This should apply to most Linux distributions just incase you get into trouble or wipe out the defaults by accident.
# reserved values
yum exits in the middle
The problem is this VPS seems to be an OpenVZ template from HyperVM. The only way to make it work was to disable i386 packages since this was an x64 kernel. That shouldn't be necessary but it was the only way to make yum stop quitting after the first package or two. I couldn't find any issue by checking the logs either.
echo y|yum install vim-minimal telnet expect jwhois net-tools slocate iptables elinks gawk