Link to this post 02 Jan 12

Hi, I'm relatively new to linux, and one thing I have trouble with is documentation. Are pro linux users expected to be reading source code for the _real_ documentation? I'm already a windows developer, but I'm still learning to develop on linux, and I want to be skilled like a pro.

Here's a specific example. I was just trying to understand how to interpret the list that is printed when I run

yum check-update

After searching the man page and yum website, I only saw a description of what the command does, but not how to interpret the output. I know it is supposed to list all packages with updates applied to them, but I do not simply get a list of names, I get a list in the format '<name> | <size> <time>', followed by a list in the format <name> <number>/<number>. Here's an example:
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
adobe-linux-i386 | 951 B 00:00
adobe-linux-i386/primary | 11 kB 00:00
fedora/metalink | 21 kB 00:00
fedora | 4.2 kB 00:00
fedora/primary_db | 12 MB 01:23
fedora/group_gz | 431 kB 00:03
spotify | 1.3 kB 00:00
spotify/primary | 1.5 kB 00:00
updates/metalink | 17 kB 00:00
updates | 4.7 kB 00:00
updates/primary_db | 2.9 MB 00:19
updates/group_gz | 431 kB 00:02
adobe-linux-i386 17/17
spotify 3/3

Since there are two lists, I'm not sure what each one means. Plus, I want to know what the values in each column mean. I have guesses about all of this, but I want to be certain - you know?

Link to this post 02 Jan 12

Those are the repos that Fedora is going through in order to check for updates. Those are the ones set up in /etc/yum.repos.d/. I believe the second column is the size of the repo (meta)data that yum fetches and the third column is the time it took to retrieve that data.

Once the repodata is retrieved, yum looks at and compares the versions on your computer to the data retrieved and sees if files in the repo are newer and then lists what files are possible candidates to be updated.

Fedora is very well documented, the documentation is found here:

No one needs to read source code to get documentation in Linux, although, unlike Windows, the source code is available and most of the time, it is very well commented. So, if someone needs to review the code, hints to what is going on are usually right there in the code itself.

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