I often switch back and forth between Fedora and Debian based linux flavours learning their peculiar ways but today I bumped into something I need a little support on. I was looking for a way to list the contents of a repo in Ubuntu, something along the lines of repoquery in RedHat. And I ended up with this - a man page for repoquery present in Ubuntu's online manpages.

Shaken in my belief that apt-get and co are the package managers in Debians, I quickly ran another search, which resulted in this question.

But then how come there is a repoquery package for Ubuntu? Could I actually use yum as my package manager in Ubuntu?

  • Seems like working with another distribution's repos and packages should be something you should be able to do, purely as a matter of convenience. For example, you might have to manage distro X, but like to work on distro Y. That's why I have dpkg installed on macOS 😁
    – muru
    Dec 29, 2016 at 22:02
  • 2
    Rather off-topic comment: I really like the title "to yum or not to yum". It made me smile at the ingeniousness of its author... I rarely see such "cultural-themed" astute titles on AU. Our site would gain much from such type of texts... Dec 30, 2016 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


Just because Ubuntu comes with apt does not mean that you can't use yum or pacman or whatever. However, that does not mean it's a good idea!

While it will work, it opens up a huge can of worms with package dependencies and similar -- yum and apt will not necessarily co-operate with each other, and might even fight over dependency libraries and the like, leading to your system possibly becoming a big heaping pile of broken packages and inconsistency. If you do this, it (first off) might not even work, and/or you run the risk of totally destroying your system.

Unless you know exactly what you're doing, and you're careful, installing and using yum as a package manager might end up with some very strange results. If you need to install a RPM package for whatever reason, it's best to use alien or a similar utility. Typically, though, using Alien is not necessary. Instead, most unavailable packages on Ubuntu can (typically) be found through PPAs, but be careful and only add PPAs from trusted sources/people.

  • 3
    Wow, I have needed Alien for months without knowing it. Dec 29, 2016 at 21:51
  • @NonnyMoose You probably don't need Alien. Try looking for a PPA containing the package you need first, but be sure to get it from a reputable source.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Dec 29, 2016 at 21:54
  • I need it to install binaries from the occasional program compiled by someone who's only running Fedora. (Not very often, but still does happen) Dec 29, 2016 at 21:56

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