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Unable to downgrade package from Rawhide to 28

asked 2018-07-17 17:20:50 -0600

bob323 gravatar image

I'm on a system running Fedora 28. I installed a program that needed to be at release version 29 (the version in the Fedora 28 repo didn't work as far as I knew and compiling from source had failed). I found a way to get the version in the Fedora 28 repository to work, and now I would like to downgrade all of the packages at release version 29 to 28.

The best solution for this I could find was dnf distro-sync, but one package frustratingly refuses to downgrade no matter what I try, even with --allowerasing added to the command. The error is

Running transaction check
Transaction check succeeded.
Running transaction test
The downloaded packages were saved in cache until the next successful transaction.

You can remove cached packages by executing 'dnf clean packages'.
Error: Transaction check error:
  file /usr/lib64/ from install of gdbm-libs-1:1.14.1-4.fc28.x86_64 conflicts with file from package compat-gdbm-libs-1.14.1-6.fc29.x86_64

Error Summary

I've tried:

  • Adding --releasever=28 to the command
  • Adding --best to the command
  • Adding --skip-broken to the command
  • Removing compat-gdbm-libs (DNF wants to remove 4GB of core system packages when I try this, so I didn't go through with this one)
  • sudo dnf distro-sync compat-gdbm-libs, has the result (with or without --releasever=28)

    Package compat-gdbm-libs-1.14.1-6.fc29.x86_64 is already installed, skipping.
    Dependencies resolved.
    Nothing to do.
  • Downgrading compat-gdbm-libs with the result

    Packages for argument compat-gdbm-libs available, but not installed.
    Error: No packages marked for downgrade.

dnf info compat-gdbm-libs

Installed Packages
Name         : compat-gdbm-libs
Version      : 1.14.1
Release      : 6.fc29
Arch         : x86_64
Size         : 104 k
Source       : compat-gdbm-1.14.1-6.fc29.src.rpm
Repo         : @System
From repo    : rawhide
Summary      : Libraries files for gdbm
URL          :
License      : GPLv3+
Description  : Libraries for the Gdbm GNU database indexing library
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Lesson learned: --nodep is a dangerous option in rpm. I removed the compat-gdbm-libs package with rpm --nodep -e compat-gdbm-libs, after which the distro-sync command completed beautifully. Except that afterward, 'sudo', 'dnf', 'ls', 'cd', and every other command I tried wasn't recognized. Rebooting brought me to a dracut emergency prompt. This is bad.

I can boot off of a flash drive and take a look at the system since I don't think I'll be able to do much via the dracut prompt. Is there a way to install a package to a mounted Fedora system? I'm not sure if dnf will work in chroot here.

bob323 gravatar imagebob323 ( 2018-07-17 18:28:22 -0600 )edit

Follow up: For this problem, I ended up having to reinstall Fedora. Today, bash stopped working after temporarily installing an F29 package and downgrading it back to F28 (with dnf, not rpm --nodeps). I was able to restore the system though:

From a live environment as root:

cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/nvme0n1 fedora-on-disk

Check layout with lsblk

Mount root, home, and boot file systems listed under fedora-on-disk

Install via dnf: dnf install redhat-lsb --installroot /mnt

Unmount, re-encrypt, and reboot.

Hopefully this helps anyone else with this problem.

bob323 gravatar imagebob323 ( 2018-10-19 08:12:56 -0600 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2018-07-17 18:34:57 -0600

boyd gravatar image

Downgrading a system is never without issues in my experience. How important is this system to you? It could be easier to just switch it from rawhide to 29 and be happy with that for a long in while (in Fedora time that is).... I'm on F29 on my laptop and its great.

Otherwise is that the only package causing a problem? If so (and this has some risk) you could dnf download compat-gdbm package (to reinstall if necessary) and then remove compat-gdbm with rpm -e --nodeps which will still keep your 4g of installed stuff intact.

Then go ahead with the dnf distro-sync. Over the years I've managed to get through a few situations like this. Once you do the distro-sync, run rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest to make sure there are no dependency issues. Also package-cleanup --problems and package-cleanup --cleandupes can help after a distro-sync.

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The system is my work laptop, so it's pretty important (this being a fresh install anyway, thankfully there wasn't anything on it worth saving if all is lost). I'm making a live USB from my home Fedora system so I can boot to the flash drive and mount the internal hard drive on the laptop. Hopefully there's a way to restore it.

bob323 gravatar imagebob323 ( 2018-07-17 19:27:57 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2018-07-17 17:20:50 -0600

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Last updated: Jul 17 '18