Main Configuration

rpminspect requires configuration and runtime data in order to perform the various checks on RPM packages. At the very least you will need to supply a main configuration file to rpminspect. This main configuration file is supplied by the vendor data package, such as rpminspect-data-fedora on Fedora Linux. The file is installed in /usr/share/rpminspect and usually matches the product name and ends with .yaml. In rpminspect-data-fedora you will find /usr/share/rpminspect/fedora.yaml. This configuration contains the settings that direct rpminspect to the other runtime data in /usr/share/rpminspect.


You always need to tell rpminspect what main configuration file to use with the -c option. For example, when checking a Fedora Linux build, your command line must begin with:

rpminspect -c /usr/share/rpminspect/fedora.yaml

To make this easier on users, the vendor data packages usually include a wrapper script to do this for you. With rpminspect-data-fedora installed, you can run:


Instead of the longer command.

Product Releases

The program needs to know the product release when performing inspections. rpminspect uses the dist tag value to determine the product release. If you are comparing builds, the product releases must match, otherwise rpminspect will ask you to clarify which product you want to use for the inspection. Vendors can change policies as products evolve so the rules defined in the vendor data package for one product may be different from another, and so on.

Because dist tags vary, rpminspect can have a set of regular expressions to match those strings to products for the purposes of inspections. For example, in Fedora Linux the product release string for Fedora Linux 35 builds is fc35 but that includes any dist tag that matches the ^.fc35.$ regular expression. These expressions are defined in the fedora.yaml file in the rpminspect-data-fedora package.


It is important to note that the dist tag value matches what product environment you are building for, not necessarily what product your package is part of. For example, add on packages for Fedora Linux 35 are considered part of the fc35 product environment in rpminspect. It is important to keep this in mind if you are building a third party repository of packages intended for a particular vendor product.

In cases where rpminspect cannot determine a product release, you can always pass the -r option, such as -r fc35. This forces rpminspect to use the fc35 product rules.

Looking in the rpminspect-data-fedora package, you will see the data files in there map to product release strings. Product release strings allow rpminspect to find per-product rules in the subdirectories in /usr/share/rpminspect.


The next level of configuration available are profiles. These exist in /usr/share/rpminspect/profiles/VENDOR. They can contain any of the settings available in the main configuration file. The intent of profiles is to create further configuration customizations for categories of builds. For example, all kernel builds could use the kernel profile. That starts by loading the main configuration file then reading in the settings from the kernel profile. The kernel profile could then turn off inspections that do not apply to kernel builds or adjust other settings from the main configuration file.

Profiles are effectively free form. You can create any profiles you want. To share them across the product, profiles should be coordinated and grouped together in the vendor data package. In Fedora Linux we have the rpminspect-data-fedora package and any developer can submit a pull request to this project to add to the configuration data. You can add or modify profiles this way too.

To use a profile, specify the name with the -p option. For example:

rpminspect-fedora -p kernel


The last configuration option available to users, and probably the most common, will be the rpminspect.yaml file you can place in the current directory. This file lets you adjust configuration values for your rpminspect run. The rpminspect.yaml file can contain any settings available in the main configuration file. Common uses of this file are to set ignore lists per inspection.

Within Fedora Linux these files are committed to the git repository for the package on the applicable release branch. In Fedora CI these files are read by the rpminspect job. As the package maintainer you can control how rpminspect runs for your builds by adjusting this file in the git repository for the package.

Here are some examples:

  • The package provides no desktop files. You can disable the desktop inspection by creating an rpminspect.yaml file that contains:

        desktop: off
  • The package contains no Java .class files. You can disable the javabytecode inspection by creating an rpminspect.yaml file that contains:

        javabytecode: off
  • The filesize inspection is set too low and reports too many changes. The default is 20%, but you want to increase it to 47% so rpminspect will not report file size changes between builds that are under that percentage. You can create an rpminspect.yaml file that contains:

        size_threshold: 47
  • The package needs to allow /usr/lib64/systemd DT_RPATH values. You can add the path to the list of allowed DT_RPATH values by creating an rpminspect.yaml file that contains:

            - /usr/lib64/systemd

A full example is provided in the rpminspect source tree under the name data/generic.yaml (latest upstream one is available here). You should also check the main configuration in the vendor data package to see what the setting is for that product and then adjust accordingly in your local configuration file.

Runtime Data

Certain inspections pull their rules from runtime data files in /usr/share/rpminspect. These files map to the product release string and can be found in subdirectories in /usr/share/rpminspect. For an example of what can go in each file, see the corresponding files in the data/ subdirectory of the rpminspect source tree.

Here is a description of the subdirectories found in /usr/share/rpminspect:

  • abi/

    Per-product files (e.g., el8) defining the ABI compatibility levels and what packages belong to each one.

  • capabilities/

    The capabilities list. A list consisting of 4 whitespace delimited fields. The first field is the package name, second field is the installed file path, third field is always =, and the fourth field is a comma-delimited list of capabilities(7) we expect and allow on that file in that package.

  • licenses/

    Contains a JSON database of all approved licenses that packages may reference in the License field.

  • politics/

    Per-product files listing allow or deny rules based on regular expression matching and comparing message digests. This check originated as a way to catch country or political substrings in filenames.

  • fileinfo/

    Per-product files (e.g., fc35) containing ls(1) style output of expected permissions, owners, groups, and filenames in packages. The format is 4 whitespace-delimited fields. The first column is a human readable permission mask (e.g., -rwsr-s-r-x), the second field is the owner name, the third field is the group name, the fourth field is the filename.

  • rebaseable/

    Per-product files that list package names that are always allowed to rebase. That is, the names of the before and after packages match but the version numbers differ. That is considered a rebase and in some cases is not something we want to allow. Listing the file here permits it through the rebase check.

  • profiles/

    This directory contains rpminspect profiles in the form of NAME.yaml where NAME is the name of the profile. Any setting in rpminspect.yaml is valid in a profile. Anyone can define a new profile. rpminspect uses the profile defined by the -p option. Profiles are intended for categories of packages that need to make the same adjustments to the rpminspect configuration at runtime. You can create a profile for those packages rather than modifying the rpminspect.yaml files for each of those packages.

  • security/

    Contains per-product files that specify the actions to take for different security rules on a per package and version basis. For example, a product may have an older build of a package like openssl and needs to relax some of the security rules in rpminspect. Later product versions can define stricter rules. This file is also how you instruct rpminspect to ignore things it reports as needed product security inspection. The idea here is that the package maintainer will consult with their product security team to determine if the reported problem warrants a security rule and if so add it to this file for that product. Subsequent runs of rpminspect on the package in question will follow the rule here and ideally not continue reporting the security failure.