Difference Between PIP And YUM In Python


Difference Between PIP And YUM In Python
Difference Between PIP And YUM In Python

We have all had times where we may have wondered about the differences between the package management tools that are commonly used for installing software and applications. If you’ve ever had to maintain or deploy code across different environments, you’ll know that proper package management is essential for smooth development and deployment workflows.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between two popular package management tools in the world of Python and Linux – ‘pip’ and ‘yum.’ We will discuss their respective roles, features, and similarities. By the end of our exploration, I hope you can confidently decide which tool suits your specific requirements and situations better, with an improved understanding of these widely-used package managers.

What is PIP

PIP stands for “PIP Installs Packages” or “Package Installer for Python.” It is the official package installer for Python, allowing you to manage and install packages from the Python Package Index (PyPI) easily. Installing additional libraries and modules for your Python projects becomes a hassle-free task using pip.

Since pip is specifically designed for Python, it has excellent support for dependencies related explicitly to Python packages. Most importantly, pip focuses on automating the installation and removal of these packages without affecting system-wide installations.

Some of the key benefits and features of pip include:

1. Simple package installation from PyPI
2. Ability to install packages directly from version control repositories
3. Support for virtual environments to manage isolated projects easily
4. Requirement file support for simplified dependency management
5. Extensive documentation and active community support

What is YUM

YUM, short for Yellowdog Updater, Modified, is a free and open-source command-line package management tool for Linux operating systems using RPM Package Manager. It allows users to manage packages, such as installing, updating, and removing them, by automatically handling dependencies and resolving conflicts.

Yum is not Python-specific, unlike pip. It focuses on managing software packages for the entire system, including applications, libraries, and operating system components. Moreover, it operates at the Linux distribution level rather than focusing only on language-based packages like its counterpart.

Some key benefits and features of YUM include:

1. Versatile package management for RPM-based Linux distributions
2. Dependency resolution and conflict handling
3. Support for repositories with easy setup and configuration
4. Options for downloading packages without installation
5. Comprehensive search functionality to locate packages easily

Quick Summary

So for those that are lazy and just want a quick cheat sheet on the differences between YUM and PIP related to Python I have created a table below that may help you out.

CommandDescriptionUsage Example
yum installInstalls system-level packages and dependenciesyum install package_name
pip installInstalls Python packages and dependenciespip install package_name
yum updateUpdates system-level packagesyum update package_name
pip install --upgradeUpgrades Python packagespip install --upgrade package_name
yum removeRemoves system-level packagesyum remove package_name
pip uninstallUninstalls Python packagespip uninstall package_name
yum searchSearches for available system-level packagesyum search package_name
pip searchSearches for available Python packagespip search package_name
yum list installedLists installed system-level packagesyum list installed
pip listLists installed Python packagespip list
yum updateUpdates all system-level packagesyum update
pip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip install -UUpgrades all Python packagespip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip install -U

Primary Goals

One of their main differences really is that they have different roles on what they accomplish but they do have some overlap when it comes to managing Python dependencies and this is what we need to outline below.


The primary goal of pip is to manage Python packages and libraries with ease. It excels in providing Python developers with a straightforward solution to install and maintain individual projects’ dependencies. By using virtual environments, like virtualenv or venv, pip further improves this experience by isolating project dependencies from one another as well as from your system’s global environment.

From a Python developer’s perspective, pip can be considered a go-to tool for managing requirements specific to Python projects. It efficiently handles upgrades, uninstalls packages if needed, and simplifies the deployment process while ensuring minimal conflicts with other Python-related resources on the system.


On the other hand, yum caters to a broader scope of managing the software landscape across an entire Linux distribution. Its primary function revolves around maintaining consistency and eradicating conflicts amongst the system-wide components. It automates dependency resolution, allowing the user to focus on installing or removing required applications without being concerned about the underlying complexities.

Yum cannot be considered a substitute for pip when dealing strictly with Python projects. However, it plays an essential role in maintaining system-wide integrity, security, and stability even when managing and installing Python components along with various other software packages.


One major difference between PIP and YUM deeply roots in their scope of usage. While Pip remains dedicated to Python packages, Yum addresses a broader range of software solutions that include Python packages alongside many other software products. Thus, in scenarios where the developer does not intend to operate beyond the Python ecosystem, Pip serves as the ideal package manager.


