DNF Automatic


dnf-automatic [<config file>]


Alternative CLI to dnf upgrade with specific facilities to make it suitable to be executed automatically and regularly from systemd timers, cron jobs and similar.

The operation of the tool is completely controlled by the configuration file and the command only accepts single optional argument pointing to it. If no configuration file is passed from the command line, /etc/dnf/automatic.conf is used.

The tool synchronizes package metadata as needed and then checks for updates available for the given system and then either exits, downloads the packages or downloads and applies the packages. The outcome of the operation is then reported by a selected mechanism, for instance via the standard output, email or motd messages.

A few default systemd units are provided to enable some standard configurations:

  • dnf-automatic-notifyonly
  • dnf-automatic-download
  • dnf-automatic-install

Run dnf-automatic

You can select on that most closely fits your needs, customize /etc/dnf/automatic.conf for any specific behaviors, and enable the timer unit.

For example:systemctl enable dnf-automatic-notifyonly.timer && systemctl start dnf-automatic-notifyonly.timer

Configuration File Format

The configuration file is separated into topical sections.

[command] section

Setting the mode of operation of the program.


boolean, default: False

Whether packages comprising the available should be applied (i.e. installed via RPM). Implies download_updates. Note that if this is set to False, downloaded packages will be left in the cache to the next successful DNF transaction.


boolean, default: False

Whether packages comprising the available should be downloaded.


either one of default, security, default: default

What kind of upgrades to look at. default signals looking for all available updates, security only those with an issued security advisory.


time in seconds, default: 300

Maximal random delay before downloading.

[emitters] section

Choosing how the results should be reported.


list, default: email, stdio, motd

List of emitters to report the results through. Available emitters are stdio to print the result to standard output, email to send the report via email and motd sends the result to /etc/motd file.


string, default: hostname of the given system

How the system is called in the reports.

[email] section

The email emitter configuration.


string, default: root

Message’s “From:” address.


list, default: root

List of recipients of the message.


string, default: localhost

Hostname of the SMTP server used to send the message.

[base] section

Can be used to override settings from DNF’s main configuration file. See DNF Configuration Reference.