Unable to Update

Hi guys, I am not sure how this happened. But I’ve attempted to update my daughters laptop and I get this message:

error: cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm 
Target initialization failed: 
Rpm Exception 

This is not something I’ve come across before. I suspect it is connected to when my other daughter attempted to install Google Chrome on her own but got awfully confused with the whole process (She didn’t tell me until a few days later). I have since attempted to use past Snapshots with nil success.

This laptop is ACER Aspire 5733 with Leap 15.2 using GNOME.

Alas, you did not tell what you do when trying “to Update”. We now have only an error message but no context.

When this is in the CLI, then copy/paste including the command.
When this is in the GUI, then either dewcribe whjat you started (YaST maybe?) and what you clicked next, etc. or make a screen shot and post it to https://susepaste.org/

BTW, who is the system manager (administrator) of your daughter’s system. Either you (and then your daughter should not even be able to install system packages like Chrome), or you told here the root password in which case she is responseble for all that happens on the system.

She was attempting to install Chrome via their website, but she couldn’t quite explain what she had done.

I was trying to just do a general update using Zypper Up.

And yes, I had told her the password and quickly taught her how to install using GNOME Software. But since I had not added Chrome and she was desperate to use Netflix Party but didn’t think of installing Chromium instead. As I said she didn’t tell me until few days later.

The crucial thing is that we want to see the complete happening copied/pasted between CODE tags. Not part of it.
And it probably is

zypper up


Zypper Up

will not do what you want I assume.

We are talking about computer operating systems. Precise and exact doing and reporting is needed, else it will be all confusion.

And better also post your repository listing

zypper lr -d

BTW, I would change the root password on that system and keep it to yourself as system manager.

You could try to repair the rpm database

# rpmdb --rebuilddb


# man rpmdb

for more information.



Fair enough. So here it is:

lena@localhost:~> su 
localhost:/home/lena # zypper up 
error: cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm 
Target initialization failed: 
Rpm Exception 
localhost:/home/lena # 

And yeah, I think I might just do that. I had hoped that with both having their own laptops they’d be fine without messing it about.

As for the repo list:

localhost:/home/lena # zypper lr -d 
#  | Alias                                | Name                               | Enabled | GPG Check | Refresh | Priority | Type   | URI                                                                      | Service 
 1 | dvd                                  | dvd                                | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://opensuse-guide.org/repo/openSUSE_Leap_15.2/                       |  
 2 | https-download.opensuse.org-5f10ec26 | Education                          | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Education/openSUSE_Leap_15.2/ |  
 3 | openSUSE-Leap-15.2-1                 | openSUSE-Leap-15.2-1               | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | rpm-md | hd:/?device=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Generic_Flash_Disk_C2A43262-0:0-part2    |  
 4 | packman                              | packman                            | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_15.2/                         |  
 5 | repo-debug                           | Debug Repository                   | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/debug/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/oss/      |  
 6 | repo-debug-non-oss                   | Debug Repository (Non-OSS)         | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/debug/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/non-oss/  |  
 7 | repo-debug-update                    | Update Repository (Debug)          | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/debug/update/leap/15.2/oss/                 |  
 8 | repo-debug-update-non-oss            | Update Repository (Debug, Non-OSS) | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/debug/update/leap/15.2/non-oss/             |  
 9 | repo-non-oss                         | Non-OSS Repository                 | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/non-oss/        |  
10 | repo-oss                             | Main Repository                    | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/oss/            |  
11 | repo-source                          | Source Repository                  | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/source/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/oss/     |  
12 | repo-source-non-oss                  | Source Repository (Non-OSS)        | No      | ----      | ----    |   99     | NONE   | http://download.opensuse.org/source/distribution/leap/15.2/repo/non-oss/ |  
13 | repo-update                          | Main Update Repository             | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://download.opensuse.org/update/leap/15.2/oss/                       |  
14 | repo-update-non-oss                  | Update Repository (Non-Oss)        | Yes     | (r ) Yes  | Yes     |   99     | rpm-md | http://download.opensuse.org/update/leap/15.2/non-oss/                   |  

Thanks for the info.

You should certainly try @sysejunky’s advice.

Still the repo list could be interesting when we take into account that somebody did something undefined.

Edit: Repo list looks fine!

The DVD install repo is still active that means it must be present. Best to disable or remove

Also rebuild RPM database as mentioned

Another general remark

I see you use


to change to root. That can be very dangerous (e.g. you are still using user lena’s environment and who knows what she did there, after all it his her environment). Better use

su -

And, when you use KDE, there is in the main menu > System > Terminal - Super User Mode, which also uses su -.

Another advice. When you manage someone else’s system, at least add a normal user for you as the manager. You can then adapt your environment to your needs and have nothing to do with lena’s environment (also a matter of privacy). I even have done this to the system I also use for “normal” work (like browsing, banking, zoom, …). No interference between the different roles I have. Unix/Linux offers a real multi-user operating system. Use it to your advantage.

Sorry, isn’t that #3? It is disabled already.

Thanks, even after using it for 10 years I still feel very much like a newbie.

Hmm yep I saw the first one DVD and though that one was pointing to the install. Not sure what that one is though???