Babar Haq

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Installing Yum On RHEL 3

I had a RHEL 3 WS at my work place. It irritated me terribly as the machine was never updated and hence having very old versions of softwares. Therefore I decided to upgrade my RHEL WS 3 using yum.

From my work place, internet is only accessible through http proxy, that too with authentication. I tried using up2date by creating an account at redhat's site but it didn’t work( I thought you could update one machine using your redhat account).

The first problem I encountered was that there is no public repository to update RHEL machines i.e you have to pay for it. After googling for a while I discovered that CentOS offers public repositories and they work with RHEL 3 as well.

I downloaded latest yum rpm, installed it and configured it to use centOS repo. Every time I ran yum, it failed. It couldn’t find repomd.xml file in the CentOS repositories I provided in yum.conf.

After struggling for some time, I discovered that I was accessing older version of repos through the latest yum. Therefore I had to use an older version of yum with RHEL 3, since old repos do not support xml based updating.

Now I have a fully updated system. Following is the brief summary of the steps I took

1) Since I was behind a proxy I had to export environment variable http_proxy.

2) Downloaded yum-2.0.8-1.noarch.rpm from

3) Installed it using
rpm –i yum-2.0.8-1.noarch.rpm

4) Configured my yum.conf to look like this:


#ame=Red Hat Linux $releasever - $basearch - Base
name=CentOS-$releasever - Base

name=Red Hat Linux $releasever - Updates

5) Downloaded the gpg key for CentOS rpm packages from

6) Imported the key like this:
rpm --import RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-3

7) Run “yum –y update”. Now Sit back and enjoy seeing your system being updated.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I have been desperately trying for the past few months to share my email on winodws and Linux using thunderbird. I normally dont use the "Local folders" for my email accounts in TB. I always create separate folder for all my accounts. I thought all I would have to do is create the initial setup in windows and then mount that folder from Linux and configure Linux TB to use the mounted directory. Some how it didnt succeed until I found this this URL:

One tip though: If on Linux you are using TB from a non root user you must make sure that the user has write access to the mounted windows directory.