dnf has become the default package manager in Centos 8 but the December 2020 RedHat decision about cutting it's support at the end of 2021 has made a lot of us stick with Centos 7, which will get security updated until June 2024.

dnf is available on Centos 7 though. And it would be good to switch to it for performance and resource usage reasons. (For example: on our Centos 7 machines yum can take up to 350MB of RAM when it is called by Puppet, even during runs where it's not updating or installing any packages!)

But my question is: is dnf supported on Centos 7? In other words: is the project tested on it, will it get security updates if needed, will the reported bugs be fixed?


There are multiple arguments for the thesis that it is not supported:

Here's what I found:

  • The dnf GitHub project's README provides info how to install it only for Fedora and states "In other RPM-based distributions you need to build all the components from their sources.".

    • ...but it in fact the dnf RPM package for Centos 7 is available in the Centos extras repo, but it is v. 4.0.9, from Nov 2018 (appropriate dnf changelog entry), while the current latest version is 4.5.2 (from Dec 2020).
  • This dnf FAQ entry says that it is safe to install dnf next to yum and provides a tool for migrating the history from yum to dnf ...but the command provided did not work for me as there is no such package as python-dnf-plugins-extras-migrate - this plugin is in the dnf-plugins-core package instead. But after running it with dnf migrate it errored with RuntimeError: Exec failed: no such table: main.trans_cmdline...

  • The Centos wiki page about using dnf on Centos 7 as yum4 - https://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup/ConfigManagementSIG/YUM4 - is not up to date as it is referring to Centos 7.5, released in 2018.

  • On the Centos blog the latest info about this is an article from 2018 - https://blog.centos.org/2018/04/yum4-dnf-for-centos-7-updates/ and the last question there - "Is it safe to use yum4/dnf on CentOS 7?" - has been unanswered for more than 1 year (since Dec 2019)...


...on the other hand, there are also arguments for the thesis that it is supported and maybe that support is just well not documented and updated (in a typical open source project way 🙄)?

Arguments for:

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