One of the annoying things about CentOS Linux is the current dependency on Python version 2.4. Typically I install Python version 2.6 and compile new programs using the 2.6 version of python instead of the 2.4 version. Recently on a server I had just installed CentOS 5.4 on I had a dependency issue when attempting to install python version 2.6 from the CHL repository. Below I display the error and describe how to install the libffi package on CentOS Linux.

CentOS Missing Dependency Error Caused By No libffi.so.5:

[root@devtools yum.repos.d]# yum install python26
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * addons: mira.sunsite.utk.edu
 * base: mirrors.gigenet.com
 * extras: www.ontime1405.com
 * rpmforge: apt.sw.be
 * updates: mirror.steadfast.net
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package python26.i386 0:2.6.2-2 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: libpython2.6.so.1.0 for package: python26
--> Processing Dependency: libffi.so.5 for package: python26
--> Running transaction check
---> Package python26.i386 0:2.6.2-2 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: libffi.so.5 for package: python26
---> Package python26-libs.i386 0:2.6.2-2 set to be updated
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
python26-2.6.2-2.i386 from chl-source has depsolving problems
  --> Missing Dependency: libffi.so.5 is needed by package python26-2.6.2-2.i386 (chl-source)
Error: Missing Dependency: libffi.so.5 is needed by package python26-2.6.2-2.i386 (chl-source)
 You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
 You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
                        package-cleanup --dupes
                        rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest
The program package-cleanup is found in the yum-utils package.

As you can see above the “Missing Dependency” error is caused by libffi.so.5 not being installed. One of the prerequisites for installing packages from the CHL repository is to have the EPEL repository installed. The EPEL repository includes the libffi and libffi-devel packages that can be installed to resolve the above dependency error. Use the command below to install the EPEL yum repository.

Install EPEL Repository To Install The libffi RPM Package Using Yum:

rpm -Uvh http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-3.noarch.rpm

Now that the EPEL yum repository is installed you can install the libffi RPM package on CentOS Linux. Below is an example of the output when installing libffi. If this is your first time using the EPEL repo you will be asked if you want to import the EPEL GPG key which is also displayed below.

Install libffi On CentOS Linux:

[root@dev ~]# yum install libffi
Loading "allowdowngrade" plugin
Loading "fastestmirror" plugin
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * epel: ftp.osuosl.org
 * chl: yum.chrislea.com
 * c5-testing: dev.centos.org
 * rpmforge: apt.sw.be
 * base: mirror.cisp.com
 * updates: ftp.osuosl.org
Setting up Install Process
Parsing package install arguments
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package libffi.i386 0:3.0.5-1.el5 set to be updated
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

=============================================================================
 Package                 Arch       Version          Repository        Size
=============================================================================
Installing:
 libffi                  i386       3.0.5-1.el5      epel               21 k

Transaction Summary
=============================================================================
Install      1 Package(s)
Update       0 Package(s)
Remove       0 Package(s)

Total download size: 21 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/1): libffi-3.0.5-1.el5 100% |=========================|  21 kB    00:00
warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 217521f6
Importing GPG key 0x217521F6 "Fedora EPEL <epel@fedoraproject.org>" from /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Finished Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing: libffi                       ######################### [1/1]

Installed: libffi.i386 0:3.0.5-1.el5
Complete!
You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root

After installing libffi I was able to then install the python26 packages from the CHL repository which provided access to python version 2.6 using the python26 command.

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5 Responses to “Error: Missing Dependency: libffi.so.5 is needed by package python26-2.6.2-2.i386”
  1. Carlo says:

    thanks, this was usefull

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Carlo,

    No problem at all. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  2. Alan says:

    Oh,My God..

    Retrieving download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-3.noarch.rpm
    error: skipping download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-3.noarch.rpm – transfer failed – Unknown or unexpected error
    warning: u 0x94057b0 ctrl 0x9a28140 nrefs != 0 (download.fedora.redhat.com http)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Alan,

    Likely the EPEL release is out of date and needs to be updated. A simple Google search for the URL to the latest version will resolve your problem.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  3.  
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