Proxmox Node Cannot Update Packages via apt-get

A brief how-to-fix for Proxmox community edition environments where nodes will not update packages successfully using apt-get.


A virtualization host/node running Proxmox (whether clustered or not) will fail to update packages via apt-get and produce the below error messages in the task queue:


Proxmox Virtualization Environment (confirmed for versions 6.2 and newer) running the free/community editions without and enterprise subscription.


The cause of this issue results from not having a Proxmox Enterprise subscription/license. These errors are caused by apt-get attempting to procure updates from the subscription enterprise proxmox repository, but because the node or cluster does not have a valid enterprise subscription, the update fails and produces an error.


Access the shell for the node/virtualization host producing the error and run the following command:

cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list.backup && echo -e "#$(cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list)" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list

This command copies the repository sources list, renames the original as a backup so the system does not use it, then comments out the line of the list for the enterprise repository.

Once this command runs successfully, you should be able to either (a) wait for the scheduled updates to try to run again or (b) manually search for and install updates using apt-get update/upgrade. Either way, no errors should be produced.

Additional Reading

Installing Ubiquiti UniFi Controller on Linux Debian 10


If you’re installing on Linux, be sure you have the following ahead of time:

  • A current Debian or Ubuntu OS with root access – The steps will use Debian 10
  • An account for

And that’s it. Everything else will be handled during the install process.

Installing the Controller

To get the controller installed on Linux you have many options. Ubiquiti has some instructions on how to install the controller on their website but it only covers the install for a couple of specific versions of Linux. To use Debian, use the script that has been posted on the Unifi forums by member AmazedMender16.

To start the install, first ssh into the Debian server or access the server from the console. Log in either as root or as another user that has root access and then run su.

Update the apt repos.

apt-get update

Next, install the ca-certificates and wget packages.

apt-get update && apt-get install ca-certificates wget -y

Download and run the Unifi Controller installer script. This script will handle the install of the dependencies and controller software for many different distros of Linux including the Debian 10 server we are using.

wget bash

You will be prompted for a few things while the script runs. First, it will ask if you want to keep the script downloaded after the install. In most cases this is not required, so you should enter n and then press enter.

Ensuring the Unifi controller software is kept up to date

You may receive a prompt to update packages during the install. Enter y and then press enter.

Confirming it’s OK to update packages

Finally, you will be prompted to add the apt repo for Unifi to update the controller from apt. Enter y and press enter as this will make upgrades serviceable through apt.

Adding the Unifi Network Controller repo to apt

Once the install completes, the script will output the version of the controller installed and the URL to use to start configuring the controller.

Configuring the Controller

Once you have the controller software installed on whatever server you are using the setting will be the same.

Go to the web address https://<ServerIP>:8443/ and you will be presented with the controller’s web portal.