System locked up during update of kernel, yum in unclean state and kernel half-installed

Deron Meranda deron.meranda at
Sun Nov 20 05:22:14 UTC 2011

Kevin Fenzi said:
> ok. Then I fear you will need to go to:
> package-cleanup --cleandupes

Great news. I think I've finally got my system back to a clean and
updated state!  Thanks everybody who helped.  I only have one curious
error message about a missing grubby template (explained toward the

For everybody's benefit, here's what I did...

The first thing I did was to create an LVM snapshot for both my / and
/var logical volumes; just in case. I actually should have done that
at the beginning of the whole initial "yum update", and it would have
been way easier to back out.

Then I ran "package-cleanup --cleandupes" as suggested. This removed
all the duplicate packages (the older versions of each) for all the
packages, except the kernel packages.  This was expected I guess
because yum by default will keep multiple versions of the kernel
installed; which is a good thing!

At that point I re-verified all the other packages, except the kernel,
using rpm --verify.  And also did a "yum check", which now only
complains about the kernel. I also verified the previous version of
the kernel, just to insure myself that it was still okay.

Now I already know the latest kernel did not get installed properly as
there are lots of zero-length files, etc. So I manually uninstalled it
(knowing my previous kernel version was intact).

  rpm -e kernel-tools-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64 \
      kernel-headers-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64 \
      64 kernel-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64

At this point yum check is all happy! And there is no trace of the
3.1.1-2 version of kernel packages in the rpm database.

So I at this point tried a plain old "yum update" again.

It correctly identified that I needed to update the kernel packages
(kernel, kernel-devel, kernel-header, kernel-tools). I let it proceed,
and eventually it completed and now I have the system updated. And the
new kernel verifies ok!

Note, there was ONE ERROR/WARNING message I saw during the install
about a missing grubby template which I still need to investigate.
Here's the yum update output...

Running Transaction
Warning: RPMDB altered outside of yum.
  Updating   : kernel-headers-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64
  Installing : kernel-devel-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64
  Updating   : kernel-tools-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64
  Installing : kernel-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64
grubby fatal error: unable to find a suitable template
  Cleanup    : kernel-headers-3.1.1-1.fc16.x86_64
  Cleanup    : kernel-tools-3.1.1-1.fc16.x86_64
yum-updatesd not on the bus

  kernel.x86_64 0:3.1.1-2.fc16
kernel-devel.x86_64 0:3.1.1-2.fc16

  kernel-headers.x86_64 0:3.1.1-2.fc16
kernel-tools.x86_64 0:3.1.1-2.fc16

My next step is to reboot into the new kernel.  And once I'm sure
everything is fine, I can remove those LVM snapshots.

Thanks again everybody.  Oh, any idea about the grubby error?
Deron Meranda

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