If you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS, you may have noticed that even the latest 6.x distributions lack many common packages found in more progressive systems like Fedora or Ubuntu.
Thankfully there is an easy fix provided by the Fedora Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) team. A treasure trove of popular packages are provided with the Red Hat endorsed “epel-release” yum repository. You can learn more and obtain the repository RPM on the Official EPEL site. This is one of the best kept secrets for RHEL and CentOS users, EPEL provides a lot of frequently requested software in this essential “extra” yum repository.
Some software I find useful from EPEL includes: dia, filezilla, nfts-3g, putty, and open-vm-tools. One thing to keep in mind about software in EPEL – security updates and bug fixes may not be as timely since these are not in mainline RHEL – some packages could be abandoned entirely if the maintainer stops working on the EPEL package. For the most security-critical systems, your best bet may be to stick with only mainline RHEL/CentOS packages.