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Yum Cheat Sheet

What is yum?

yum is the default package manager for RPM-based linux distributions (CentOS, Fedora, RHEL, Oracle). It’s written in python and it stands for “Yellowdog Updater, Modified”, as it was originally called “yup”, the package manager for Yellow Dog Linux. Unlike it’s debian cousin, which uses various commands for package management, yum can perform all package operations by itself.

Useful flags

Assume yes for all prompts



Assume no for all prompts



Disable GPG verification



Skip broken packages

Skips packages that whose dependencies can’t be resolved.



Enable/Disable repository

You can dynamically enable or disable a repository for a single execution.



Package Management

Installing an RPM package

Installing an RPM package from remote repositories

    $ sudo yum install [package-name]


Installing a local RPM package

    $ sudo yum install /path/to/vim-1.2.rpm


Installing a specific version of a package

    $ sudo yum install gcc-4.0


Removing an RPM package and dependencies

Removes a package and any package it depends on (provided nothing else depends on it).

    $ sudo yum remove [package-name]

Note: this will only remove the binaries and libraries, any configuration files will stay intact.


Downgrade a package

This will install the package’s previous version.

    $ sudo yum downgrade [package-name]


View a package’s dependencies

    $ sudo yum deplist [package-name]


Listing packages

The yum list command can take different arguments:

List all available packages from repositories

    $ sudo yum list available


List installed packages

    $ sudo yum list installed


List installed and available packages

    $ sudo yum list all


List all packages (installed or available) that match a given [package-name], can be a glob

    $ sudo yum list [package-name]
    $ sudo yum list mysql*


Search for package

This searches for [package-name] across all repositories, also looking inside package descriptions.

    $ sudo yum search [package-name]


Upgrade all system packages

    $ sudo yum upgrade

This command installs all of the latest versions of each package installed on the system and is, generally, not recommended to be run on production systems.


Reinstall a single package

Sometimes, it’s necessary to force reinstallation of a package.

    $ sudo yum reinstall [package-name]


View info for a package

    $ sudo yum info [package-name]


Find which RPM package installs a given file

This command is very handy when it’s not obvious which package needs to be installed to use it.

    $ sudo yum provides [file]

yum provides can also take a glob:

    $ sudo yum provides "*/bin/vim"


List all dependencies for a given package

    $ sudo yum provides [package-name]


Package Groups

Note: yum now has a groups subcommand for group operations, versions before 3.4.x should refer to this document instead.

yum has the concept of “package groups”, groups of related packages that can be installed or uninstalled at once, that don’t necessarily depend on each other.

List all groups

    $ sudo yum group list


Install all packages for a group

    $ sudo yum group install "Basic Web Server"


Remove all packages for a group

    $ sudo yum group remove "Basic Web Server"


Repository Management

List all repositories

    $ sudo yum repolist


List all packages for a given [repository]

(Note: yum > 3.4.x only)

    $ sudo yum repo-pkgs [repository] list


Install all packages from given [repository]

(Note: yum > 3.4.x only)

    $ sudo yum repo-pkgs [repository] install


Remove all packages from a given [repository]

(Note: yum > 3.4.x only)

    $ sudo yum repo-pkgs [repository] remove


Update local metadata cache

This is run automatically by yum as needed, but can be refreshed manually with yum makecache

    $ sudo yum makecache

When this command is run, all available packages are fetched and re-indexed from the repositories yum knows about.


yum-utils and yumdownloader

In order to download source packages, it’s necessary to install an additional package for yum, called “yum-utils”, which provides a yumdownloader binary, among other things.

Downloading RPMs

Downloading RPM from remote repositories

    $ sudo yumdownloader [package-name]


Downloading Source RPMs

    $ sudo yumdownloader --source [package-name]


Downloading all dependencies for an RPM

    $ sudo yumdownloader --resolve [package-name]


Filtering by architecture

    $ sudo yumdownloader --archlist=[arch-list]  [package-name]



yum-utils adds other useful commands to yum that are too specific to cover here but are still worth looking over at the YumUtils website.


The Future: DNF

DNF is the next generation of package management for redhat based operating systems. Currently, it exists as a fork of yum 3.4 that use libsolv as its dependency solver. It is currently in use by the Fedora distribution.


Getting more familiar with your package manager’s tools can help you be more productive when finding, installing, and querying packages.

We highly recommend that users of production redhat based systems become familiar with yum and dnf.

You can learn more about the tools mentioned in this blog post by reading the man page: man 8 yum

Hungry for more knowledge?

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