[Yum] Can Yum install multiple versions of the same RPM?

Wayne Sweatt sweatt at lanl.gov
Wed May 2 16:39:13 UTC 2007

Thanks for such an informative response.
Ok - I am able to install multiple versions... but... ONLY as long as  
I install them in ascending version order ( oldest first ).
My present configuration is a separate repo for all non-RedHat rpms  
(locally built, or other vendor provided), and to be able to toss in  
all desired versions of pgi and then have cfengine run yum against  
the entire repo and perform installs of ALL packages within.
This scheme is this way so we can kickstart a server and then install  
all RPMs necessary to make it production ready with a simple run of  
The goal is to not need to perform ANY manual RPM installs - let  
cfengine do it with yum.

Within a cf.yum, we run this yum command to install things like pgi,  
pathscale, etc...

/usr/bin/yum install --enablerepo=compile_node1-install '*'

Within that repo would be 4-5 versions of pgi, pathscale, etc.

Would I enable downgrades with installonly to do this?


On WednesdayMay 2, 2007, at 8:54 AM, John Rouillard wrote:

> On Tue, May 01, 2007 at 08:35:53PM -0600, Wayne Sweatt wrote:
>> If I have 4 or 5 versions of say pgi or intel compilers that I  
>> need to
>> make available on a compile server, and each version installs into  
>> it's
>> own directory tree, such as /opt/PGI/6.7.8 & /opt/PGI/6.7.9 , etc...
>> then can yum do this? Will it complain and/or try to upgrade?
> It will try to upgrade unless:
>> Would I use installonly?
> Yes, installonlypkgs in yum.conf actually.
>> How do I do this?
>> There would be no conflict per se, and I've been doing this with  
>> rpm, and
>> wish to move to yum.
> You can with the caveat that your package has no way to tell if it is
> being installed or upgraded, so it can't abort it's install if it is
> being upgraded. That was a requirment in my rollout, and I haven't
> been able to modify the yum core or figure out how to make a plugin
> that tells the rpm what mode it's being installed in.
> Sadly if the yum.conf file on your client has a typo or something (in
> the installonlypkgs directive) that causes your package to be upgraded
> rather then installed, all the info about the other versions of the
> package is wiped from the rpm database. The files still exist on disk,
> it's just that you can use rpm to find out what was installed. Since
> we have dozens of packages that need to be installed, it's easy to
> typo that line or forget to add a package.
> We use a DepotLite format for our packages, we can usually clean up
> from this and remove the older packages using
>   rm -rf /tools/package-ver
> Your's seem to install into /opt/PGI/... so you can clean up in the
> same way. If your packages install into the /usr tree and have
> versioned directories under there, cleanup is a mess.
> In either case, using rpm to audit the installed software is useless
> after a package is upgraded that should have been installed.
> You can't use the value passed in to the pre scriptlet to determine if
> this is an upgrade or an install as:
>   $ sudo rpm -i rpm_test-1.0-1.rpm
>      has the installed count (from rpm -q package_name| wc -l) = 0
>      has argument passed to %pre scriptlet = 1
>   $ sudo rpm -i rpm_test-2.0-1.rpm
>      has the installed count (from rpm -q package_name) = 1
>      has argument passed to %pre scriptlet = 2
> now it gets interesting:
>   $ sudo rpm -U rpm_test-4.0-1.rpm
>      has the installed count (from rpm -q package_name) = 2
>      has argument passed to %pre scriptlet = 3
> so it looks like there should be three copies of the installed package
> when the current upgrade finished, except:
>   $ rpm -qa | grep rpm_test
> returns
>   rpm_test-4.0-1
> after having installed using upgrade rpm_test-4.0-1. Note I am using
> rpm for this example, but yum has to provide exactly the same info to
> the scriptlet otherwise it's a bug. Also I verified this with yum a
> while back (prior to a December email), and ran the rpm example just
> now to make sure I got it right.
> So the only way to really make sure that packages won't be lost from
> the database is to check the install mode in a pre-scriptlet. With
> rpm, you can search for the parent process of the pre scriptlet and
> look for -i or --install on the command line. In yum there is no such
> method.
> So if somebody screws up the yum conf file and you accidently get an
> upgrade rather then a true install... well it's bad.
> My idea was to set an environment variable YUM_MODE='install' or
> 'upgrade' as each package is installed that is available to the
> scriptlets so it could easily check to see what mode it was being
> installed. However I haven't had any luck doing that either with the
> core code or via a plugin in the pretrans_hook.
> I think the pretrans hook should work as I think it is called for
> every package that is up be upgraded (c.f. rpm's pretrans scriptlet),
> but it's not explicit from the documentaion
> http://wiki.linux.duke.edu/WritingYumPlugins what the scope of the rpm
> transaction is, I assume package by package.
> So if anybody has any ideas on making this possible I would appreciate
> it.
> I have a couple of short email chains on this as well:
>   https://lists.dulug.duke.edu/pipermail/yum/2006-November/009336.html
>   https://lists.dulug.duke.edu/pipermail/yum/2006-October/009195.html
> -- 
> 				-- rouilj
> John Rouillard
> System Administrator
> Renesys Corporation
> 603-643-9300 x 111

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