Thanks for the feedback. I agree that it is puzzling. From everything that I can tell, the version of python that I have installed should be more than sufficient. I’ve spent about half a day just working on this problem trying to either get yum to install python26 (I eventually found an RPM for this package, but it was for Centos v5, ultimately I could not get it to install as it conflicted with my existing version of python, and yum won’t let me remove python since it is dependent on it) and trying to get the ambari installation to proceed without forcing this dependency check.
It’s really disheartening when you are stuck on the same problem for so long that no matter what you search for, you keep on getting the exact same search results, the first of which is this very page.
In the end I was getting nowhere, so I decided to have a go at the other cluster provisioning offerings (which also listed python26 as a dependency), and I have managed to come right almost instantly with another of the available solutions.