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July 2005

Linux's Best Friend

Bits & Bolts Thanks to YUM, Linux updates are as reliable as Old Yeller. The Right Tool YUM is more scalable and tolerant than other Linux updating programs, such as Red Hat-based up2date and Debian-based APT-RPM (now managed by Conectiva), which makes it more suitable for enterprise environments. YUM handles dependencies more gracefully than the others, supports multiple repositories, groups and failover, and simplifies the management of multiple centralized and decentralized machines. YUM, like up2date, is written in Python, while APT-RPM is written in C++; the difference is 33,000 lines of code, meaning YUM and up2date are faster and less complex. On the other hand, up2date and APT-RPM have native GUIs, while YUM is command-line only (third-party GUIs are available). Also, up2date has a rollback feature absent in YUM, which is important in case of incorrect or incomplete updates. YUM may be used in other popular distributions such as Novell's SuSE Linux or Mandrake, but there are less likely to be issues with Red Hat and ...

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