Yum connects to the Internet to download the latest database of available packages. The following test is run on a database which is already updated, to avoid network latency issues.
Command yum -y check-update
Cambridge result real 0m3.450s
Leonidas result real 0m3.054s
Once again Leonidas is a little faster.
This command lists information about available packages.
Command yum list
Cambridge result real 0m7.030s
Leonidas result real 0m6.082s
Leonidas is about one second faster here. This might not sound like much, but it is when you consider it’s only a 6 second command!
Yum has the ability to provide the name of a package which contains a particular file. Here, Yum is finding the package which includes the /etc/fstab file.
Command yum provides /etc/fstab
Cambridge result real 0m0.322s
Leonidas result real 0m0.327s
Cambridge actually turns out to be ever so slightly faster here, but they are very close.
Yum can query the local package database and search for packages based on their name, such as note taking program Gnote.
Command yum search gnote
Cambridge result real 0m0.461s
Leonidas result real 0m0.400s
Not much difference here either, although Leonidas does come out slightly on top.
Users can tell Yum to remove programs from the local system, including all their dependencies. Here we are removing Mono, Novell’s implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework. This will also remove all programs which require Mono, such as note taking program Tomboy and photo manager F-spot.
Cambridge result real 0m32.508s
Leonidas result real 0m28.339s
This is where Leonidas starts to show its prowess over Cambridge as removing all 15 packages was over 4 seconds faster.
Of course, one of the major features of Yum is the ability to install packages and their dependencies. Here we install note taking program Gnote, the C++ port of the .NET program Tomboy. The package pulls in 5 dependencies. Binaries were pre-fetched (thanks to the yum-downloadonly package) to bypass any network latency issues.
Cambridge result real 0m22.261s
Leonidas result real 0m21.769s
Once again, Leonidas was a little faster at installing these packages over Cambridge. The total for these 6 packages under Cambridge was only 4MB, while under Leonidas it was actually 6MB. That’s 50% larger, but it still installed faster.
Yum is a wrapper for RPM and it does appear to have benefited from the update to version 4.7.0 with Leonidas. The performance gains are very modest however and most users will not see a great deal of difference between the two systems. At least, that’s with the light usage seen here. The memory performance increases are reported to go hand in hand with larger transactions and so usage on a grander scale may of course show further improvements. Indeed the majority of performance improvements under Cambridge may actually be a result of the newer kernel and other libraries, rather than RPM 4.7.0 itself. A system with the ext4 file system may also see further performance increases. Either way, Leonidas does edge out Cambridge even if by a slim margin.
Overall, Yum is quite a powerful package manager and with the new presto plug-in should be more considerate of overall network bandwidth. Is Leonidas worth the update simply for the much improved package manager? Probably not, but there are plenty of other reasons to upgrade.