There is a feature apt-get has and yum misses: the ability to show installed packages versions, when asking confirmation about upgrading. There is a list of the about-to-be-installed packages version numbers, but not the already installed versions.

For example yum might tell you that you’re about to upgrade to apache v2.2.14-2, but from which version? If you’re upgrading from v2.2.14-1, you should have nothing to worry about. If you’re upgrading to v2.2.13-4, maybe you’ll want to have a look to the changelog to check which features were added. If you’re upgrading to v1.3 (!), well, you might run into a couple of problems when trying to restart it afterwards :)

Well, this is what this plugin is made for. Here’s how it looks like:

# yum upgrade
Loaded plugins: changelog, dellsysidplugin2, fastestmirror, presto, priorities, refresh-packagekit, show-upgrade-versions
Setting up Upgrade Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

The following packages are release updates:
bind-libs (9.6.1)               13.P2.fc12 => 15.P3.fc12
bind-utils (9.6.1)              13.P2.fc12 => 15.P3.fc12
dhclient (4.1.0p1)              13.fc12    => 17.fc12
dhcp (4.1.0p1)                  13.fc12    => 17.fc12
fluidsynth-libs (1.0.9)         4.fc12     => 5.fc12
policycoreutils (2.0.78)        7.fc12     => 10.fc12
policycoreutils-gui (2.0.78)    7.fc12     => 10.fc12
policycoreutils-python (2.0.78) 7.fc12     => 10.fc12

The following packages are version updates:
genisoimage      1.1.9    => 1.1.10
gocr             0.46     => 0.48
homebank         4.0.4    => 4.1
icedax           1.1.9    => 1.1.10
perf    =>
wodim            1.1.9    => 1.1.10

Dependencies Resolved
Total download size: 33 M
Is this ok [y/N]: 

I’ve made an rpm package for this plugin, if you want to try it, you can grab it here: yum-plugin-show-upgrade-versions-1.00-1.fc12.noarch.rpm.

It’s tagged for Fedora 12, but it should work on older versions I suppose…