I am using Arch Linux on an x86_64 desktop. Since a recent full system update, it seems my polkit-mate-authentication-agent will not start. If I try to start it manually from the command line, I get the following error:

$ ./polkit-mate-authentication-agent-1 

(polkit-mate-authentication-agent-1:2709): polkit-mate-1-WARNING **: 19:55:48.909: Error getting authority: Error initializing authority: Error calling StartServiceByName for org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1: Launch helper exited with unknown return code 127

Does anyone know what the problem might be, or how I can diagnose it?

2 Answers 2


Hard to say from the amount of information provided. However, the return code 127 indicates that the command was not found.

Run it with strace to see what is supposed to be executed and is missing.

  • Yes, the lack of information is part of the problem. The error message is short and doesn't seem very helpful. I navigated directly to the folder containing the executable, so that file is certainly there. I will try your suggestion and see if it can shed any light on things.
    – Time4Tea
    Nov 11, 2022 at 14:08
  • @Time4Tea the presence of executable does not mean anything. It is important to verify that it is actually this exactable that gets executed.
    – tukan
    Nov 23, 2022 at 8:18
  • I've figured out the problem. It seemed that for some reason polkitd wasn't getting started on boot, which is why the authentication agent wasn't starting. I will post my own answer to resolve the question. Thanks!
    – Time4Tea
    Nov 25, 2022 at 22:15
  • @Time4Tea so the reason was correct, it was not able to find polkitd thus the error 127 no found.
    – tukan
    Nov 26, 2022 at 15:30

I think I have figured out what the issue was with this. It seems that after the system update, polkitd wasn't being started on boot, which is obviously why the authentication agent wasn't able to connect. I re-installed the polkit package and now polkitd is starting correctly. (I have no idea what was causing it to not start previously though)

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