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I have 12.10 ubuntu and when I try to remove / install programs I get notification :

Software can't be installed or removed because the authentication service is not available.

(org.freedesktop.PolicyKit.Error.Failed: ('system-bus-name', {'name':  ':1.104'}): org.debian.apt.install-or-remove-packages

When I log in as root user (instead of user account that I regulary use) i have no problems.

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I have a similar bug after upgrade from 13.04 to 13.10 now: org.freedesktop.PolicyKit.Error.Failed: ('system-bus-name', {'name': ':1.44'}): org.debian.apt.install-file (I already checked: Policy kit is in autostart) –  rubo77 Nov 5 '13 at 8:06
    
I got this error when I changed desktop environment, devav2's answer worked for me. –  Flimm Dec 10 '13 at 10:45

3 Answers 3

It seems like the policy kit authentication agent is not started in startup applications program.

Add the below line to startup applications.

 /usr/lib/policykit-1-gnome/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1

Also note that this was already raised as a bug and fixed is provided in software-center - 5.3.9

Update your software center to fix the issue.

Here is the bug details

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Updating might not work. The bug has reappeared. –  Zilvador Jan 2 '13 at 11:56

I had the same problem. It turned out to be because PolicyKit Authentication Agent was unchecked in Startup Programs. I checked it, and the problem was fixed. Hopefully that will take care of it for you as well.

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I feel you can just reinstall the ubuntu software it will get fixed i hav tred it. just type down this command in your terminal it will re-install the software center

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get --purge --reinstall install software-center software-properties-common software-properties-gtk

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