I'm trying to submit tools and libraries into source control, and the tools (such as glibc) arrive in rpm's. Instead of installing them (which is what I don't want to do), I'm ripping the contents out. Of course, rpm doesn't give you an easy way to do that.
But I have determined the correct syntax to do it, as rpm's are really cpio files:
rpm2cpio rpmfile.rpm | cpio -id