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Cancelled yum transactions

If you’ve ever aborted a yum update for any reason, you’ve probably come across messages warning of transaction errors, such as the following example during an update from CentOS 5.4 to CentOS 5.5 that got cancelled part way through:

Transaction Check Error:
file /usr/include/libdevmapper.h from install of device-mapper-1.02.39-1.el5.i386 conflicts with file from package device-mapper-1.02.32-1.el5.x86_64
file /usr/share/man/man8/dmsetup.8.gz from install of device-mapper-1.02.39-1.el5.i386 conflicts with file from package device-mapper-1.02.32-1.el5.x86_64

Error Summary
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At the very start of the yum output, after “Resolving Dependencies” you should also see message saying

There are unfinished transactions remaining. You might consider running yum-complete-transaction first to finish them.
The program yum-complete-transaction is found in the yum-utils package..

This is nice and easy to resolve thankfully, you just need to use the suggested yum-complete-transaction utilit, which as the message suggests, can be found in the yum-utils package package.
This works just like the main yum program, except you don’t need to give it any arguments like install or update, you just run it and it will finish any incomplete transactions. hopefully this will fix any broken or cyclic dependancies where an update has been cancelled part way through.

I did find it somewhat ironic when I ran “yum install yum-utils” to gain access to the yum-complete-transaction command, I received the same message to install yum-complete-transaction via the yum-utils package, as that is exactly what I was trying to do!
Luckily, you can still install the yum-utils package from the normal system yum repositories whilst you have an outstanding transaction so you don’t have to mess around with downloading the RPM and installing it yourself.

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