RHEL 7 offers me to install 150+ updates, and it seems most part of these updates are not applicable to my server. For example it offers to install some "WiFi" Firmware, but my server doesn't have any wifi card.

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Should I just intall everything? Or, somehow, I have to understand myself what is applicable to my server and install only certain packages?

2 Answers 2


A lot of peripherals are removable (USB, Firewire, PCMCIA, hotpluggable PCI, etc.). Furthermore a system installation might be moved to new hardware if the old hardware failed or had to be upgraded. Linux distributions tend to provide all the drivers that you might possibly need, preferring to waste a few megabytes of disk space rather than tell you “keyboard not recognized, press F1 to continue”¹ or “network adapter not recognized; downloading driver failed: network not reachable”².

Updates are offered for all the software you have installed. The package manager can't predict that you're never going to use some piece of software. The way to tell a package manager you don't want t piece of software is to install it.

If you're sure you aren't going to need some driver or some firmware — for example wifi on a server that's sitting on a rack or running in a virtual machine, then you can safely remove packages that provide add-on drivers and firmware. Never remove individual files, only RPM packages. If removing a package would also pull out some package whose role you don't understand, leave it alone.

¹ Seen on many BIOSes (paraphrased).
² Seen on Windows (paraphrased).

  • how can I remove for example "Firmware for Intel Wireless Wifi Link 100"? How can I just remove everything I'm not actually using? Oct 13, 2014 at 19:36

In your case, I would suggest to do only the necessary updates as applicable to the system. According to redhat, there is no harm in installing these unnecessary updates but still it is not a good idea.

Although installing an unnecessary driver update will not cause harm, the presence of a driver on a system for which it was not intended can complicate support.

You should probably configure your system by providing some system profile information to redhat as discussed over here in this pdf article.

To use Red hat Network, system administrators register software and hardware profiles, known as system profiles of their client systems with Red hat network. When a client system requests package updates, only the applicable packages for the client are returned.

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