.d/ directory, which override the cPanel-provided defaults.
  3. The /usr/local/cpanel/etc/rpm.versions file contains cPanel-provided settings, based on your server’s version of cPanel & WHM. All local .versions files override these settings.

For more information, read our The rpm.versions File, RPM Targets, and How to Override the rpm.versions System documentation.

Do not modify the /usr/local/cpanel/etc/rpm.versions file for any reason.

Customization options

In addition to the ability to override settings on a server, you can create and install your own custom RPMs, and modify the RPM installation process. If you wish to modify and replace cPanel-provided RPMs, read our How to Build and Install Custom RPMs on Red Hat Systems documentation.

Additional Documentation