There is a proposal for Fedora 39 to use DNF5 for software package management to improve performance and user experience.
One of the most important aspects of any Linux distribution is the tools we use to manage software. Of course, we’re talking about the command line tool we use to install, remove, and update the package base.
These tools significantly impact the overall user experience and perception of a particular Linux distro.
So, the APT tool is available for all Linux distros that use the DEB package format, such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. Correspondingly, it is DNF for RPM-based systems like Red Hat and Fedora.
Fedora, as we all know, has always excelled in its pursuit of innovation and offering its users the most cutting-edge Linux technology. This is mainly due to Fedora’s status as a testing ground for future stable Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions.
In other words, Red Hat software engineers can pre-test the functioning of various Linux tools before they are implemented in RHEL, where stability is always the top concern.
So it is no surprise that there is a proposal in Fedora Linux 39, which is expected to be released late next year, for the DNF software management tool to be replaced with DNF5. As a result, DNF, LIBDNF, and DNF-AUTOMATIC will be replaced by the new DNF5 and Libdnf5 libraries.
This is undoubtedly a welcome change. But let us explain why we think this and the advantages of DNF5 over the currently used DNF to our readers.
With DNF, the metadata fetching is the slower part. In other words, almost every time you run DNF, you will sit there waiting for metadata to download. On top of that, it is currently single-threaded. This causes system memory usage to skyrocket when fetching updates to the package lists.
So, for all repositories, it is download, next parse, and then loop. However, thanks to its major codebase improvements, DNF5 will parallelize this so that at least parsing happens while the next repo is downloading.
In other words, the new DNF5 will significantly improve performance and user experiences. To summarize, the following are the key advantages that users will get once DNF is replaced with DNF5 in Fedora 39:
- A tighter, smaller, and faster system as a result of removing the requirement of Python currently used in DNF.
- Significant performance improvement when loading repositories and executing RPM queries.
- DNF5’s new and improved progress bar offers a better user experience.
- If it is integrated into Desktop, the new daemon could give an alternative to PackageKit for RPMs.
However, DNF5 is still in heavy development, so we’ll have to wait another year to see all this stuff in action. And while it isn’t a revolutionary change, it is remarkable.
So, all we have to do now is wait for Fedora 39, which, as previously said, is likely to debut somewhere in late 2023.