Another significant distinction is seen in terms of compatibility with various operating systems. Primarily designed for Linux-based platforms, Yum works well with distributed environments and deals remarkably with system-wide upgrades across shared networks and infrastructure systems. Yet, it may create problems trying to use it on different platforms like Windows because of its strong link to RPM (Red Hat Package Manager)-based systems.

On the other hand, PIP’s flexibility makes it versatile, as it can be operated on almost any major operating system, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Being the go-to package manager for the global Python community, its compatibility becomes a notable point of difference between the two tools.

Dependency Management

Both PIP and YUM handle dependencies management in distinct ways. For instance, YUM seeks out dependency chains automatically and decides on a compatible version for the packages being installed or updated. This feature optimizes the software stack and ensures that all solutions work harmoniously together.

PIP also manages dependencies but relies heavily on the user to identify and install the correct versions needed for their projects. This element brings both an advantage and a disadvantage, as it gives developers more control over which version they wish to use but simultaneously increases the risk of potential conflicts, and may require more extensive manual intervention.


The essential repositories used by these package managers vary not only in content but also in how they are maintained. As mentioned before, PIP draws its resources from PyPI, whereas Yum taps into several official Red Hat repositories, Fedora repositories, and third-party repositories, depending on the distribution.

The discrepancy in repositories signifies that certain packages might be present in one repository and absent in others, leading to the possibility of accessibility limitations if the desired package is exclusive to one package manager for a specific operating system.

Package Type & Focus

As mentioned earlier, PIP exclusively manages Python packages, whereas Yum handles software packages for Linux distributions such as CentOS, Fedora, and RHEL. In simpler terms, while PIP is specific to Python libraries, Yum is both generic and versatile enough to handle other software components too.

Package Format

PIP caters to Python packages predominantly in the form of .tar.gz or .whl files commonly found on PyPI or custom repositories. On the flip side, YUM deals with binary and source RPM packages (.rpm). As a consequence, Pip concentrates on delivering python libraries to make your code work better, while Yum offers executable binaries and compatible source RPMs that can be used across Linux systems.

Dependency Management

Both package managers excel in managing dependencies. However, they differ in their approach and target packages. PIP restricts its scope to Python packages, tracking and managing dependencies for the same. In contrast, Yum, with its broader range, manages software dependencies for Linux distributions like CentOS, Fedora, and RHEL, similarly resolving and tracking them to ensure smooth system functionality.

Installation Sources

PIP sources Python packages from PyPI by default, but it can also facilitate installation from other repositories or local directories using remote URLs. Contrarily, Yum focuses on installing packages from YUM repositories, which are usually pre-configured in Linux distributions such as CentOS, Fedora, and RHEL. While PyPI emphasizes catering specifically to Python libraries, the YUM repositories consist of various software packages needed for operating systems, including Python distributions.

Usage Context

For maintaining and upgrading a Python-based project’s package ecosystem, Pip remains unbeaten due to its specialization in handling Python libraries. YUM, although not a direct competitor in this context, performs exceedingly well when dealing with system-wide software packages and broader tasks such as OS-level upgrades.

Syntax Differences Between YUM and PIP


$ yum install package_name 
# Example: yum install nginx 

$ pip install package_name 
# Example: pip install requests


$ yum update package_name
# Example: yum update nginx

$ pip install --upgrade package_name
# Example: pip install --upgrade requests


$ yum remove package_name
# Example: yum remove nginx

$ pip uninstall package_name
# Example: pip uninstall requests

Package Search

$ yum search package_name
# Example: yum search nginx

$ pip search package_name
# Example: pip search requests

List Installed Packages

$ yum list installed
# Example: yum list installed

$ pip list
# Example: pip list

Upgrade All Packages

$ yum update
# Example: yum update

$ pip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip install -U
# Example: pip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip install -U


In conclusion, we can say that PIP and YUM serve different purposes but are complementary to each other in the world of Python development on Linux. PIP is an invaluable tool for Python developers to manage project-specific packages and dependencies, while YUM deals with RPM-based package management for entire Linux systems, including applications, libraries, and operating system components. To have a seamless experience using both these tools together, remember to keep your Python environment isolated from the global system by leveraging virtual environments.

As we have explored the differences between pip and yum throughout this blog post, you should now have a clearer understanding of their respective roles, strengths, and use cases. Identifying the appropriate tool for your specific needs will be crucial to optimizing productivity, reducing conflicts, and ensuring smooth deployment and maintenance of Python projects on Linux systems.



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