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on my server, yum is using a LOT of system resources. My friend suggested to kill -9 it, but I want to know I'll be able to restart it first. Preferably without rebooting the whole server.

However, I'd also like some alternatives, I'd rather know WHY yum is taking up all these resources. I'm fairly new to running servers, so I'd appreciate any help.

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Interesting, thanks Dennis! – Rob Apr 25 '10 at 3:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You should be able to restart yum like any other service,

/sbin/service yum restart

You can try to trace what the yum process is doing by using

strace -p PID 

(where PID is the process ID that you can look up using top)

You can look up the strace man page for more information

man strace 
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strace unknown command, although now I've rechecked top, and yum isn't at the top of it anymore, or even on it. This is driving me nuts. I have ridiculous load averages – Rob Apr 25 '10 at 3:10
You probably have to install strace using 'yum install strace' Also check the output of top or free and see how much swap is being used. That might indicate that you are out of RAM and some process is now thrashing and using your swap and causing your queue to grow. You can also rearrange top to arrange by memory used by typing M. – garg Apr 25 '10 at 3:31
root 17145 3.8 0.8 22684 13532 ? R 07:48 0:07 /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/yum info Yum is currently in use by that – Rob Apr 25 '10 at 3:52
As the other comment said, yum is not a service – James Antill May 5 '10 at 21:45
Thanks. My mistake. – garg May 5 '10 at 23:47

Yum is not a service it is a command, so you don't restart it like a service - you kill it and if need be re-run it.

However interrupting yum can leave yum in an inconsistent state, which can be a problem when you next try to use it.

If you do interrupt yum, you may want to have a look at the yum-complete-transaction command.

You may also want to look at the yum clean ... commands

man yum man yum-complete-transaction

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