Problem with "polkit" when upgrading to Debian Bookworm / PVE 8


Sep 29, 2019
I have noticed that the Debian/Proxmox upgrade "pve7to8" fails at a certain point in my configurations.

My PVE is an "on top" installation over a Debian system, as some functions I need are not provided via a native PVE - e.g. LUKS.

All preliminary tests by “pve7to8” showed no problems.

However, during the installation or upgrade it is interrupted or aborted because "polkit" dependent packages could not be updated ("polkit could not configure itself because it could not test for the existence of the user or group polkit:root") .

As far as I remember, polkit came to the homelab or servers as part of a graphical user environment and the GUI should stay.

There was/is no (actually existing) "polkit:root" user in my previous PVE7/Debian installations.
Therefore, as a "workaround" I created a "polkit:root" user before or during the installation/upgrade and removed it again immediately afterwards. The installation/upgrade then went through smoothly.

However, I would like to find out whether this problem only occurred to me or to others and whether it indicates a problem with my previous "polkit" installation or a general problem when upgrading to Debian Bookworm.

For hints, I would be very thankful.

Addendum: I performed the upgrade from an external device via the browser console in the PVE web configuration
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Have you tried removing all non-pve-related packages beforehand? You need to compare dpkg -l from a pve and debian-upgraded-to-pve installs. Might be interessting to see the difference.
I have updated from PVE 7 to 8 on a machine installed over Debian and did not get that error. But I have very few non-original packages installed on that machine. I also have several Debian machines that were upgraded from 11 to 12 including a couple of VM's. Some of them have graphical environments of various kinds (mainly KDE, XFCE, i3, and Sway). None of them gave that error either.

So it isn't a general thing. You probably have some leftover fragments of a desktop environment that needed policykit. I use "apt --purge autoremove" to remove things so as to ensure that unused dependencies get removed and I run "deborphan" periodically to find dangling packages that aren't really needed any more.
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