Appendix A Comparing Yum Version 3 With DNF

Oracle Linux 8 introduces a new version of the Yum tool, which is based on DNF technology. DNF provides several advantages over the Yum v3 tool. Most notably, DNF provides support for modular content and a more stable API. DNF is compatible with Yum v3 when used from the command line or when editing or creating configuration files, and you can use the dnf command and all of its options similarly to how you used the yum command in Oracle Linux 7. However, there are some differences between the two versions of the tool. This appendix describes many of those differences. For more information about DNF, see Section 3.1.2, “DNF Support Added”.

For more detailed information about using DNF in Oracle Linux 8, see the Oracle Linux Software Management Guide for Release 8.

The following table compares Yum v3 features, commands, and options with the DNF tool that is introduced in Oracle Linux 8.

Yum v3 Feature, Command or Option

DNF Feature, Command or Option

Notable Differences

--skip-broken option

--skip-broken option

Is an alias for the --setopt=strict=0 option

When used for installations: Skips all packages (or those with broken dependencies that are passed to DNF) without raising an error or causing the operation to fail.

You can use either option with DNF. You can also set this behavior as the default in the dnf.conf file.

When used for upgrades: The semantics that were used to trigger the yum command with the--skip-broken option are set for dnf update as the default. Note that you do not need to use the --skip-broken option with the dnf upgrade command. Instead, use the --best option if you want to use only the latest version of packages in transactions.

yum update command

dnf update command

Command syntax change only. No differences with the behavior for dnf update andyum update.

yum upgrade command

dnf upgrade command

Aside from the syntatical difference, the behavior of dnf upgrade is the same as yum upgrade. Note that in Yum v3, yum upgrade is the same as yum --obsoletes update.

clean_requirements_on_remove option

clean_requirements_on_remove option

This option is enabled by default in DNF, which might cause confusion when comparing the remove operation results between the two Yum versions, as DNF removes more packages.

resolvdep command

Not supported

Use the dnf provides command to determine which package provides a specific file.

The Yum v3 command is maintained for legacy purposes only.

deplist command

Not supported

Use the dnfrepoquery--deplist command to determine dependencies for a package.

The yumdeplist alias is provided for Yum v3 compatibility with the dnf repoquery --deplist command.

Excludes (and repository excludes)

Excludes (and repository excludes)

Yum v3 respects excludes during installations and upgrades; whereas, DNF respects all operations, including erasing and listing.

includepkgs option

include option

In DNF, the directive name for repository (and main) configuration has been renamed for better alignment with its DNF counterpart, exclude .

skip_if_available option

skip_if_available option

This option is enabled by default in DNF.

Without this setting, and without explicitly setting skip_if_unavailable=True in the relevant repository .ini file, Yum immediately stops and reports a repository error.

overwrite_groups option

Not supported

This configuration option has been removed in DNF. Instead, when DNF identifies several groups with the same group ID, it merges the contents of the groups.

mirrorlist_expire option

Not supported

DNF uses metadata_expire for the expiring metadata, as well as the mirrorlist file.

"metalink" mention in the mirrorlist repository option.

Not supported

A fix has been applied in DNF to render the following information in the yum.conf(5) inapplicable:

If the mirrorlist URL contains the word metalink, then the value of mirrorlist is copied to metalink (if metalink is not set).

alwaysprompt option

Not supported

This option has been removed from DNF to simplify configuration.

group_package_types option

Not supported

This option has been removed from DNF to simplify configuration.

dnf history rollback command

Not supported

This option has been removed from DNF to simplify configuration.

Use the dnfupgrade command to upgrade all packages to their latest version.


Behaves as though disabled.

Because DNF tolerates the use of other package managers, it is possible that not all changes that are made to RPMDB are stored in the history of transactions. Thus, DNF does not fail in this situation, which means the force option is no longer required.

yum swap command

dnfshell command

This command performs a remove and install transaction.

dnf --allowerasing command

Using the dnf --allowerasing command is the equivalent to using yum swap A B, where you want to replace A (providing P) with B (also providing P), which conflicts with A, without removing C (which requires P).

