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RPM “multiple packages” oddity, fixed

Patrick Galbraith | | October 31, 2011

I deal with all shipes and sizes, and distributions, of Linux. Each Linux distribution has quirks. Particularly with package management. There are some people who are religious about RPM (Redhat, Centos, Fedora, Suse, etc.) or APT (Debian, Ubuntu, etc). I see both good and bad points of each. In my daily tasks, I just want “Things to Work (TM)”. I had an interesting problem the other day that I found a solution for that I thought I would share.

The problem was on a server that I was trying to install Percona 5.5 on that already had a stock Centos MySQL 5.1 install. I need to uninstall the existing packages:

[root@host]# rpm -e mysql-5.0.77-4.el5_6.6
error: "mysql-5.0.77-4.el5_6.6" specifies multiple packages

Hmm, this is very odd. I’ve never seen this. There is a way to reveal exactly what the problem is:

[root@host]# rpm -q --queryformat "%{name}.%{arch}n" mysql
mysql.x86_64
mysql.i386

Interesting! So, somehow, someone installed both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of MySQL. Now that I know the exact error, I was able to remove each separately:

[root@host]# rpm -e mysql.x86_64

[root@host]# rpm -e mysql.i386

[root@host]# rpm -qa|grep mysql

Good, the problem is solved!

So, if ever you find yourself in this predicament, you know what to do. This also gives reason to perhaps to refer back to the RPM manual to find other useful tips.

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