Changes in DNF CLI compared to Yum

No --skip-broken

The --skip-broken command line switch is not recognized by DNF. The semantics this was supposed to trigger in Yum is now the default for plain dnf update. There is no equivalent for yum --skip-broken update foo, as silentnly skipping foo in this case only amounts to masking an error contradicting the user request. To try using the latest versions of packages in transactions there is the --best command line switch.

Update and Upgrade Commands are the Same

Invoking dnf update or dnf upgrade, in all their forms, has the same effect in DNF, with the latter being preferred. In Yum yum upgrade was exactly like yum --obsoletes update.

clean_requirements_on_remove on by default

The clean_requirements_on_remove switch is on by default in DNF. It can thus be confusing to compare the “erase” operation results between DNF and Yum as by default DNF is often going to remove more packages.

No resolvedep command

The Yum version of this command is maintained for legacy reasons only. The user can just do dnf provides to find out what package gives a particular provide.

Excludes and repo excludes apply to all operations

Yum only respects excludes during installs and upgrades. DNF extends this to all operations, among others erasing and listing. If you e.g. want to see a list of all installed python-f* packages but not any of the Flask packages, the following will work:

dnf -x '*flask*' list installed 'python-f*'

protected_packages is ignored

DNF drops Yum’s protected_packages configuration option. Generally, DNF lets the user do what she specified, even have DNF itself removed. Similar functionality can be implemented by a plugin.

dnf erase kernel deletes all packages called kernel

In Yum, the running kernel is spared. There is no reason to keep this in DNF, the user can always specify concrete versions on the command line, e.g.:

dnf erase kernel-3.9.4

dnf provides /bin/<file> does not find any packages on Fedora

After UsrMove there’s no directory /bin on Fedora systems and no files get installed there, /bin is only a symlink created by the filesystem package to point to /usr/bin. Resolving the symlinks to their real path would only give the user false sense that this works while in fact provides requests using globs such as:

dnf provides /b*/<file>

will fail still (as it does in Yum now). To find what provides a particular binary use the actual path for binaries on Fedora:

dnf provides /usr/bin/<file>

Also see related Fedora bugzillas 982947 and 982664.

skip_if_unavailable enabled by default

The important system repos should never be down and we see the third party repos down often enough to warrant this change. Note that without this setting and without an explicit skip_if_unavailable=True in the relevant repo .ini file Yum immediately stops on a repo error, confusing and bothering the user.

See the related Fedora bug 984483.

overwrite_groups dropped, comps functions acting as if always disabled

This config option has been dropped. When DNF sees several groups with the same group id it merges the groups’ contents together.

mirrorlist_expire dropped

To simplify things for the user, DNF uses metadata_expire for both expiring metadata and the mirrorlist file (which is a kind of metadata itself).

group_package_types dropped

Done to simplify the configuration. User will typically want to decide what packages to install per-group and not via a global setting:

dnf group install with-optional Editors

upgrade_requirements_on_install dropped

Dropping this config option with blurry semantics simplifies the configuration. DNF behaves as if this was disabled. If the user wanted to upgrade everything to the latest version she’d simply use dnf upgrade.

dnf history rollback check dropped

DNF tolerates the use of other package managers. Then it is possible that not all changes to RPMDB are stored in the history of transactions. Therefore, DNF does not fail if such a situation is encountered and thus the force option is not needed anymore.

Packages replacement without yum shell

Time after time one needs to remove an installed package and replace it with a different one, providing the same capabilities while other packages depending on these capabilities stay installed. Without (transiently) breaking consistency of the package database this can be done by performing the erase and the install in one transaction. The common way to setup such transaction in Yum is to use yum shell.

There is no shell in DNF but the case above is still valid. We provide the --allowerasing switch for this purpose, e.g. say you want to replace A (providing P) with B (also providing P, conflicting with A) without deleting C (which requires P) in the process. Use:

dnf --allowerasing install B

dnf history info last

In this case, DNF recognizes last as the ID of the last transaction (like other history subcommands), while Yum considers it a package name. It goes similarly for last-N.

Dependency processing details are not shown in the CLI

During its depsolving phase, Yum outputs lines similar to:

---> Package rubygem-rhc.noarch 0:1.16.9-1.fc19 will be an update
--> Processing Dependency: rubygem-net-ssh-multi >= 1.2.0 for package: rubygem-rhc-1.16.9-1.fc19.noarch

DNF does not output information like this. The technical reason is that depsolver below DNF always considers all dependnecies for update candidates and the output would be very long. Secondly, even in Yum this output gets confusing very quickly especially for large transactions and so does more harm than good.

See the the related Fedora bug 1044999.

dnf provides complies with the Yum documentation of the command

When one executes:

yum provides sandbox

Yum applies extra heuristics to determine what the user meant by sandbox, for instance it sequentially prepends entries from the PATH environment variable to it to see if it matches a file provided by some package. This is an undocumented behaivor that DNF does not emulate. Just typically use:

dnf provides /usr/bin/sandbox

or even:

dnf provides '*/sandbox'

to obtain similar results.

--enableplugin not recognized

This switch has been dropped. It is not documented for Yum and of a questionable use (all plugins are enabled by default).

Bandwidth limiting

DNF supports the ‘throttle’ and ‘bandwidth’ options familiar from Yum. Contrary to Yum, when multiple downloads run simultaneously the total downloading speed is throttled. This was not possible in Yum since downloaders ran in different processes.

The usage of Delta RPM files

The boolean deltarpm option controls whether delta RPM files are used. Compared to Yum, DNF does not support deltarpm_percentage and instead chooses some optimal value of DRPM/RPM ratio to decide whether using deltarpm makes sense in the given case.