How Does Fedora’s Yum Work?

In the world of Linux, there are many systems and tools for managing the package installation process in Linux systems. Although there were only a few of such tools existed at the beginning of Linux era, a number of package management systems were introduced when the number of Linux flavors started growing. As an example, Debian and Debian based Linux flavors use apt as the package management tool, while Fedora uses YUM as its system for package management and maintenance.

Fedora Yum

As we all know, both Red Hat and Fedora use an rpm based package management system. In the good old way, one needs to download all rpm files necessary for a particular installation and install them manually. This was quite a hassle, especially when there were dozens of dependencies found during the installation process. Many other Linux distributions such as Gentoo and Ubuntu introduced an automated tool for doing the same. By just issuing a command, the package was checked for dependencies, downloaded, installed, and configured.

Although Fedora uses YUM, it is not a tool fully developed by Fedora. YUM stands for Yellowdog Updater Modified. Do you remember the Red Hat based distribution, Yellowdog? Yes, YUM was initially developed by them with the help of community developers. From the first version, the predecessor of YUM has been free and open source software which was released under GPL. Then, various parties and developers start developing other tools that complement the predecessor of YUM to expand its functionality.

YUM makes the life easier for many people involved in Linux, such as system administrators of large computer networks. Using YUM, system administrators can easily automate the Linux update and upgrade process, saving a lot of time and money. With the enhancements of YUM, it introduced and new XML standard for repositories and soon it became the de facto standard for all rpm based repositories. With such enhancements, the other distributions, such as SuSE started adding support for YUM in the recent versions.

There are many similar package management systems for YUM. These package management systems have been introduced by various Linux distributions. When it comes to the core operations, YUM works the same way as any other package management system. When it comes to performance and configurability, YUM has a definite advantage. YUM’s performance in package management has been noted by system administrators who manage rpm based Linux systems. Therefore, YUM is being tried and deployed for many rpm based Linux systems worldwide.

When you use YUM, you can update the entire system by issuing a single command. In addition, you can setup cron jobs to automate the package update process. By simply issuing respective command, YUM automatically downloads the packages, configure them and install in the system. In addition to software packages, YUM also downloads 3rd party software and security patches released for Linux software packages.

YUM is considered as one of the safest package management systems for rpm based Linux systems. YUM uses gpg for verifying the authenticity of software packages. Therefore, there is no space for tampered packages to get into your system. Due to strong gpg verification, YUM repositories do not have to have strong security. Therefore, almost all the YUM repositories are just file sharing directories on the web. This simplicity itself compliments the performance of YUM.

If YUM has not been packaged as default software for your rpm based Linux system, you can simply install YUM by downloading the YUM rpm package to your Linux system. Once YUM is downloaded, install it by issuing rpm installation commands. After this step, you will not be using rpm commands ever again!

Author: Nilanka

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