RHEL 5.6 Yum update issues

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Hi all,

Currently we have a few systems that are running RHEL5.6 which I am in the process of updating to 5.11 through yum updates. The system has unfortunately some applications that are 32bit even though the system itself is x86_64.

The strange thing is that there is an identical system that has been updated without any problem at all from 5.6 to 5.11, same exact mirrored image almost!

When updating the current system, am getting all sorts of dependency issues with glibc so I modified the /etc/yum.conf file to
exclude=.i?86 *.i686
.i?86 *.i386

This got rid of the dependency issue however, now had depsolving prob with firefox-3.6.13-2.el5.i386.

How can I get around updating the box as I did for my other system? Is there a way I can simply uninstall the 32bit i386 version of Firefox cleanly and then install the latest 64bit through yum updates?

This is a little frustrating, and confusing as I had no issues with the previous identical system but not this one.

Can someone help out please?

Thank you.


Hi Philip,

It seems that your system has got some 32 bit architecture packages installed and that is confirmed with firefox package as you mentioned. Since the system is a 64 bit one you could simply remove the firefox.i386 package and get the new 64 bit one from Red Hat CDN (assuming your system is properly subscribed). Try to remove the firefox.i386 package and post back the results. All the best!

G'day, The system still complains about another file which is: Missing dependency: nash= is needed by package mkinitrd- This has been frustrating as unsure why yum would sort this out. Any ideas? Thank you.

Unfortunately, it is just one after the other missing dependencies, Transaction check error and conflicts with i386 packages. Is there any way in RHEL5 to get yum to JUST update the x64? If someone can shed some light on this topic, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

There is this parameter which you can add to /etc/yum.conf file exactarch=1

I am not sure if this works in RHEL5, because I have not tested it. Please check.

I think that your problem is you don't have updates for all the i386 packages you have installed (which might happen you are updating using a RHEL 5.11 iso), and thus you are hitting dependency problems when you try to update corresponding x86_64 packages you do have updates for. So for example I expect your error "Missing dependency: nash= is needed by package mkinitrd-" is because you are trying to update nash- to (say) nash- but you don't have the corresponding update to mkinitrd- available so you get dependency errors. Thus I think you will have to remove any i386 packages that cause dependency errors or find the corresponding updates for them.

Michael, Thank you for your reply and to the others, at least now I understand what the system is trying to do! Makes sense. However, before I go ahead and uninstall the *.i386 packages:

  1. Is there a command to find out WHICH software is using these i386 packages?
  2. Is there a command to uninstall all the i386 packages in one go?

Thank you so much.

I can't think of a good way to work out what non-packaged software is using the ix86 packages, though clearly any .i386 or .i686 packages are. You should be able to remove all .i386 packages with yum remove glibc.i686 or yum remove glibc.i386 though I think the safest approach is just to remove the i386 packages that are causing update conflicts. I also suggest you make absolutely sure you are running x86_64 (eg. by running uname -a) before trying to remove the 32-bit glibc.

Philip, the command 'yum remove *.i686' would remove all i686 packages from your system. However, this may cause some damage to your system as this would pull out all i686 and dependent packages from system would try to remove it. Hence, as Michael suggested try to remove the package which is causing the problem first and check if that helps you.

Yes tried to uninstall each *.i386 manually and it was an epic task. In the end after several manual package uninstall also ran the remove glibc. It finally installed the updates and I rebooted to make sure everything was in order. Seems to be for the time being...

Thanks to all who helped out with the replies, really appreciated. Great community! :)

It is good to see that you had fixed the issue.