Dependency processing details displayed during the depsolving phase.

Not supported

In DNF, the depsolver considers all dependencies for update candidates, which would result in a quite lengthy output. Note that the Yum v3 output can also be confusing and lengthy, especially for large transactions.

yum provides command

dnf provides command

The behavior of the dnf provides command is more closely aligned to how it's documented; whereas, during the execution of the yum provides command, Yum applies certain, undocumented behavior. For example, if you run the yum provides sandbox command, Yum applies extra heuristics to interpret the sandbox portion of the command, then it sequentially prepends entries from the PATH environment variable to the command to determine if it matches a file that is provided by a package. DNF does not emulate this undocumented behavior.

--enableplugins option

Not supported

This option is not documented for DNF, as all plugins are enabled by default.

throttle and bandwidth options

throttle and bandwidth options

In DNF, for multiple downloads that run simultaneously, the total downloading speed is now throttled. This support was not available in the Yum v3 tool, as downloaders ran in different processes.

installonlypkgs option


DNF appends the list values from the installonlypkgs configuration option to DNF defaults. Yum v3 overwrites the defaults by option values.

deltarpm_percentage option

Not supported

The boolean deltarpm option controls whether delta RPM files are used. Yum DNF does not support the use of the deltarpm_percentage option. Instead, the tool chooses an optimal value of the DRPM/RPM ratio to decide whether using deltarpm is appropriate in a given situation.

.srpm files and non-existent package handling

.srpm files and non-existent package handling

DNF terminates early with an error if a command requesting an installing operation on a local .srpm file is executed. Yum v3 issues a warning and continues by installing the tour package. Note that Yum DNF will emit the same error for package specifications that do not match any available package.

Promoting a package to install to a package that obsoletes it.

Promoting a package to install to a package that obsoletes it.

DNF does not automatically replace a request to install a package (A) by installing another package (B) if package B would obsolete package(A. The Yum v3 behavior is to perform the action if the obsoletes configuration option is enabled. However, note that this behavior is not properly documented and can be harmful.

--installroot option

--installroot option

DNF provides more predictable behavior for this option and handles the path differently than the --config option, where this path is always related to the host system. Yum v3 combines this path with the installroot option. The reposdir option is also handled slightly differently in Yum DNF. For example, if one reposdirs path exists inside of installroot, then repositories are taken strictly from installroot. Whereas, Yum v3 tests each path from reposdir separately.

Prompts displayed after a transaction table

Prompts displayed after a transaction table

The prompts that are displayed after a transaction table are different in DNF than they are for Yum v3. DNF does not provide download functionality after displaying the transaction table. You are only prompted to continue with the transaction or not. If you want to download packages, use the download command.

list command

list command

The DNF behavior for this command is to list all packages from all repositories, which means there can be duplicate package names with different repository names listed. This change was made to enable users to choose a preferred repository.

There is no direct replacement for yum-updateonboot command in DNF. However, you can obtain a similar result by running the dnfautomatic command.

The following table compares Yum V3 plugins with DNF plugins.

Yum Version 3 Plugin

DNF Plugin


yum check

dnf repoquery --unsatisfied





Option in debuginfo-install.conf



dnf copr



fastestmirror option in dnf.conf









priority option in dnf.conf











The following table compares Yum v3 utilities with DNF plugins.

Yum Version 3 Utility

DNF Plugin

DNF Package


dnf debuginfo-install



dnf list installed



dnf tracer



dnf list, dnf repoquery

dnf, dnf-plugins-core


dnf repoclosure



dnf repodiff



dnf repograph



dnf repomanage



dnf repoquery



dnf reposync



dnf download –resolve –alldeps



dnf builddep



dnf config-manager



dnf debug-dump



dnf debug-restore



dnf download


The following table lists the Yum v3 package-cleanup command and its DNF replacement.

Yum Version 3 Command

DNF Command