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How to install DNF5 on Fedora 39 for faster application installation and management

DNF5 is the newest iteration of the package manager that helps users run software on the likes of Fedora Linux. Although Fedora 39 doesn't ship with DNF5 as the default, it's simple to install.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
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DNF, which replaced the aging original Linux package manager some time ago, is used on the likes of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and other distributions to install, upgrade, and remove software. DNF, aka Dandified Yum, is very simple to use but it has long been criticized for being slow.

Now, DNF5 is here to vastly improve the experience and performance. DNF5 features:

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  • No longer requires Python
  • Smaller install size - 114 MB (whereas DNF used 165 MB).
  • Noticeable speed increase
  • Replaces both DNF and Microdnf with a single package
  • Optimizes download metadata
  • Optional download of file lists (which are configurable from the DNF config file and/or commands)

I've installed DNF5 on a few instances of Fedora Linux and have been pleasantly surprised at how much faster it runs than previous iterations. When you combine the new-found speed of DNF5 with the blazing speed of the GNOME 45 Activities Overview search, Fedora 39 turns into one of the fastest desktop operating systems you'll ever experience.

The problem is that Fedora 39 doesn't ship with DNF5 installed. Out of the box, you'll get the speed of GNOME 45 but you'll miss out on the swifter package management experience.

Fortunately, DNF5 is very easy to install on Fedora 39. Let me show you how it's done.

How to install DNF5 on Fedora 39

What you'll need: The only things you'll need are a running instance of Fedora 39 and a user with sudo privileges.

A few things to keep in mind: First, DNF5 will not be officially added until Fedora 41. Second, GNOME Software does not yet use DNF5. While you can use DNF and DNF5 on the same machine, you'll have to specify the dnf5 command when you want to use it (instead of the standard dnf). I've tested DNF5 on Fedora 39 and haven't run into any issues yet, but your mileage may vary.

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With that said, let's install DNF5 on Fedora 39.

1. Upgrade Fedora

The first thing you'll want to do is upgrade Fedora. This is something you should do regularly, to ensure you have the latest security patches, bug fixes, and features. Log into your Fedora 39 instance and open the terminal app. With that open, upgrade Fedora with the command:

sudo dnf upgrade -y

If the kernel is upgraded, you'll have to reboot the machine for that particular upgrade to take effect.

2. Install DNF5

Back at the terminal app, install DNF5 with the command:

sudo dnf install dnf5 -y

When that completes, reboot your machine.

Using DNF5

As I said earlier, using DNF5 is a simple matter of dnf5 over dnf. In other words, to upgrade Fedora with DNF5, the command would be:

sudo dnf5 upgrade -y

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Let's say you want to install the Audacity audio recorder. For that, the DNF5 command would be:

sudo dnf5 install audacity -y

To remove Audacity, the command would be:

sudo dnf5 remove audacity -y

And that's pretty much all there is to DNF5. Here's one final thing to keep in mind: Once Fedora officially adopts DNF5, the command will most likely revert to dnf, since DNF5 will then be the default. 

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