Many Linux users familiar with Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are familiar with YUM, but are oblivious to its origins in the much lesser known Yellowdog Linux, a now discontinued PowerPC variant of CentOS. And now, it seems, YUM is heading in the same direction.
Fedora is often referred to as the testing grounds for Red Hat where newer and cutting-edge technologies can be tested, studied, and stabilized before making their way into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a distribution known for its reliability for mission-critical applications.
For some time now, Fedora has been allowing the use of YUM alongside the newer DNF (which stands for Dandified YUM) package manager. The two have been available in Fedora together since Fedora 18, so it’s coming as no surprise that YUM is now being phased out as intended. DNF is very similar to YUM in command flags, but implements a stricter API for plugins and extensions.
Despite the move to deprecate YUM in Fedora, there will likely be much more resistance when it comes time for deprecation efforts in RHEL and CentOS due to the more long-term requirements of enterprise systems, which might result in images shipping with both YUM and DNF for much longer than Fedora did.
That being said, given the differing nature of releases between Fedora and it’s enterprise counterparts, it’s also possible that when RHEL/CentOS 8 comes along, it will be expected that those requiring the older YUM will stay on 7, just as those requiring SysV Init stayed on 6 and earlier.
The retirement of the longstanding YUM in Fedora is a rather landmark event with Fedora securely holding a top-ten spot among Linux distributions. Creating a new package manager is no simple feat, there are many reasons that most Linux distributions are derivatives of another, and the package manager is one of them.
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What is your favorite package manager? Which do you despise? Let us know if the comments below.