As I'm often working with package building, a lot of my directories are called according the package names.
I just happened to run into the case where:
> pkcon install arista
Command failed: Expected package name, actually got file. Try using 'pkcon install-local arista' instead.
This simply due to the fact that I happened to be in a directory where a child 'arista' existed.
Maybe that error message / check for file should only happen if the catalog did not return anything... otherwise, assume the user was smarter :)
This was with PK 1.0.0
We moved the upstream bugtracker to GitHub a long time ago. If this issue still affects you please re-create the issue here: https://github.com/hughsie/PackageKit/issues
Sorry for the impersonal message, and fingers crossed your issue no longer happens. Thanks.