What's New Fedora Core 6 (Part 2): More Yum

by Chris Tyler

Fedora Core 6 extends the use of the yum package manager which was also used in Core 4 and 5. In Fedora Core 6, yum has been further integrated into the Anaconda installer, the automated update service has been rewritten, and the speed has been significantly improved.

The most visible change in the installer's use of yum is that it now permits additional repositories to be specified at installation time. This permits updates and extra packages to be incorporated into the initial installation rather than processed as a separate, later step.

Automated yum updates are now handled by the yum-updatesd service, which can be configured to simply provide notification of available updates (through dbus, which is picked up by a desktop applet, or through e-mail), to download new packages (and, optionally, their dependencies), or to install new updates as they become available. This replaces and extends the previous yum service, making it easier and more convenient to stay on top of updates. The graphical tools pup (package updater) and pirut (a graphical front-end to yum for installing and removing packages) further extend this convenience.

And finally, some parts of yum were rewritten in C, yielding a significant speed-up. Overall, package management in Fedora Core 6 is head-and-shoulders above previous releases and I think it has (finally!) become one of the distribution's strongest points.