I have a clean Magento 2.3.2 in docker container.
After I installed sample data with
bin/magento sampledata:deploy I cannot run
setup:upgrade anymore even with
Module 'Magento_ConfigurableSampleData': Running data recurring...Required parameter 'theme_dir' was not passed
After I remove sample data
setup:upgrade works good.
I'm on Ubuntu16, the issue is not reproduced in Windows docker.
We have here a lot of answers about 'theme_dir' but I don't have any custom theme and I did not change anything in configuration nor installed any custom modules so that I decided to post a new question.
UPD: The issue had gone away when I stopped magento cronjobs. Probably it was about file permissions or some kind of locks or indexer issues.