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CentOS 6.3

Recently I've started getting the following error on my CentOS VPS when running yum update:

[user@foo1 ~]# yum update
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
epel/metalink                                            |  11 kB     00:00
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/yum", line 29, in <module>
    yummain.user_main(sys.argv[1:], exit_code=True)
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/yummain.py", line 285, in user_main
    errcode = main(args)
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/yummain.py", line 136, in main
    result, resultmsgs = base.doCommands()
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/cli.py", line 434, in doCommands
    self._getTs(needTsRemove)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/depsolve.py", line 99, in _getTs
    self._getTsInfo(remove_only)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/depsolve.py", line 110, in _getTsInfo
    pkgSack = self.pkgSack
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/__init__.py", line 897, in <lambda>
    pkgSack = property(fget=lambda self: self._getSacks(),
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/__init__.py", line 682, in _getSacks
    self.repos.populateSack(which=repos)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/repos.py", line 265, in populateSack
    self.doSetup()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/repos.py", line 92, in doSetup
    self.ayum.plugins.run('postreposetup')
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/plugins.py", line 184, in run
    func(conduitcls(self, self.base, conf, **kwargs))
  File "/usr/lib/yum-plugins/fastestmirror.py", line 202, in postreposetup_hook
    all_urls = FastestMirror(all_urls).get_mirrorlist()
  File "/usr/lib/yum-plugins/fastestmirror.py", line 369, in get_mirrorlist
    self._poll_mirrors()
  File "/usr/lib/yum-plugins/fastestmirror.py", line 413, in _poll_mirrors
    pollThread.start()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/threading.py", line 474, in start
    _start_new_thread(self.__bootstrap, ())
thread.error: can't start new thread

I've tried yum clean all but that doesn't seem to help. The VPS doesn't have a lot of memory to begin with but I'm not seeing it at a substantially low value:

[user@foo ~]# free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        262144     109904     152240          0          0          0
-/+ buffers/cache:     109904     152240

If I reboot the system, it works fine (for awhile... then the issue returns again a few hours later).

Any thoughts? What can I do to troubleshoot this?

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@Mat - This is probably an OpenVZ container. OpenVZ containers do not support swap. –  Chris Down Feb 25 '13 at 6:30
    
@ChrisDown: oh, didn't know that. Thanks. –  Mat Feb 25 '13 at 7:33
    
The messages point to nonexisting/damaged pieces of yum(1) and/or Python. But if that is so, it shouldn't "work for a few hours". Perhaps a memory hog running, and yum just hasn't got enough memory to start properly? Check relevant variables (memory, primarily) when it works fine and when it doesn't. Install yum-utils, look up the documentation on package-cleanup(1) and see if that tells you anything of interest. Check the logs for a sucessful run and a failed one. –  vonbrand Feb 25 '13 at 16:08
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I found the answer here: http://blog.aditech.info/2012/05/fix-threaderror-cant-start-new-thread.html

The short summary is that there was insufficient memory available on the box. Disabling the fastest-mirror plug-in resolved the issue.

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