How to Setup Local HTTP Yum Repository on CentOS 7

A software repository (“repo” in short) is a central file storage location to keep and maintain software packages, from which users can retrieve packages and install on their computers.

Repositories are often stored on servers on a network for example the internet, which can be accessed by multiple users. However, you can create and configure a local repository on your computer and access it as a single user or allow access to other machines on your LAN (Local Area Network).

One advantage of a setting up a local repository is that you don’t need internet connection to install sofware packages.

YUM (Yellowdog Updater Modified) is a widely used package management tool for RPM (RedHat Package Manager) based Linux systems, which makes sofware installation easy on Red Hat/CentOS Linux.

In this article, we will explain how to setup a local YUM repository over HTTP (Nginx) web server on CentOS 7 VPS and also show you how to find and install software packages on client CentOS 7 machines.

Our Testing Environment

Yum HTTP Repository Server:	CentOS 7 [192.168.0.100]
Client Machine:		CentOS 7 [192.168.0.101]

Step 1: Install Nginx Web Server

1. First start by installing Nginx HTTP server from the EPEL repository using the YUM package manager as follows.

# yum install epel-release
# yum install nginx 

2. Once you have installed Nginx web server, you can start it for the first time and enable it to start automatically at system boot.

 
# systemctl start nginx
# systemctl enable nginx
# systemctl status nginx

3. Next, you need to open port 80 and 443 to allow web traffic to Nginx service, update the system firewall rules to permit inbound packets on HTTP and HTTPS using the commands below.

# firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=http
# firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=https
# firewall-cmd --reload

4. Now you can confirm that your Nginx server is up and running, using the following URL; if you see the default Nginx web page, all is well.

http://SERVER_DOMAIN_NAME_OR_IP 
Nginx Default Page

Nginx Default Page

Step 2: Create Yum Local Repository

5. In this step, you need to install the required packages for creating, configuring and managing your local repository.

# yum install createrepo  yum-utils

6. Next, create the necessary directories (yum repositories) that will store packages and any related information.

# mkdir -p /var/www/html/repos/{base,centosplus,extras,updates}

7. Then use the reposync tool to synchronize CentOS YUM repositories to the local directories as shown.

# reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=base --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
# reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=centosplus --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
# reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=extras --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
# reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=updates --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
Sample Output
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: mirrors.fibergrid.in
 * epel: mirror.xeonbd.com
 * extras: mirrors.fibergrid.in
 * updates: mirrors.fibergrid.in
base/7/x86_64/group                                                    | 891 kB  00:00:02     
No Presto metadata available for base
(1/9911): 389-ds-base-snmp-1.3.7.5-18.el7.x86_64.rpm                   | 163 kB  00:00:02     
(2/9911): 389-ds-base-devel-1.3.7.5-18.el7.x86_64.rpm                  | 267 kB  00:00:02     
(3/9911): ElectricFence-2.2.2-39.el7.i686.rpm                          |  35 kB  00:00:00     
(4/9911): ElectricFence-2.2.2-39.el7.x86_64.rpm                        |  35 kB  00:00:00     
(5/9911): 389-ds-base-libs-1.3.7.5-18.el7.x86_64.rpm                   | 695 kB  00:00:04     
(6/9911): GConf2-devel-3.2.6-8.el7.i686.rpm                            | 110 kB  00:00:00     
(7/9911): GConf2-devel-3.2.6-8.el7.x86_64.rpm                          | 110 kB  00:00:00     
(8/9911): GConf2-3.2.6-8.el7.i686.rpm                                  | 1.0 MB  00:00:06     

In the above commands, the option:

  • -g – enables removing of packages that fail GPG signature checking after downloading.
  • -l – enables yum plugin support.
  • -d – enables deleting of local packages no longer present in repository.
  • -m – enables downloading of comps.xml files.
  • --repoid – specifies the repository ID.
  • --newest-only – tell reposync to only pull the latest version of each package in the repos.
  • --download-metadata – enables downloading all the non-default metadata.
  • --download_path – specifies the path to download packages.

8. Next, check the contents of your local directories to ensure that all the packages have been synchronized locally.

# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/base/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/base/Packages/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/Packages/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/extras/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/extras/Packages/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/updates/
# ls -l /var/www/html/repos/updates/Packages/

9. Now create a new repodata for the local repositories by running the following commands, where the flag -g is used to update the package group information using the specified .xml file.

# createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/base/  
# createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/	
# createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/extras/  
# createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/updates/  

10. To enable viewing of repositories and packages in them, via a web browser, create a Nginx server block which points to the root of your repositories as shown.

# vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/repos.conf 

Add the following configuration ot file repos.conf.

server {
        listen   80;
        server_name  repos.test.lab;	#change  test.lab to your real domain 
        root   /var/www/html/repos;
        location / {
                index  index.php index.html index.htm;
                autoindex on;	#enable listing of directory index
        }
}

Save the file and close it.

11. Then restart your Nginx server and view the repositories from a web browser using the following URL.

http://repos.test.lab
View Local Yum Repositories

View Local Yum Repositories

Step 3: Create Cron Job to Synchronize and Create Repositories

12. Next, add a cron job that will automatically synchronize your local repos with the official CentOS repos to grab the updates and security patches.

# vim /etc/cron.daily/update-localrepos

Add these commands in the script.

#!/bin/bash
##specify all local repositories in a single variable
LOCAL_REPOS=”base centosplus extras updates”
##a loop to update repos one at a time 
for REPO in ${LOCAL_REPOS}; do
reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=$REPO --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/$REPO/  
done

Save the script and close it and set the appropriate permissions on it.

# chmod 755 /etc/cron.daily/update-localrepos

Step 4: Setup Local Yum Repository on Client Machines

13. Now on your CentOS client machines, add your local repos to the YUM configuration.

# vim /etc/yum.repos.d/local-repos.repo

Copy and paste the configuration below in the file local-repos.repo (make changes where necessary).

[local-base]
name=CentOS Base
baseurl=http://repos.test.lab/base/
gpgcheck=0
enabled=1

[local-centosplus]
name=CentOS CentOSPlus
baseurl=http://repos.test.lab/centosplus/
gpgcheck=0
enabled=1

[local-extras]
name=CentOS Extras
baseurl=http://repos.test.lab/extras/
gpgcheck=0
enabled=1

[local-updates]
name=CentOS Updates
baseurl=http://repos.test.lab/updates/
gpgcheck=0
enabled=1

Save the file and start using your local YUM mirrors.

14. Next, run the following command to view your local repos in the list of available YUM repos, on the client machines.

#  yum repolist
OR
# yum repolist all
View Local Yum Repositories on Client

View Local Yum Repositories on Client

That’s all! In this article, we have explained how to setup a local YUM repository on CentOS 7. We hope that you found this guide useful. If you have any questions, or any other thoughts to share, use the comment form below.

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44 Responses

  1. jrp says:

    Installed and configured nginx according to your guide. Changed the server name and restarted the vm, but when I try to go to the url I get error 403 forbidden.

    At first I was getting the standard index.html screen saying nginx is installed but not setup. After renaming the index.html file I get the 403 error. I checked selinux thinking this may be the issue, but it doesn’t appear to be the problem. Any suggestions?

  2. Chris says:

    When copying and pasting the cron.daily script, make sure the quotation marks are pasted correctly. My daily script wasn’t running and I couldn’t see why until I ran it manually. It threw this error:

    /etc/cron.daily/update-localrepos: line 3: centosplus: command not found
    

    Turns out the quotation marks were smart-quotes, i.e. those ones browsers and some editors change normal quotes to.

    Changed them to proper quotes, retested – now all good.

  3. Amara says:

    Hello I have a problem, when I run the command “yum repolist” I have This and I had tried to install Firefox to test the local repository but it doesn’t worked..

    Loaded add-ons: fastestmirror
    base | 3.6 kB 00:00
    extras | 3.4 kB 00:00
    http://172.16.1.2/base/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Try another mirror.
    http://172.16.1.2/base/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Try another mirror.
    http://172.16.1.2/centosplus/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Try another mirror.
    http://172.16.1.2/extras/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Try another mirror.
    http://172.16.1.2/updates/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Try another mirror.
    updates / 7 / x86_64 | 3.4 kB 00:00
    deposit ID deposit name status
    base / 7 / x86_64 CentOS-7 - Base 10 019
    extras / 7 / x86_64 CentOS-7 - Extras 382
    local-base CentOS Base 0
    local-centosplus CentOS CentOSPlus 0
    local-extras CentOS Extras 0
    local-updates CentOS Updates 0
    updates / 7 / x86_64 CentOS-7 - Updates 1 459
    repolist: 11,860

  4. Pat Mole says:

    How to use this for AltArch mirroring?

