You don’t need to install an RPM package just to get to the files. This can be especially useful if you’re looking for the default configuration files or docs from a package. You may have the package already installed and don’t want to reinstall it. It’s not pretty, and I wish rpm and yum provided a prettier method of extracting a file, but it works.
his little utility comes with rpm, so it’s already installed and waiting for you. rpm2cpio converts a rpm file specified as as a command argument (or as standard input) and spits it out as a cpio archive to standard output.