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I have re-built and re-installed yum - no change.
I suspect that the libxml2-python package is the wrong one, however it is the one listed for FC4, and I'm hesitant to uninstall it, because of its dependencies.
I'm sure that's where the problem is, but the trouble is that a couple months ago I did a massive update (using yum!), which updated 50+ modules. Looking at the package dependencies now (using rpm.pbone.net) to try and figure out now whether the culprit is python or libxml2 related..... :-(
Yes, to torture myself I decided to see what "yum update" would do, and let it run again .. It predictably updated a bunch of packages, including the three ones I just downgraded: libxml2, libxml2-python, and libxml2-devel. And, of course, my original problem came back - which I fixed again. Since this seems to be a reproducible problem, is there a way to tell Yum not to touch particular packages when using "yum update"?
Yes there is (I do not remember at the moment how), check man yum. This is part of the problem running a version that is no longer supported. Somebody updates a package but does not have the resources to check it against a lot of systems. You come along and pick up that package but it breaks other stuff. I am not real pleased with the rapid cycle rate that fedora is using now(roughly 1 year of life). Fedora 8 is due out around the first of September(?) which means support for FC6 (as well as all versions prior) will be dropped on the first of October. I am considering moving to Centos (Redhat with the logos removed). They maintain support (updates) for five years.
root@h101047 [~/libxml]# cat /etc/yum.conf
exclude=apache* courier* exim* httpd* kernel kernel-xen kernel-smp kernel-pae ke rnel-PAE kernel-SMP kernel-hugemem mod_ssl* mysql* perl* php* proftpd* pure-ftpd * spamassassin* squirrelmail*
# PUT YOUR REPOS HERE OR IN separate files named file.repo
# in /etc/yum.repos.d
#name=Red Hat Linux $releasever - $basearch - Base
#name=Red Hat Linux $releasever - Updates
This is a typical yum.conf. At the top you can see the list of packages excluded.