26 DNF Command Examples in Fedora / CentOS / RHEL

DNF or Dandified YUM is a fork of YUM package manager. It was introduced in Fedora 18 & on Fedora 22. It has now become default package manager for handling the RPM packages on CentOS 8, RHEL 8 and Fedora.

DNF resolves all the problems that has been associated with yum, like poor performance, high memory usage, slowness for dependency resolution. DNF can be termed as the next major version of the YUM package manager. Currently, the most stable version of DNF is version 2.6.3

In this tutorial, we will discuss the DNF commands used for package management. This article will serve as a cheat sheet for DNF. So let’s start …..

DNF Command

The syntax for using DNF command is pretty similar to using YUM, so you will find lots of similarity between the two commands.

Example:1) List enabled repositories

To list all the enabled repositories on the system, run

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf repolist
[sudo] password for linuxtechi:
repo id           repo name                                        status
*epel             Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 7 - x86_64   11,989
*fedora           Fedora 26 - x86_64                               53,912
*updates           Fedora 26 - x86_64 - Updates                    9,405
virtualbox         Fedora 26 - x86_64 - VirtualBox                 10
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:2) List all repositories (enabled as well as disabled)

If we need to see all the repositories that are either enabled or disabled, we need to run following

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf repolist all


Example:3) Installing a package

Like yum, we use ‘install‘ option followed by package name with dnf to install, Let’s suppose we want to install web server package (httpd)

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf install httpd


Example:4) Removing a package

To remove a package, execute the following from terminal,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf remove httpd
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf erase httpd

Output of above command would be something like below:


Example:5) Update a package

Run the following command to update a single package on the system,

Syntax: dnf update {pkg-name}

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf update filezilla

Example:6) Check for full system update

For a system wide update check, execute the following command,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf check-update


Example:7) Upgrade all system packages

To upgrade all system packages, run the following

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf upgrade


Example:8) List all group packages

Use the following to list all group packages

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf grouplist
Last metadata expiration check: 1:40:19 ago on Tue 10 Oct 2017 10:08:39 AM IST.
Available Environment Groups:
   Fedora Custom Operating System
   Minimal Install
   Fedora Server Edition
   Fedora Workstation
   Fedora Cloud Server
   KDE Plasma Workspaces
   Xfce Desktop
   LXDE Desktop
   Hawaii Desktop
   LXQt Desktop
   Cinnamon Desktop
   MATE Desktop
   Sugar Desktop Environment
   Development and Creative Workstation
   Web Server
   Infrastructure Server
   Basic Desktop
Installed Groups:
Available Groups:
   3D Printing
   Administration Tools
   Ansible node
   Audio Production

Example:9) Installing Group packages

Similar packages are grouped together & can be installed from single command, rather than using separate commands. To install a group, run

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools"


Example:10) Removing group packages

To remove a complete group of packages from system, run the following dnf command,

Syntax:  dnf groupremove ‘group_name’

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf groupremove "Development Tools"

We can also use ‘groupupdate’ for updating the group packages as well.

Example:11) Search for packages

To look for a particular package from the repositories, execute

Syntax: dnf search {package_name}

Let’s suppose I want to search net-tools package

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf search net-tools
=========== Name Exactly Matched: net-tools =========
net-tools.x86_64 : Basic networking tools
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:12) Download (don’t not install) a package

There can some scenarios where we require to download the packages but don’t wish to install. Use the following command to download package like samba

Syntax : dnf download package_name

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf download samba
samba-4.6.8-0.fc26.x86_64.rpm          139 kB/s | 636 kB     00:04
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:13) Show all available packages

To get list of all available packages from repositories, open terminal & run beneath dnf command

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ dnf list available | more


Example:14) Show only installed packages

Now, if we only require a list of installed packages on the system, we can get it by executing following command,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ dnf list installed


Example:15) Show all installed as well as available packages

To get list of all packages i.e. installed as well as available, run the following command

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ dnf list


Example:16) Enable repo for installation

To use a particular repository for installing a package, run

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf install --enablerepo=epel mysql
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 7 - x86_64     3.9 MB/s |  13 MB  00:03
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                 Arch       Version           Repository        Size
 mariadb                 x86_64      3:10.1.26-2.fc26    updates         6.4 M
Installing dependencies:
 mariadb-common          x86_64      3:10.1.26-2.fc26    updates         100 k
 mariadb-config          x86_64      3:10.1.26-2.fc26    updates         33 k
 mariadb-libs            x86_64      3:10.1.26-2.fc26    updates         663 k
Transaction Summary
Total download size: 7.2 M
Installed size: 44 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y

