Viewing the changes that have occurred to an RPM package

I recently encountered a bug in one of the Linux utilities I was using, and upgrading to the latest version of the utility appeared to fix the issue. Being the curious guy I am, I started poking around the web and various release notes to see when the issue was fixed. While digging through this information, I came across the SUPER handy yum changelog plugin. This nifty plugin will display the changes that have occurred to a package, along with the version those changes were incorporated into. To use the changelog plugin, you first need to install it:

$ yum install yum-changelog

After the plugin is installed, you can add the “–changelog” argument to the yum command line to view the changelog for that package:

$ yum update kernel –changelog
Loading “installonlyn” plugin
Loading “changelog” plugin
Setting up Update Process
Setting up repositories
other.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 1.1 MB 00:08
################################################## 361/361
other.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 5.3 MB 00:42
################################################## 462/462
other.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 7.1 MB 00:15
################################################## 2400/2400
other.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 145 B 00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
Resolving Dependencies
–> Populating transaction set with selected packages. Please wait.
—> Downloading header for kernel to pack into transaction set.
kernel-2.6.18-53.1.14.el5 100% |=========================| 258 kB 00:00
—> Package kernel.i686 0:2.6.18-53.1.14.el5 set to be installed
–> Running transaction check

Changes in packages about to be updated:

kernel – 2.6.18-53.1.14.el5.i686
* Wed Mar 5 17:00:00 2008 Karanbir Singh
– Change gpg key to CentOS

* Tue Feb 19 17:00:00 2008 Anton Arapov [2.6.18-53.1.14.el5]
– merge from 2.6.18-53.1.13 to 2.6.18-53.1.12
– [nfs] potential file corruption issue when writing (Jeff Layton ) [432078]
– [ppc] chrp: fix possible strncmp NULL pointer usage (Vitaly Mayatskikh ) [396821]
– [isdn] i4l: fix memory overruns (Vitaly Mayatskikh ) [425171]
– [isdn] fix possible isdn_net buffer overflows (Aristeu Rozanski ) [392151] {CVE-2007-6063}
– [mm] hugepages: leak due to pagetable page sharing (Larry Woodman ) [431522]
– [net] NULL dereference in iwl driver (Vitaly Mayatskikh ) [401421] {CVE-2007-5938}
– [misc] Denial of service with wedged processes (Jerome Marchand ) [221403]
– [xen] ia64: hvm guest memory range checking (Jarod Wilson ) [408701]

….

This is an incredibly useful feature, especially if you are trying to track down when a specific bug was fixed by a given Linux distribution. Rock on!

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