Yum performance

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Yum is often described as slow compared to other tools. This is often related to the usage of Python instead of a low level language. However, a deeper analysis of the subject shows a different picture.

No question – if you compare yum performance to for example apt performance (both is possible on Fedora, btw.) you quickly realize that yum is much slower. On the other hand, yum has some very nifty advantages like plugins so you might not care. But a bad feeling is still there.

The question was always if this was due to the programming language – but now a new analysis by Patrick Reynolds showed that the problems are much more related to much too many system calls yum makes during normal runs.
I even was able to confirm these numbers on my system, although I was able to get yum search down to “only” one million calls by using the --noplugins, but that doesn’t really count. You can also test the numbers by using strace -c COMMAND, it is pretty interesting.

Fortunately, this is Free Software, and the people do care when you point them in clear words to clear problems. In this case Seth Vidal answered and was able to improve the yum search performance by a factor of 15. Nice.

Let’s hope that these performance improvements will find their way into F7 soon.

Found through this article, btw. And in case you wait for the next series-article, my editor ate an article draft so I have to re-write some parts…:/