It’s 2010, and RPM still sucks.
Transaction Check Error: file /usr/share/man/man1/xdelta.1.gz from install of xdelta-1.1.4-1.el5.rf.x86_64 conflicts with file from package xdelta-1.1.3-20.i386 file /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/psvn.el from install of subversion-1.6.12-0.1.el5.rf.x86_64 conflicts with file from package subversion-1.4.2-4.el5_3.1.i386 # rpm -q subversion subversion-1.4.2-4.el5_3.1 subversion-1.4.2-4.el5_3.1 # rpm -e subversion-1.4.2-4.el5_3.1 error: "subversion-1.4.2-4.el5_3.1" specifies multiple packages
Apparently i386 and x86_64 versions of packages count as different packages for the purposes of installing and removing, but are listed identically. This means that yum will fail to work out that it needs to uninstall the 32 bit version and the 64 bit version as a unit, before it can install any kind of upgrade.
Posting this because every time I mention how much I hate RHEL and RPM, someone says that there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s perfectly OK these days.
Best of all, searching around shows people hitting this problem in 2005.