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When I run yum, it says that there are transactions that need to be completed. So I run yum-complete-transaction, it finishes, but then yum still says that transactions need to be completed. How do I just cancel them?
Likely there is a yum database lock file that is out of sync with reality -- perhaps due to some previous intervention on your part. Seek out this lock file and remove it, that should solve your problems. Would be good to clean the yum cache after doing so, performing an update -- just trying to regain as much consistency as possible.
Sometimes different wrapper applications are using yum facilities, in such cases one application will block all the other ones. It is even possible to launch some "Add/Remove Applications" GUI tool and thereby blocking the command-line yum tool itself.