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Fedora Users Still Have Mixed Feelings Over DNF

Fedora

Published on 06 January 2014 06:44 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora
34 Comments

While DNF isn't the default package manager on Fedora Linux installations until at least Fedora 22, there's still many mixed reservations about this intended replacement to Yum.

A few days ago I wrote about the DNF package manager now being ready for user testing although the lead DNF developer is still busy at work on new functionality to put the Hawkey-powered package manager on par with Yum.

For the past few days, comments in support and against DNF continues to rattle and dominate the Fedora mailing list.

The comments range from being not liking the name "DNF", concern over feature parity if DNF will end up shipping as the "yum" command, and concern whether DNF will be ready for production use by Fedora 22.

Aggravating a surprisingly large number of users is that "dnf remove kernel" is no longer treated like "yum remove kernel" with regards to the installed Linux kernel versions it removed. With Yum, removing "kernel" will get rid of all installed kernels besides the current kernel version currently used by the system. With DNF, all kernels will be removed -- including the kernel your system is currently using. In other words, with DNF you can remove all kernels from the system to the point of leaving the system not bootable.

On one side of the argument there's people upset that this could leave some novice users with effectively bricking their Fedora installation, but on the other side, if the user is either accidentally maliciously or mistakenly typing commands as root, they can already cause much harm to the system in numerous other ways.

The DNF developer isn't interested in adding the "dnf remove kernel" safeguard but has recommend concerned users/developers write a plug-in to provide this safety mechanism. On the plug-in front, Yum plug-ins will also require porting to DNF, which is another item that has upset some with this ongoing mailing list thread about the next-generation Fedora package manager.

Users don't need to worry immediately since Fedora 21 will still be using Yum by default, but we'll see how the DNF/Yum situation plays out as Fedora 22 inches closer in H2'2014.

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