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When I click "Install" in the software center, it fails silently, doing nothing. I then checked the command line, and got this error

2012-01-28 18:47:26,076 - softwarecenter.backend - WARNING - _on_trans_error: org.freedesktop.PolicyKit.Error.Failed: ('system-bus-name', {'name':  ':1.55'}): org.debian.apt.install-or-remove-packages
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  • Forum thread with identical problem here: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1665901 Jan 29 '12 at 2:51
  • This is a bug and bugs are off-topic for Ask Ubuntu. Any information you have about the nature of the bug, what causes it, how it could be fixed, or how users can work around it should be posted in the bug report. (If you don't believe any of the suggested bug reports are this bug, you should report a new bug.) Jan 3 '13 at 17:49
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There seems to be a workaround. A similar bug was manifest in the update manager in 11.04, so I modified that command line. Instructions:

  • Launch the terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T
  • Paste (without quotes) "gksudo software-center & exit"
  • Press enter.
  • Enter your password.

Ironically, the workaround is a little more convenient after started, since you don't need to type your password repeatedly when installing multiple programs.

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It is a known bug. As gatoatigrado mentioned, running the Software Center as root or installing by command line are ways of getting around it.

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