I was looking for a package and ran dnf search to see if I had it before installing from source and a bunch of system updates started. I killed the process, thought weird and ran dnf info to see if I could find some other info. That too started running updates though it kept asking repeatedly if I importing a GPG key for postgres (starting with 15 then 14 then 13) was ok.

I've never seen this happen before. Can anyone explain the gist of it and hopefully provide docs where I can read more. Is this standard behavior for dnf?

Here's a copy paste from the terminal window:

[nick@nicks-x1 project]$ dnf search valgrind
Copr repo for PyCharm owned by phracek                                                                                            33 kB/s |  45 kB     00:01    
Brave Browser - Beta                                                                                                              24 kB/s |  15 kB     00:00    
determining the fastest mirror (144 hosts).. done.                [            ===                                             ] ---  B/s |   0  B     --:-- ETA
Fedora 38 - x86_64                                                                                                               2.2 MB/s |  83 MB     00:37    
Fedora 38 openh264 (From Cisco) - x86_64                                                                                         773  B/s | 2.5 kB     00:03    
Fedora Modular 38 - x86_64                                                                                                       1.5 MB/s | 2.8 MB     00:01    
^CFedora 38 - x86_64 - Updates                                                                                                     0.0  B/s |   0  B     00:00    
Error: Failed to download metadata for repo 'updates': Librepo was interrupted by a signal
[nick@nicks-x1 project]$ man dnf
[nick@nicks-x1 project]$ dnf info valgrind
Fedora 38 - x86_64 - Updates                                                                                                     2.2 MB/s |  32 MB     00:14    
Fedora Modular 38 - x86_64 - Updates                                                                                             1.5 MB/s | 2.1 MB     00:01    
google-chrome                                                                                                                     13 kB/s | 3.6 kB     00:00    
pgadmin4                                                                                                                         427  B/s | 833  B     00:01    
pgadmin4                                                                                                                         3.8 MB/s | 3.8 kB     00:00    
Importing GPG key 0x210976F2:
  • It looks like it's updating the package lists from the enabled repositories, which has been standard behaviour for yum for a long time (forever?) (and so I'd expect the same for dnf). That will naturally involve adding the repository keys if you haven't done so before. I don't see it upgrading any packages in the output you show.
    – muru
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 16:05
  • Thanks for the info, I just switched from MacOS to Linux my daily os and get confused from time to time.
    – user583182
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


This is normal behaviour; dnf is synchronizing its metadata from the configured repositories. It is not actually updating any of the packages on your system, only the information about packages available in repositories.

You don’t see this every time you run dnf because it caches this data and only updates it if it’s too old. The cache timeout is configured using the metadata_expire entry in dnf.conf (and in repository metadata), and is set to 48h by default.

You can avoid this with dnf -C; dnf will then operate using only its locally-cached metadata.

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