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rpm -qlp <package>.rpm
Shows the contents of a package but doesn.t extract anything.
Another useful command is rpm2cpio:
rpm2cpio rpmfile.rpm | cpio -i --make-directories [filename_to_extract]
Extracts the contents into the local directory. The [filename_to_extract]
would be any of the files shown in the rpm -qlp so that you can extract only what you want.
The commands I gave you will work to see what is in the new rpm without installing it.
As to preserving your original rpm - From the rpm man page:
--repackage Re-package the files before erasing. The previously installed package will be named according to the macro %_repack- age_name_fmt and will be created in the directory named by the macro %_repackage_dir (default value is /var/spool/repackage).
The flag can be used when doing an upgrade so it will save the original package before erasing it and installing the new one according to the upgrade options section.
You can learn a lot from the man pages - just type "man rpm" for more information.