What does "f" stands for in rpm -ivf

I have searched the man pages of rpm, it does not talk about -f in install-options of rpm command. The "f" is used only in the query options of rpm command.  What is the use of "f" in installing ? Is it just ignored when specified with install. Please let me know
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Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
-f is a Querying option only.  When maintaining installed packages, (install-options), the upper case -F is use as a "Freshen" option.  Not to re-invent the wheel, this if from CentOS.org -

RPM's freshen option checks the versions of the packages specified on the command line against the versions of packages that have already been installed on your system. When a newer version of an already-installed package is processed by RPM's freshen option, it is upgraded to the newer version. However, RPM's freshen option does not install a package if no previously-installed package of the same name exists. This differs from RPM's upgrade option, as an upgrade does install packages whether or not an older version of the package was already installed.
PrabAshAuthor Commented:
I was talking about -f only not the -F option. The below command works

rpm -ivf xyz.rpm

i = install
v = verbose
f stands for ?

It does not report any error saying you should not use -f with install, Is the -f  in the above command just ignored. Please let me know.
Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
Here's an expanded answer for "-f".  
"-f" is a querying option only, so it does not have  a use during install / upgrade, etc.  The -f is used to select a certain package (it takes a path parameter).  If a package was installed via RPM, you can "query it", and the -f option is used to indicate the path to the package you want to query.
Such as -
> rpm -qf /bin/mail
produces example output -
> mailx-8.1.1-44.2.2

Although you are not getting an error, it is not an install / upgrade option, so it "goes nowhere / does nothing".  If you give the -i / -U, any path parameters you pass will be used by those.

Did you get that install string as an example somewhere? My guess is someone may have meant the -F option, as that DOES have an impact at install / upgrade time.
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PrabAshAuthor Commented:
I see lot of people use rpm -ivf, I can see it on google. I don't know if they use it intentionally.


Please check the above link
Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
Pretty certain those are unintentional, especially since it doesn't like to spit out a warning.
RPM can be kind of complicated, and there are many misuses and misunderstandings, so it doesn't surprise me so many include this, probably thinking they are -F freshen/force, but don't get any feedback from the cli command, and assuming it "forced" OK...but in reality, the -i did the work.

I normally use
rpm -ivh packagename.rpm
rpm -Uvh packagename.rpm
for installing / upgrading, respectively.
(install or Upgrade, verbose output, hash progress)

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rpm -ivF would be "update or install package"
-f option is for querying (rpm -qf /sbin/init ) and luckily for you it is silently ignored and install commences.

i use yum or zypper as they will pull eventual dependencies as needed...
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