Difference Between Yum and RPM

A package manager is computer software that deals with packages, installs, updates and upgrades necessary packages while archiving the rest. So what do Yum and RPM have to do with this?


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Yum and RPM are both package managers for Linux systems. They are used based on the Linux distribution being used and on your individual needs.

Yum vs RPM

The difference between Yum and RPM is that while Yum can only install the packages available in its repository, RPM can install multiple packages with the right file name and .rpm extension. Even though they are both packaging managers and their main function is to install, update and upgrade packages, these two still function differently.

Yum vs RPM

They are packaging managers for RPM-based Linux systems. They are a high-level front end management package managers for Linux distributions that are RPM-based.

RPM stands for Redhat Packaging Manager. It can be considered one of the oldest packaging managers that do basic functions like uninstalling, updating, archiving the packages received by the Linux systems.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonYumRPM
DefinitionIt is a top-level and front end packet management that can do everything individually.It is a low-level packet manager that does the most basic things.
OriginWas updated from YUP to Yum in 2003.The origin dates back to 1997.
DependencyIt resolves and installs dependencies automatically.Does not resolve dependencies.
Installing of packageYou can only install packages available in the repository and shows the packages already installed.It allows you to install multiple packages but you will have to provide the exact file name.
UpgradingAutomatic upgrades are done to the latest version.Does not allow upgradation.
ManagementIt is a tool that can be used to manage RPM with ease.It is difficult to manage when it comes to installing/ upgrading packages

What is Yum?

Yum, that stands for Yellowdog Upgrader Modified is the modified or updated version of YUP or Yellowdog UPgrader and came in 2003. It is dependent on RPM.

It mainly functions on RPM-based Linux systems and is dependent on RPM for performing its function but is also used for the management, installation and up-gradation of the packages in RPM-based Linux systems.

It can sense and resolve dependencies. Although it cannot install multiple packages like RPM, it can install the packages that are already available in the repository.

Yum can also scan and upgrade the packages to the latest versions. It also entirely relies on online repositories.

What is RPM?

RPM stands for Redhat Packaging Manager and was developed in 1997. It is a modified version of the package managers with the .pm extension that came in 1993.

It is a free open source package management system that works on Linux distribution systems and performs basic functions of installing, uninstalling, scanning, upgrading, updating etc.

RPM-based Linux systems need Yum for their management as it cannot sense and resolve dependencies on its own. This would make it easier for the package manager to locate the file.

RPM does not depend on online repositories for any of its services and it cannot scan or upgrade itself or its packages to the latest versions.

Main Difference between YUM and RPM

  1. Yum and RPM even though are Linux system packaging managers, they are still different even in their meaning. While Yum is a top-level front end packaging manager that operates on RPM-based Linux systems, RPM is a low-level packaging manager that performs basic functions.
  2. YUP or Yellowdog UPgrader was first made and completely developed between 1999-2000. The updated version of YUP is known as Yum and this was redeveloped or modified in 2003. Whereas RPM or Redhat was developed in 1997.



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