By: David Murphy
Yum is a powerful tool that greatly improves package handling on RPM-based Linux distributions. This tutorial explains how to create a local yum repository, configure your machine to use this repository, and customise a yum RPM to automatically use this repository.
Package management has always been a sore point for Linux, and particularly for RPM-based distros. “Dependency hell” is the term commonly used for the pain involved in installing a piece of software with a package management utility. Debian made things easier with its Advanced Packaging Tool (APT), but that’s no comfort to Red Hat and Fedora users. Connectiva Linux created APT-RPM, which brings most of the benefits of APT to RPM-based distros, but early versions bent some rules to get results.
Yum (Yellow Dog Updater, Modified) was created to address both the perceived deficiences in APT-RPM at the time, and restrictions of the Red Hat up2date package management tool. Yum handles dependencies gracefully and supports multiple repositories, as does APT-RPM. It also supports groups — tell a machine to process an application group and it will install all of those applications. This greatly simplifies managing multiple machines.
Why use yum instead of APT-RPM? Well, apart from the groups support, yum is distributed with Fedora Core, and APT-RPM is an add-on.