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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?

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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)...

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...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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