  5. cody says:

    I followed the tutorial and when groupfile failed, I used touch command to have a comps.xml file however i keep getting Failed to add groups file for repository: local-extras – comps file is empty/damaged

  6. Seyed Hossein Mirheydari says:

    I corrected the “update-localrepos” file to “Synchronize and Create Repositories” as below:

    #!/bin/bash
    ##specify all local repositories in a single variable
    LOCAL_REPOS='base centosplus extras updates'
    ##a loop to update repos one at a time 
    for REPO in ${LOCAL_REPOS}; do
    reposync -g -l -d -m --repoid=$REPO --newest-only --download-metadata --download_path=/var/www/html/repos/
    
    if [ $REPO = 'base' ]
    then
    createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/$REPO/  
    else
    createrepo /var/www/html/repos/$REPO/  
    fi
    

    done

  7. Shaul Marcus says:

    I am having the same problem. When I run createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/base it works fine. When I try run on the other directories it gives me Error: groupfile /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/comps.xml cannot be found.

    The comps.xml file only exists in the base and when I try to pull it from the other repos, nothing happens.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  8. Abdul Rafi says:

    Hi, I followed the whole procedure of creating a local yum repository and added it to the client machine. But after running the yum repolist command on the client machine it gives me errors and show 0 packages for the local base:

    [[email protected] ~]# yum repolist
    Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
    http://repo.dev.local/base/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Trying other mirror.
    http://repo.dev.local/base/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Trying other mirror.
    http://repo.dev.local/centosplus/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Trying other mirror.
    http://repo.dev.local/extras/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Trying other mirror.
    http://repo/dev/local/updates/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found
    Trying other mirror.
    repo id           repo name                            status
    base/7/x86_64     CentOS-7 - Base                      9,911
    extras/7/x86_64   CentOS-7 - Extras                    433
    local-base        CentOS Base                          0
    local-centosplus  CentOS CentOSPlus                    0
    local-extras      CentOS Extras                        0
    local-updates     CentOS Updates                       0
    updates/7/x86_64  CentOS-7 - Updates                   1,614
    repolist: 11,958
    
  9. Tony Sarles says:

    I found that nginx couldn’t read the repo folders. This is apparently an SELinux thing. The following commands resolved the issue:

    # yum install -y policycoreutils-devel
    # grep nginx /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M nginx
    # semodule -i nginx.pp
    
  10. virgilhsu says:

    Thanks for your share, I have do it by your solution step by step, but when I run the following command.

    # createrepo -g comps.xml /usr/share/nginx/html/repos/centosplus/
    
    Error: groupfile /usr/share/nginx/html/repos/centosplus/comps.xml cannot be found.
    

    In my Nginx root directory /usr/share/nginx/html, I run the following command.

    # createrepo  /usr/share/nginx/html/repos/centosplus/
    

    It`s done by no problem,finally, I run this command in a client centos7 pc:

    # yum repolist
    
    http://172.16.1.91/repos/base/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 12] Timeout 
    on http://172.16.1.91/repos/base/repodata/repomd.xml: 
    (28, 'Connection timed out after 30001 milliseconds')
    Trying other mirror.
    

    The 172.16.1.91 is the repos server,how to fix this problem?

    • Aaron Kili says:

      @virgilhsu

      Did you add the local repo config on the client machine as shown? If yes, did you use the correct URL for all the repos? Is your client able to connect to the server, you can check using ping command.

    • jordan says:

      just touch the comps.xml file, worked for me.

      • LivingLegend says:

        Hi, this isn’t solution. You are created only empty file.

        This procedure isn’t correctly:

        # createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/base/  
        # createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/	
        # createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/extras/  
        # createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/updates/  
        

        only base contains comps.xml

        This is correctly procedure:

        # createrepo -g comps.xml /var/www/html/repos/base/  
        # createrepo /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/	
        # createrepo /var/www/html/repos/extras/  
        # createrepo  /var/www/html/repos/updates/  
        

        I find solution on https://www.centos.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=61184

        • Aaron Kili says:

          @LivingLegend

          Thanks for sharing, we’ll look at it.

        • Spacerat says:

          Which in turn leads to problems with the updater cron script

          Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
          Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
          Warning: cannot find repository base
          No repositories found
          Spawning worker 0 with 5010 pkgs
          Spawning worker 1 with 5009 pkgs
          Workers Finished
          Saving Primary metadata
          Saving file lists metadata
          Saving other metadata
          Generating sqlite DBs
          Sqlite DBs complete
          Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
          Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
          Warning: cannot find repository centosplus
          No repositories found
          Error: groupfile /var/www/html/repos/centosplus/comps.xml cannot be found.
          Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
          Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
          Warning: cannot find repository extras
          No repositories found
          Error: groupfile /var/www/html/repos/extras/comps.xml cannot be found.
          Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
          Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
          Warning: cannot find repository updates
          No repositories found
          Error: groupfile /var/www/html/repos/updates/comps.xml cannot be found.
          

          because it is called with -g comps.xml for each repo, not really sure what is the right way here.

          Additionally i also need to host centos6 rpms on the same server but did not yet look into that.

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