Can't use 'yum' in Linux

Posted on 2009-04-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
A long time ago in a place far far away I remember using yum to install lots of stuff and it worked great, but now I am trying it again on my own server and it's not working. Linux does not recognize 'yum' and when I try to install the RPM package I get the following error:

[root@supersecret /]# rpm -Uvh yum*.noarch.rpm
warning: yum-2.0.3-0.fdr.1.rh90.noarch.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 8df56d05
error: Failed dependencies:
        rpm-python >= 0:4.1.1 is needed by yum-2.0.3-0.fdr.1.rh90.noarch
        yum < 3.2.0 conflicts with yum-metadata-parser-1.1.2-2.el5.x86_64

I have a feeling I am looking at it the wrong way somehow but I can't figure out what. My linux version is the following:

[root@supersecret /]# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.9-023stab048.4-smp (root@rhel4-64) (gcc version 3.4.5 20051201 (Red Hat 3.4.5-2)) #1 SMP Fri Jul 11 18:00:55 MSD 2008

I remember getting the error that gcc couldn't be found either while trying to install different packages, but here it says a gcc version number? I am totaly lost, any help would be very greatly appreciated, thanks experts!
Question by:bt33
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Expert Comment

ID: 24103411
The gcc version reported by /proc/version relates to the build environment of your kernel, so it doesn't necessarily indicate anything about software installed on the system.

The fact that you are getting a message about conflicts with the installed yum metadata parser makes me wonder if yum isn't already installed. What does "rpm -q yum" tell you? What about "whereis yum"? Is it possible that your PATH environment variable isn't set through /usr/bin?

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24103485
RedHat EL 3 uses up2date is this not working for you?

Author Comment

ID: 24107943
[root@supersecret ~]# up2date
-bash: up2date: command not found
[root@supersecret ~]# rpm -q yum
package yum is not installed
[root@supersecret ~]# whereis yum
[root@supersecret ~]# echo $PATH

All bad news it seems :(
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Accepted Solution

zencrafter earned 500 total points
ID: 24109982
It's RHEL 4, not RHEL 3.  That 3.4.5-2 version number listed there for RedHat is for the version of gcc used to compile the kernel.  RHEL 4 uses gcc-3.4.x.  The RHEL version is also indicated by the email address in the string (root@rhel4-64)  gcc-3.4.6-9 is the most recent update for RHEL 4.

That first error told you the problem.  You're trying to install an incompatible version of yum.  
If you want to use yum instead of up2date, you're going to need to point yourself to a CentOS 4 yum repository to get RPMs compatible with your RHEL 4 build.  Redhat doesn't maintain a yum repository.  They want you to use up2date and pay for access/support.

To use up2date, you'll need to install it from your CD/DVD you originally used, or log into your RedHat Network (RHN) account and download/install it from there.

up2date also requires that the system being updated be registered with the RHN.  There would have been a license key that you received via email (if you purchased the entitlement online), or on a white card inside the box that contained the installation CD/DVD's.  If you didn't purchase an entitlement, you'll need to buy one or switch to yum for your updates.

If you want to use yum with a RHEL-based distro, you should really be using CentOS or Fedora Core instead.  It's relatively easy to jump ship and convert in place without reinstalling the entire OS:

Download the following RPMs to a some directory on your machine:

If doesn't work for you, you can visit and find another mirror that does.

Remove the incompatible version of yum-metadata-parser before proceeding:

rpm -e yum-metadata-parser

Now, run the following commands from the same directory as your downloaded RPMs:

rpm import RPM-GPG-KEY-centos4
rpm -e nodeps redhat-release
rpm -Uvh *.rpm

After this, you've made the conversion to CentOS4.  Now just run the following to get the latest updates:

yum upgrade

Expert Comment

ID: 24110017
Looks like experts-exchange doesn't like double dashes.  The import and nodeps options have 2 dashes in front of them, instead of just 1 like for -e.

Author Comment

ID: 24110875
I get this:

[root@supersecret /]# rpm -e --nodeps redhat-release
error: package redhat-release is not installed

And I'm guessing because that didn't work I can't use the last command because of the dependencies.

[root@supersecret /]# rpm -Uvh *.rpm
error: Failed dependencies:
        python-abi = 2.3 is needed by python-elementtree-1.2.6-5.el4.centos.x86_64 is needed by sqlite-3.3.6-2.x86_64
        rpm-python is needed by yum-2.4.3-4.el4.centos.noarch

I rented this server so I didn't install RedHat myself, it's basicly a cheap server where I can roam free as root but with little to no support.

Expert Comment

ID: 24112662
Go here and download the missing packages:


Author Comment

ID: 24115343
When I try to install the missing packages I get dependency erros again, and so on and on. Isn't it weird that I would need to install all rpm's? I found a list of rpm's my provider claims to have installed on the server:

Is it maybe something else or should I just install all the rpm's the server asks for? (which are a loooot)

Expert Comment

ID: 24116804
Based on that package list, it looks like your provider is using OpenVZ as a virtual hosting/machine mechanism.  Since it looks like your distro is really RedHat and not CentOS, I'd recommend contacting your hosting support for assistance in updating your virtual's RPMs, as they have not given you the mechanism to do so on your own.

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