Skip to navigation

Warning message

log in to add comments or rate this document

What is yum and how to use it?

Updated 2014-01-27T21:18:11+00:00


  • What is yum and how to use it?


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6


1.What is yum?

Yum or Yellow dog Update, Modified is a package manager that was developed by Duke University to improve the installation of RPMs.

Yum searches numerous repositories for packages and their dependencies so they may be installed together in an effort to alleviate dependency issues. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 uses Yum to fetch packages and install RPMs.

Yum uses a configuration file at /etc/yum.conf. Also refer yum(8) man page for more information.

There are multiple ways by which you can install a repository on the system and install/update packages :

  • Add an existing repository.

  • Setup a new repository having packages populated from ISO's downloaded from RHN.

  • Register the system on RHN and subscribed to the channels depending on the subscription you have.

If you wish to add a new yum repository to the system refer - How can I add a new yum repository as a source to install software?

If you wish to install a repository and fetch updates from DVD ISO image, you can refer - How do I setup a yum or up2date repository to use a locally mounted DVD with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5?

If you want to register your system on RHN you can refer-How do I access Red Hat Network (RHN) to download software, updates, and security errata?

To access the repositories from  Red Hat Network (RHN)  to which you are entitled to - you need to register the system on RHN and subscribe to the required channels. Please consult the RHN FAQ list, for more information about registering with RHN, subscribing systems and other common questions around RHN.

2.How do I use it?
Yum must be running as root. Here are some useful commands:

1) Install a package:

# yum install package


# yum install httpd

2) Remove a package:

# yum remove package


# yum remove httpd

3) Update a package:

# yum update package


# yum update httpd

4) Search for a package:

# yum search package


# yum search httpd

5) Find information about a package:

# yum info package


# yum info httpd

6) List packages containing a certain term:

# yum list term


# yum list httpd

7) Find what package provides a particular file:

# yum whatprovides 'path/filename'


# yum whatprovides 'etc/httpd.conf'

# yum whatprovides '*/'

8) Update all installed packages with kernel package :

# yum update


# yum update

9) To update a specific package:

# yum update


# yum update openssh-server


You can also see the video on Basic yum Usage