FAQ
In my Amazon Linux environment, I have a couple of images on which I've
changed the default python installation from 2.6 to 2.7. These hosts have
been running fine for a couple of months, but in the past couple of days
I've discovered they've developed an error when running Puppet catalogs.
  The issue very closely mimics the one reported (but not answered) here<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/puppet-users/uPbSRz_zY2A>.


When running the catalog, I see (abbreviated output follows):

info: Caching catalog for hostname.acme.com
info: Applying configuration version '1396035115'
err: Could not prefetch package provider 'yum': Execution of
'/usr/bin/python
/usr/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.8/puppet/provider/package/yumhelper.py' returned
1: _pkg audit.x86_64 0 amzn main 2.3.2-3.19.amzn1
_pkg audit-libs.x86_64 0 amzn main 2.3.2-3.19.amzn1
_pkg augeas-devel.x86_64 0 amzn main 1.0.0-5.7.amzn1
_pkg augeas-libs.x86_64 0 amzn main 1.0.0-5.7.amzn1
[ much more of the same ]
_pkg libgomp.x86_64 0 amzn main 4.8.2-7.87.amzn1
_pkg libicu.x86_64 0 amzn main 50.1.2-8.10.amzn1
<type 'exceptions.IndexError'>

The catalog then runs as usual but there do seem to be some knock-on
effects. Packages alphabetically later than libicu which should be subject
to an update are not being updated, and if the catalog updates resources
which should notify a service, that notification seems to be getting lost.
  There are no "service refresh" messages posted in the output (this is
particularly troublesome on the nagios host!)

So based on the 2011 post<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/puppet-users/uPbSRz_zY2A>,
I re-ran yumhelper.py with python 2.6, also installed on the system. In
that case, it completes without error... although the output isn't
alphabetical... here's a snippet of that output:

Loaded plugins: priorities, update-motd, upgrade-helper
66 packages excluded due to repository priority protections
_pkg perl-XML-SAX 0 0.99 8.12.amzn1 noarch
_pkg rubygem19-rdoc 0 3.9.5 32.62.amzn1 noarch
_pkg perl-TimeDate 1 2.30 1.6.amzn1 noarch

And if I run just 'yum check-update', the next package alphabetically after
libicu is as follows:

libpcap.x86_64
  14:1.4.0-1.20130826git2dbcaa1.10.amzn1 amzn-main

If I uninstall libpcap, I still get the yumhelper.py error, this time
occurring after yum-utils... and in the 'yum check-update' output, the next
thing after that is:

Obsoleting Packages
coreutils.x86_64
  8.21-13.31.amzn1 amzn-main
     coreutils-libs.x86_64
8.4-31.17.amzn1 @amzn-updates

So it seems that depending on the python version, we are getting very
different output from yumhelper.py. I wish I could provide more of a hint
as to why things changed, but I'm drawing a blank. It might be worth
noting that Amazon released a new image yesterday (details here<http://aws.amazon.com/amazon-linux-ami/2014.03-release-notes/>)
which is probably in some way related as the errors began occurring almost
at the exact same time (Amazon also update their yum repo to match the
software changes in the new image)... but as I mentioned, I don't see any
recent updates applied via yum that would've triggered this issue.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions you can offer!!

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  • Michael O'Dea at Mar 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm
    Update on this -- Amazon rev'd Yum to v3.4.3-137 at the same time -- most
    likely the source of the issue... but it's still causing me problems.

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postedMar 28, '14 at 9:08p
activeMar 29, '14 at 6:51p
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