Why yum update fails with "Plugins can't be imported" in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 and onwards
  • Red Hat Subscription Management (RHSM)


  • yum update fails with the following error.

    # yum update
    Plugin "product-id" can't be imported
    Plugin "subscription-manager" can't be imported
    Unable to find Subscription Manager module.
    Error: cannot import name init_dep_injection


  • Install missing m2crypto package on the system and upgraded yum-rhn-plugin package on the affected system.
  • Re install yum and subscription-manager package.
  • Remove all the duplicate packages (if present) as mentioned in the Diagnostic Steps.

Root Cause

  • Red Hat supplied m2crypto package missing on the system which caused this error.
  • Presence of duplicate packages on the system.
  • Subscription manager-related files are modified.

Diagnostic Steps

  • Collect the following details from affected system:

    $ strace -fxvto /tmp/strace.out yum update
  • Check whether there are any files listed as modified or missing in the output of the following command:

    # rpm -V yum subscription-manager
  • If so, then download the yum and subscription-manager packages from RHN and reinstall them manually :

    # rpm --replacepkgs -vh yum-x.x.x.y.y.noarch.rpm subscription-manager-x.x.yy-x.x.x.rpm
  • Run the following command to scan the rpm database for any other duplicates as well:

    # package-cleanup --dupes
  • If the output looks correct, then remove the old versions of these duplicates with:

    # package-cleanup --cleandupes
  • Make sure that subscription-manager and subscription-manager-rhsm are of the same version:

    # subscription-manager-rhsm-1.20.10-7.el6.x86_64
    # subscription-manager-1.20.10-7.el6.x86_64
  • If they are not, it might be a cause for plugins unable to be imported:

    # subscription-manager-1.16.8-8.el6.x86_64
    # subscription-manager-rhsm-1.20.10-7.el6.x86_64
  • Component
  • yum

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cxvra00a0016:/home/a256447> rpm -qa | grep yum
cxvra00a0016:/home/a256447> rpm -qa | grep m2crypto
cxvra00a0016:/home/a256447> rpm -qa | grep subscription

I have downloaded and installed the subscription manager, but registration still fails.
In the previous comment I have the versions of the YUM products. Are those correct and in sync?

Here is the output from the strace command:

cxvra00a0016:/home/a256447> strace -fxvto /tmp/strace.out yum update
Plugin "product-id" can't be imported
Plugin "rhnplugin" can't be imported
Plugin "subscription-manager" can't be imported
Loaded plugins: kmod, security
Setting up Update Process
No Packages marked for Update

•Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 and onwards - really? I guess 7.5 onwards

Still happening in RHEL7.9.