I'm connecting to my cloud server (OVH) using SSH key and now I'm trying to restart apache and gets this error:

ubuntu@server-1:~$ service apache2 reload 
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.systemd1.manage-units ===
Authentication is required to reload 'apache2.service'.
Authenticating as: Ubuntu (ubuntu)
polkit-agent-helper-1: pam_authenticate failed: Authentication failure
Failed to reload apache2.service: Access denied
See system logs and 'systemctl status apache2.service' for details.

How to solve it?

  • 1
    What permissions does the ubuntu user have? Did you try to reload the service with root permissions, for example using sudo? Nov 1, 2016 at 22:56
  • when trying to use sudo i get this one sudo: unable to resolve host server-1. And about ubuntu idk, it just gave me this login once server were created
    – Sandra
    Nov 1, 2016 at 22:58
  • when I try to login to user as root i get this message Please login as the user "ubuntu" rather than the user "root".
    – Sandra
    Nov 1, 2016 at 22:58
  • 1
    As far as unable to resolve host server-1 is concerned, this might help you: askubuntu.com/questions/59458/… But you may be unable to edit the respective files and set the host name. Maybe you should ask OVHs support, they'd know their specific setup best. Nov 1, 2016 at 23:36

4 Answers 4


You must run that command using sudo as follow:

sudo service apache2 reload

If you have sudo: unable to resolve host server-1 problem, so you need to fix your hostname through /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts and reboot your linux machine to take affect. then retry above command again.
More details about this problem: Error message when I run sudo: unable to resolve host (none)


One option is to disable policykit (if you know what you're doing) via

sudo apt-get remove libpolkit-agent-1-0

You can find syntax error by this command -

sudo apache2ctl configtest

Fix the error. And things will work.


I took the list through this command sudo apache2ctl configtest and disable all warnings (with a2dissite <virtual_host_name>). And sudo systemctl restart apache2 or sudo systemctl start apache2 and my apache server started working.

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