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I was wondering if there is a way to grep through systems to find old updates that have stalled or failed. I am using RHEL 6.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

That depends on how you install a package or update.

If you are a RedHat Satellite customer there is a log in /var/log/rhsm called rhsm.log but it will still use a facility to install typically yum

yum There is a yum.log in /var/log/

rpm does not maintain logs, however you can run rpm -qa --last to see the list of packages that were installed and when but does not list failures.

The only way to see the failures would be at the command line.

You might be able to ascertain issues by looking at history but that is subjective and time consuming. You would have to search history and match up the installations or updates to installed packages. That also does not cover if something was installed or updated via other methods that were not run at a command line.

Puppet has a framework that it uses to perform package installations. It has a list of around 33 different providers for all OS's. It will search for the ability to install in a descending fashion typically defaulting to yum and falling back to rpm.

Because the typical syntax for puppet package installations is

    package { ssh;
    ensure => present

The puppet framework determines after that based on your repository preferences and costs associated with installation media which to use then what to use to install it.

And you always have the typical fallback /var/log/messages you will sometimes see errors in there depending on what the failure was related to.

Also if the package was going to add a module or anything that dmesg would recognize and was backed out you might see info in dmesg

As far as unfinished, you would have to check ps for that. Or available tty's and pty's

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Great thank you for the answer that definitely got the ball rolling for me. I'm sorry I can't vote you up because I don't have enough reputation.. – Jeff Mar 26 '12 at 14:25
No worries. Glad I could help. – 2bc Mar 26 '12 at 18:17

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