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I searched rpmfind.net under CentOS and couldn't find it.

But python-libs 2.4.3-46.el5_8.2 is already installed on my server

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Really? CentOS 5.0? Not 5.1, 5.4, 5.8? –  ewwhite Sep 21 '12 at 12:36

3 Answers 3

# yum provides *libpython2.6*
...
python26-libs-2.6.8-1.el5.x86_64 : The libraries for python runtime
Repo        : epel
Matched from:
Filename    : /usr/lib64/libpython2.6.so.1.0
Other       : libpython2.6.so.1.0()(64bit)
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I also couldn't find it. But, you can always compile it yourself.

wget http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.6.8/Python-2.6.8.tgz
tar xzf Python-2.6.7.tgz
./configure --prefix=/opt/python2.6 --with-threads --enable-shared --with-zlib=/usr/include
make && make install

sudo ln -s /opt/python2.6/lib/libpython2.6.so /usr/lib
sudo ln -s /opt/python2.6/lib/libpython2.6.so.1.0 /usr/lib
sudo /sbin/ldconfig -v
sudo ln -s /opt/python2.6/bin/python /usr/local/python

You can now check the version with python -V.

You also might want to check if yum is still working, because that's usually the first to go when you start playing with python versions.

The above lines come from an install script I use and assume you build everything in /opt

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If you really need Python 2.6 on your old CentOS 5 box, you can use the python26 packages provided by EPEL.

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