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Old 10-16-2005, 02:45 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Xubuntu
Posts: 348

Rep: Reputation: 32
Some programs will not load after yum update

Hello Linux Community!

I am new to any sort of linux community so bare with me on some things. I have, however, been using linux off and on for some time so I would consider myself an "advanced newbie." I finally decided, after my professor gave me fedora core 4, to load the beast on my laptop. The following might help with my question:

Dell Insprion 8200 (3 1/2 years old)
Intel P4 1.4 GHz
40GB Hard Drive:
Dual-booting WinXP (14GB NTFS) and Fedora Core (11GB ext3 [512MB swap]) with the remaining 14 or so GB formatted as vfat or FAT32 so I can move stuff between OSes and store my music.

Up until yesterday I have been able to do my own research and use the wonderful linux learning curve to my advantage. I have been able to fix problem after problem and found the entire computing experience to be as invigorating as the first time I ever used Windows(gag). Now I've resigned myself to my intellectual mortality and seek help from the pros.

Yesterday I tried for the millionth time to use yum to update my packages. The very first time I did this, I was able to download the 1.3GB or so of updated packages, but I then got an error telling me that I did not have enough disk space to continue and yum stopped. I immediately regretted doing the "Everything" install and went to clean up some stuff. Some of the things I removed were the excessive language packs for software like openoffice and KDE. I speak only English and that is all I require. I also got rid of some of the "server tools" that came with fedora. Now I have 3.8GB of free space, which is apparently acceptable to yum because I never got the disk space error again.

I apologize ahead of time for not having the exact message for it has been a while. I have not been able to finish the yum update process from start to finish. I believe it is a read error or a dependency error (sorry again). So I worked around the error in this way:

Logged in as root (su -), I found all the downloaded packages in the /var/cache/yum/$reponame/packages folder(s). I believe livna had a couple of updates but the majority of them (almost 500) were in the "updates" repository package folder (/var/cache/yum/updates/packages/*.rpm). While in the packages folder, I executed the following:

yum -y localinstall *.rpm

and endured a 7 HOUR UPDATE PROCESS!

Nonetheless, the process completed successfully and my day brightened. I did not get any error messages at the end of the update so I can assume it worked fine... right? Then, I tried to go online.

Now, nothing seems to be different except for one very bad thing. Some, if not most, programs will not load. Among them: Synaptic, Yumex, all the mozilla programs (firefox, thunderbird), gimp, and openoffice. I CAN, however, get some games to work, konsole, and konqueror. Konqueror is the only way I can view web pages, and is the only thing allowing me to troubleshoot this problem while still in fedora.

(Yes, I use KDE exclusively...)

Regardless of how many times I reboot, the programs that work and don't work are consistent. The programs that work, work perfectly. The system never hangs.

I click on Konqueror and it pops up quickly and flawlessly.
I click on Firefox and it gives me the "I'm loading, please wait" bouncing firefox pointer icon and an hourglass placeholder in the taskbar but Firefox does not pop up. No error message... nothing... as if I did nothing at all.

Less programs operate than not and it is quite frustrating. I'm starting to think that hunting the rpms down and executing yum -y localinstall was a bad idea.

Has anyone had this problem before? What, if anything, did I do wrong? Am I missing something? There has to be some way to troubleshoot this without reinstalling fedora. I've got so far! Any help will be appreciated. I trust the collective intellect of this community and will try all reasonable and most unreasonable suggestions and post my results.

Thank you all for bearing with my ridiculously long post. The frustration has gotten to me.
Old 10-16-2005, 04:38 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Mississippi, USA
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 435

Rep: Reputation: 33
Wow! Seven hours! You're a patient man...

The command you should've executed is "yum -y update". I don't really know what the localinstall option does, but apparently it was undesirable. Following a "yum update", once the necessary rpm files are downloaded into the /var/cache/yum/<repo>/packages directory, they're not deleted once the update is finished, so if something breaks during the install phase, you can exclude the offending package and try again using "yum --exclude=<pkgname> update" without having to suffer the monstrous 600+ file download.

Someone else might have a better suggestion, but at this point I'd perform a clean install, followed by a "yum update" (I personally don't use the -y option; call me paranoid).

Edit: If you choose to do a clean install, you'll of course have to download the 600+ rpms for the post-install update, unless you save them (burn to CDs? copy to spare partition?) before the install. If you save them, you can copy them back to /var/cache/yum/<repo>/packages after the install and avoid the download time when you run "yum update".

Last edited by jcliburn; 10-16-2005 at 05:01 PM.
Old 10-16-2005, 07:17 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Xubuntu
Posts: 348

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32

Many thanks jcliburn!

I originally ran into the problem by running yum -y update. It downloaded all the update rpms but didn't install them. So I did the above (install manually by not addressing the repositories and using the rpms downloaded previously by using the localinstall option).

But like you said, jcliburn, I had the patience... but that's only because I had baseball to watch, homework to do, and food to eat. Thinking back to all the other times I've run yum to update things, sometimes it gives error messages during the install process and continues to do what it's doing. Since it was running in a terminal window, I "lost" some of the output so any errors that came up I wouldn't have seen anyway. Thinking back... I probably should have paid more attention to it! Here's why:

When I read your response, I instinctively went to a terminal window and gave it a "yum -y update." This time, instead of almost 500 updates I only had 3! They were:

I went ahead and tried to update them. All three of them returned an error [Errno 256], essentially telling me it couldn't download it and there are no more mirrors to try. Simply out of boredom and the logical assumption that these did not download properly, I simply ran "yum -y update" over and over again until they eventually downloaded and installed properly. The result:

Everything works perfectly. I think I just had another learning experience today. My assumption (correct me if I'm wrong) is that yum downloads the packages and if no bytes are received it gives an error and craps out on me. But if it partially downloads a file, it will register as an acceptable download and won't find anything wrong until it goes to install the rpm. When it gets to an rpm that isn't fully downloaded, it recognizes that the rpm is incomplete and simply skips over it.

So while the entire update I ran yesterday seemed to finish successfully, there were actually three files that were not completely downloaded and skipped. I find this interesting that no errors were given at the end of the original update.

Especially considering the files that were missing:, kdebase, and gtk2. I did enough homework to come to this ridiculous conclusion:

gtk2 is GIMP related, hence GIMP not working. is self-explanatory (need it to run

kdebase must be some kind of library that normal programs use to "interface" with KDE. I am assuming that because this package was not updated with everything else, and most programs did not work when I started them after the update. Thinking about it, I probably should have tried to run some of those programs directly from a shell to see if any errors popped up that wouldn't have popped up in the GUI. It also explains why the programs that did and didn't work were consistent... it was missing a common "reference."

I still have to credit jcliburn for the blind motivation to sit here and execute yum update over and over again until the downloads were complete. I was about ready to do a fresh install of fedora!

Now that my problem is solved, there really isn't any need to offer more suggestions unless I'm completely missing something that has not manifested itself yet. However, I do hope that my mistake will help others in the future with any similar problem.

Thanks again!


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