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What is YUM?

Published on January 19, 2021 · Updated on January 19, 2021
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By Mark Drake
Manager, Developer Education
What is YUM?

YUM is a software package management utility used in many popular Linux distributions, including Fedora and CentOS. YUM is a front-end for the RPM package manager, meaning that it manages packages in the .rpm file format.

Like APT, YUM works through the use of software repositories, or repos, special directories that hold collections of software packages. Repositories are typically stored on remote servers that users can access over a network connection, but it’s also possible for users to store software packages in a repository on their local machine.

“YUM” is an acronym that stands for “Yellowdog Updater, Modified”. This name harkens back to YUM’s origins as a rewrite of Yellowdog UPdater (also known as “YUP”), a software updater for Yellow Dog Linux, a now-defunct Linux distribution. A rewrite of YUM itself, named Dandified YUM or “DNF” for short, has recently replaced YUM as the default package manager in Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

For more information about YUM and other package management utilities, see our guide on Package Management Basics.


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About the authors
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Manager, Developer Education

Technical Writer @ DigitalOcean

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