If you want to quickly learn how to install, remove or update software packages on Fedora or CentOS, here is the short and sweet guide. To use yum you will require an Internet connection and the root password of your system.
Yum stands for Yellow dog Updater, Modified. Yum is currently maintained as part of Duke University's Linux@DUKE project. Using yum you can easily install, remove or update the software packages on your RPM based system. Fedora, CentOS and many other GNU/Linux distributions are based on RPM.
Yum is a command line utility. You will need to open the terminal and become root to use yum. On Fedora 8, click Applications on the gnone-panel, select System Tools and click on Terminal from the drop down menu. On the terminal, ie command line, type
su - Type the root password
The first thing I do after installing Fedora is update the system. Free and open source software projects are updated rapidly. To keep your system current you have to update packages installed on your computer from time to time. Fedora maintains many software repositories and their mirrors. Whenever software packages are developed or updated, they would be stored on these repositories. When you update your system using yum, you download the latest packages from these repositories and install them on your computer. To perform a full update of your system type the below command in the terminal:
You can also update select packages using the yum update command. To update the Firefox web browser type the below on the command line:
yum update firefox
To install new package on your computer you can use similar three word command - yum install package-name. For example to install Drivel Journal Editor software package type the below command:
yum install drivel
Yum displays the name, architecture, version and size of the package along with the repository name. It asks for your confirmation. If you type y and hit enter yum downloads and installs the Drivel Journal Editor software package on your computer.
To remove existing software packages from your computer use the yum remove package-name command. Yes, you have already figured out the complete command. To remove X-Chat GNOME client software package, I would type
yum remove xchat-gnome
Yum automatically resolves dependencies when updating, removing or installing packages. For example if you want to install package A on your computer you would type yum install package A. If package A depends on package B, yum automatically installs package B for you. Yum solves the dependency maze you would typically come across with RPM.
To search for software packages in the added repositories use the command yum search
yum search games
There are few GUI applications that use yum at the back end. If you prefer to use the graphical interface you can use either Pirut or Yumex. To launch Pirut, click Applications on the gnome-panel and then click Add/Remove Software. Pup, the package updater sits on the notification area on the gnome-panel and tells you when updates are available. You can launch Pup from Applications>System Tools>Software Updater.
If you do not have Internet connection at home you can still update and install new packages using opyum. You will need the help of another Fedora computer that has Internet connection. You are more likely to get one at a friend's place or at work.
To learn more about yum visit the Fedora documentation web page at Managing Software with yum.
On the terminal type
You can also get information about yum by typing
Yet another way to get quick help on yum is tp type