Dandified YUM, or simply DNF, is the successor to the popular Yellowdog Updater, Modified package manager, more commonly known as YUM.
Both DNF and YUM provide a user-friendly interface to the RPM Package Manager (RPM) that comes with CentOS, RHEL, Fedora, and many other Linux distributions.
As the successor to YUM, DNF has several enhancements including increased performance, faster dependency resolution, and more complete documentation for its API.
DNF has replaced YUM as the default package manager on most newer RPM-based distributions, including:
- RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 8
- CentOS 8 and other RHEL derivatives (such as AlmaLinux 8 and Rocky Linux 8)
- Fedora 22 (and later)
While the YUM package manager is no longer used on these distributions, the
yum command still works in many cases.
Most distributions link the
yum command to the DNF software and, since DNF maintains compatibility with much of YUM's CLI, most commands still function as intended. This is why some documentation for these distributions still reference the
yum command to install or update software.
You can also find a few helpful resources at the end of this guide.
Before You Begin
Before running the commands within this guide, you will need:
A system running on CentOS/RHEL 8, AlmaLinux 8, Rocky Linux 8, Fedora 22, or later versions of these distributions. Other Linux distributions that employ the DNF package manager can also be used.
Login credentials to the system
Use the following command to upgrade your installed packages to their latest versions:
sudo dnf upgrade
It is usually a good idea to run this command before you begin a new installation to ensure your existing packages are up to date. You are likely to see this command at the beginning of many installation guides and wherever DNF is used.
You can list the installed packages for which updates are available. This command also lists any installed packages that are becoming obsolete.
sudo dnf check-update
To upgrade a specific package, use the following command.
sudo dnf upgrade <package-name>
The following example upgrades the Apache package.
sudo dnf upgrade httpd
You can install a package using the following command. This example installs the Nginx server
sudo dnf install nginx
You can reinstall a package using the following command:
sudo dnf reinstall nginx
Use the following command to uninstall a package. This example uninstalls the MySQL Server
sudo dnf remove mysql-server
To remove a package and all of the dependency packages that were installed alongside it, use the following command.
sudo dnf autoremove mysql-server
autoremove command without specifying a package identifies and removes any packages originally installed as dependencies but which are no longer needed.
sudo dnf autoremove
DNF also provides an option to remove duplicate packages. The following command removes any older versions installed and reinstalls the newest version.
sudo dnf remove --duplicates
DNF provides numerous options in common between many of its commands. The examples below show the most commonly used of these options.
You can provide a list of packages, separated by spaces, where you would normally provide the package name. For instance, the following install Nginx, PHP, and MySQL Server in a single command:
sudo dnf install nginx php mysql-server
To use a specific version of a package, follow the package name with
- and the desired version number. This works with any of the commands where you designate a package name. This example installs version 9.0 of the *Vim text editor:
sudo dnf intall vim-9.0.0
To identify the available versions of a package, use the
--showdupicates option with the
list command and the specific package's name.
sudo dnf list neovim --showduplicates
--assumeyes, flag to automatically answer Yes to all prompts DNF would otherwise present. The following example installs NeoVim without prompting the user to confirm any steps in the installation process, such as when it needs to install dependencies.
sudo dnf install neovim -y
To list all packages in DNF's repositories, you can use DNF's
list command. But, this gives you a massive list of all packages.
You can use the following options that give you a useful list of a specific group of packages.
installed option lists all of the packages currently installed on your system.
sudo dnf list installed
recent option lists packages added to the DNF repositories in the past week.
sudo dnf list recent
You can also give the name of a package along with the
--showduplicates flag. This gives a list of available versions of the package. You can see a version of this command used in the Useful Options section above. The example below shows all of the versions of Git available in DNF's repositories:
sudo dnf list git --showduplicates
You can search DNF's available packages using the following command. Here, the command finds packages that have the term
git in their metadata.
sudo dnf search git
search command supports multiple arguments separated by spaces. You can use this to search for multiple keywords.
sudo dnf search version control
If you want to find a package based on a specific command it provides, you can use a command like the following. This example finds packages that provide a
sudo dnf provides jupyter-notebook
In this case, the search comes up with the
You can also get additional details about a package. For example, the
python3-notebook package was found in the previous example.
sudo dnf info python3-notebook
Automate Package Updates
DNF has a supplemental package, DNF Automatic, which allows you to configure an automated process for updating packages. These steps show you how to install and get started using DNF Automatic.
Install the DNF Automatic package.
sudo dnf install dnf-automatic
Using your preferred text editor, open the DNF Automatic configuration file which is located at:
/etc/dnf/automatic.conf. Here, enter your configuration preferences.
The following presents example values for some configuration options. It is recommended that you change these values.
[commands] upgrade_type=default download_update=yes apply_updates=yes emit_via=motd
You can switch
security if you want to limit the updates made to only those impacting system security. With
emit_via set to
motd, DNF Automatic's reports will be stored in the
You can start the DNF Automatic timer by running the following command:
sudo systemctl enable --now dnf-automatic.timer
You can verify that the timer has been created with the following command:
sudo systemctl list-timers dnf-*
With the information in this guide, you should be armed for the majority of cases in which you are likely to use DNF on your Fedora webserver. If you come to a situation where you need to use DNF's more advanced features, you can explore DNF with the
sudo dnf -h
For more information on a specific DNF command and a list of the command's options, follow the command with the
-h flag. This example gets information on the
sudo dnf autoremove -h
Stay tuned for DNF Command Cheat Sheet coming up soon!!