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Every time I use...

yum install wine

I get a message saying the package isn't found. I have used yum update but that does not work either. Moreover I accidentally ran chmod user:user /etc/yum...

The system is 64bit.

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There is a 3rd-party repository named RPMForge which has a large number of packages which are not available officially from CentOS. This page has instructions on how to install it on various CentOS releases.

About that chmod thing, can you reinstall yum. I'm not sure if it will help, but I expect that it will restore the directory to its initial permission settings.

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By deleting /etc/yum you deleted all configuration to yum, no wonder it doesn't work now. Luckily, the contents of that directory are part of the yum package (at least on Fedora, a close relative), so just reinstalling yum using rpm directly should fix this. Find out the exact version you have installed, and then do something like rpm -Uhv --replacepkgs http://mirror.centos.org/centos-5/5/os/x86_64/CentOS/yum-3.2.22-40.el5.centos.noarch.rpm (this is for CentOS 5, look around in that site for your version if not 5). If this doesn't work, rummage around for updates in directories like http://mirror.centos.org/centos-5/5/updates/x86_64/RPMS/ for a file called similar to the above). Once that worked, do a yum update --skip-broken for good luck. A victory dance afterwards is optional. Going to the next wall and hitting the head hard isn't: It might help to remember that Linux does exactly as told, even if it doesn't make any sense. You are supposed to provide said sense.

Do not use --force on RPM, it tells it to go ahead even if dependecies aren't available, the result is a inconsistent system (that is very unlikely to work right). Don't ask when it should be used, it is a last-resort fallback for desperate situations. Like doing surgery with a swiss-army knife in the park.

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