Example:17) Check which package provides the required function

If we wants to know which package is responsible for getting a particular functionality, like we need to know package name that is associated with ‘crontab’ or with some other command, than we can use the dnf command ‘provides‘ option in the following manner,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf provides crontab
cronie-1.5.1-5.fc26.x86_64 : Cron daemon for executing programs at set times
Repo        : @System
cronie-1.5.1-5.fc26.x86_64 : Cron daemon for executing programs at set times
Repo        : fedora
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Same can be done against a file, we can also use the same command with a file location to get the package name with which the file is associated,

[linuxtechi@fedora]$ sudo dnf provides /var/www/html

Example:18) View package information

To get details of a specific package, execute

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ dnf info cronie
Installed Packages
Name         : cronie
Version      : 1.5.1
Release      : 5.fc26
Arch         : x86_64
Size         : 236 k
Source       : cronie-1.5.1-5.fc26.src.rpm
Repo         : @System
From repo    : anaconda
Summary      : Cron daemon for executing programs at set times
URL          : https://fedorahosted.org/cronie
License      : MIT and BSD and ISC and GPLv2+
Description  : Cronie contains the standard UNIX daemon crond that runs /
specified programs at
             : scheduled times and related tools. It is a fork of the / 
original vixie-cron and
             : has security and configuration enhancements like the /
ability to use pam and
             : SELinux.
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:19) Building a cache

Though the cache is built automatically over time but we also have an option to manually build the cache, so that the future actions are fast & completed quickly. To create a cache manually, execute

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo time dnf makecache
Last metadata expiration check: 0:04:41 ago on Thu 12 Oct 2017 09:53:00 AM IST.
Metadata cache created.
0.86user 0.12system 0:01.04elapsed 95%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 106872maxresident)k
0inputs+1192outputs (0major+39606minor)pagefaults 0swaps
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:20) Delete a cache

To delete all the dnf cached data, execute the following commands

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf clean all
34 files removed
[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$

Example:21) Check the transaction history

To check all the transactions that have been done using DNF command, run the following commands

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf history


It will produce a list of all transactions in order as they have occurred with a corresponding number. We can use this number to further get the details of that transaction,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf history info 5


Logs related to installation, removal or updates are kept in the log file /var/log/dnf.log, Using dnf history command we can also rollback the system updates.

Example:22) Removing orphan packages

Orphan packages are those packages that were once installed to satisfy dependency for some other package but are not required now. To remove such packages, run

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf autoremove


Example:23) Synchronize all the packages to latest stable releases

Run the following command in order to synchronize all the packages to latest stable releases,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf distro-sync


If we need to sync only a single package, mention that package_name at the end otherwise all the packages will be synced.

Example:24) Reinstall a package

To reinstall a package, if need be, run the following command,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf reinstall postfix
Dependencies resolved.
 Package         Arch        Version            Repository      Size
 postfix         x86_64       2:3.2.2-1.fc26    fedora           1.4 M
Transaction Summary
Total download size: 1.4 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y

Example:25) Upgrade to a particular version

With DNF, its also possible to upgrade the rpm package to a particular version, to achieve this run the following command,

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ sudo dnf upgrade-to httpd-2.4.27-3.fc26

Example:26) Get list of all DNF commands and options

To get a list of all the available options that can be used with DNF, run

[linuxtechi@fedora ~]$ dnf help


This was our complete tutorial for DNF package manager with examples. Please do leave any queries or questions you have for this tutorial in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “26 DNF Command Examples in Fedora / CentOS / RHEL”

  1. Every parameter I run with dnf command gives me the following error message:
    Error: Failed to synchronize cache for repo ‘updates’

    I have a brand new Fedora 27 installed, but cannot move on for this error.

  2. Hello Pradeep Kumar.

    If only I had access to your knowledge, what a joy my Fedora 30 installation would have been. I am relatively new to the intricacies to Linux. I came to Fedora 30 from Ubuntu, most recently 19.04. Both distros have much to offer.

    I do not know why, but Fedora seems more difficult to me. Perhaps it’s just getting the hang of its nuances.

    I seek your counsel on one niggly problem I am currently having: trying to get Synaptic Package Manager to run on Fedora 30. From the Terminal, I enter sudo -s and provide the password when prompted. This is a carryover from Ubuntu.

    Next, dnf install synaptic runs perfectly well and is available in the applications after installation is complete.

    Now the problem: Synaptic starts just fine. But then, it prompts for ROOT’s password?!?!

    I’ve tried with my sudo -s password. No joy.

    Please, could you provide some guidance to help me overcome this problem? I should be most grateful.

    Thank you very much for your consideration.


  3. Very helpful but reinstall for a group not included. I am using MATE but it suddenly produced errors, e.g. “man package” leaves off first characters in the lines. Assume this is not a bug so am trying to reinstall “MATE Desktop” Other Desktops do not reproduce this error. Suggestions? Using Fedora 30 – up-to-date.


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