I created a minimal install on my Raspbian Raspberry Pi running Debian Jessie. Among other things, I removed libx11-.* and dependencies, which included removal of policykit-1. I'm trying to reinstall policykit-1, but hit the following errors.

$ sudo apt-get install policykit-1
The following packages will be REMOVED:
dpkg: sysvinit-core: dependency problems, but removing anyway as you requested:
 sysvinit depends on sysvinit-core | upstart | systemd-sysv; however:
  Package sysvinit-core is to be removed.
  Package upstart is not installed.
  Package systemd-sysv is not installed.

After this, booting now hangs, and I have to restore the SD card to an image before this install command. (N.B. booting worked fine before the creation of the minimal install, and after the removal of libx11-.* and dependencies.) How can I reinstall policykit-1?


This worked for a little while, but no longer.

There is a long thread here discussing how policykit-1 can break your system in Debian. I didn't read it all, but this (closed) bug report suggests that systemd-shim might be helpful.

Running the following command allowed me to reboot the computer, although I'm unsure as to how functional policykit-1 is.

sudo apt-get install systemd-shim policykit-1

However, a recent update to Debian Jessie prevents this from working. policykit-1 was uninstalled after sudo apt-get dist-upgrade, and running this command still asks you to uninstall sysvinit-core.

  • Please provide the output of apt-rdepends -r policykit-1
    – eyoung100
    Jul 17, 2015 at 0:33
  • 1
    If that doesn't work try: apt-cache --installed rdepends policykit-1
    – eyoung100
    Jul 17, 2015 at 0:38
  • @eyoung100 Only the seconds works, with udisks libpolkit-gobject-1-0
    – Sparhawk
    Jul 20, 2015 at 14:21
  • My hunch here is that the packages need to be reinstalled in the proper order. Remove udisks and libpolkit-gobject then reinstall policykit-1. Policykit-1 should reinstall sysvinit-core and sysvinit. You may need to do this in rescue mode, as X may no longer work.
    – eyoung100
    Jul 20, 2015 at 16:31
  • @eyoung100 As per the question, I don't have X installed. I also don't understand how the order of installation might help here, as (AFAIK) there are no conflicting files installed across the packages. Also, as per the question, policykit-1 seems to require the removal of sysvinit-core, so I'm not sure why we'd expect it to reinstall sysvinit-core instead? (It's non-trivial to restore my system when it breaks, so I'd prefer more certain answers.)
    – Sparhawk
    Jul 25, 2015 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


For more recent readers:

Devuan is a distribution which uses sysvinit by default and includes a policykit-1 package that does not depend on systemd. It is mostly compatible with Debian in nearly every respect that does not deal with the init system.

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