How to extract contents of an RPM package

Use the following procedure to extract contents of an RPM package:

rpm2cpio package.rpm | cpio -dimv

As the name implies, rpm2cpio takes an RPM package file and converts it to a cpio archive. The -i flag to the cpio command indicates that cpio is reading in the archive to extract files, and the -d flag tells cpio to construct directories as necessary. The -v flag tells cpio to list file names as files are extracted, and the -m flag tells cpio to retain previous file modification times when creating files.