Alex Entrekin

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Why Red Hat’s new ‘dnf’ package manager is not “just another ‘yum'”

Around this time last year, Fedora 22 brought a major update for anyone working under the Fedora hood — Yum was deprecated and replaced by DNF.  It brings some significant changes:

  • Faster, more mathematically correct method for solving dependency resolution
  • A “clean”, well documented Python API with C bindings &
  • Python 3 support

Isn’t this a Release by Another Name?

No, DNF marks a shift, and not just a fork to Python 3, C support and cleaner docs.  The move to libsolv, librepo and a slim, planned API means Yum’s organic sprawl and bespoke depsolving are being phased out.

The shift solves old depsolving problems and readies DNF for some of the changes afoot in the devops world — e.g. empowered and independent devops-ers who don’t want to reinvent the wheel on each deploy.  Whether that warrants more than a major release is a bike-shed argument.

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