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I was able to reproduce this on a clean CentOS 5.5 install by following the instructions at http://wiki.openstack.org/NovaInstall#Nova_installation_on_CentOS_5.5.

The culprits on my machine were: 1) Conflict with the "daemon" package vs the "python-daemon" package. The daemon package is listed in the wiki instructions, when it should be "python-daemon". To resolve: easy_install-2.6 -mxN daemon

2) python-daemon 1.6 breaks compatibility with earlier versions (pidlockfile.py is renamed to pidfile.py). Make sure 1.5.5 is installed. To resolve: easy_install-2.6 python-daemon==1.5.5 More information: http://sourceforge.net/support/tracker.php?aid=3000179

3) lockfile 0.9.1 package is installed by python-daemon, but that version has a known bug in it, giving a TypeError error on "from daemon import pidlockfile". Make sure 0.8 is installed. To resolve: easy_install-2.6 lockfile==0.8 More information: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=612403