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My understanding is that yum, and the rpm system, is only useful on distributions such as Red Hat, Fedora and CentOS. I thought that Ubuntu, as a Debian based system, had no use for yum.

So I was surprised to find yum in the (universe section of) the official Ubuntu repositories.

When would yum be of use to an Ubuntu user?

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Yum is for RPM packages. RPM is not the preferred installation method in Ubuntu. The equivalent to Yum would be APT and dpkg. Yum is not a preferred way to update an Ubuntu system.

To install it, you can do so from USC, or from terminal:

sudo apt-get install yum

I don't think you would have a use for it, since there are equivalent Commands in Ubuntu. See the Table of Equivalent Commands

I would think that it can be used as a backup, if for some reason normal command won't work.

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+1 The idea to use it as a backup is a good one--I have needed to get some software while my dpkg cache was amok. – hexafraction Jul 9 '12 at 11:22
Does it actually work as a backup? – 8128 Jul 9 '12 at 13:18
@fluteflute It acts as another way to get software if apt is malfunctioning. – hexafraction Jul 23 '12 at 11:57

The primary use case for yum in Ubuntu is if a third-party application has its own yum repository, and no apt repository. Then it will sometimes work to install yum, enable the vendor/project repository for that software, and install the software.

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