Ubuntu 13.04 – How To Get Rid Of “System Program Problem Detected” error

By | 13/06/2013

Its been a couple of weeks since I have been using Ubuntu 13.04. As far as the look & feel is concerned, its more or less same as Ubuntu 12.04 while with my daily work too I have not encountered something which has drastically changed. But there is something that started annoying me for past 3-4 days. The problem is that when ever I turn on my Ubuntu, a window saying System Program Problem Detected appears. It further says, Do You Want To Report The Problem Now?. I does not provide any way to get the details of the problem. You can either Cancel or Report Problem.


Here is a snapshot of the problem I am talking about :








Initially I ignored it but when I observed that the problem occurred every time I boot up Ubuntu, I decided to go for Report Problem option by clicking that button with a hope that this could lead to me to problem details but to my surprise, the next box was asking for my root password.


Here is the snapshot:









Well, the first thing that cam to mind was How can Ubuntu behave like Windows? Why should I provide root access to something which isn’t even telling me the details of what it is? It could even be a Linux Malware.

Next thing I did was that I googled a bit about this problem and found that this problem was there in earlier versions of Ubuntu too.

The best solution that I tried was to disable Apport.

Here is what I did :

  • Opened /etc/default/apport by typing something like :
$ sudo gedit /etc/default/apport
  • Next, I changed enabled=1 to enabled=0 to disable this crash reporting mechanism.
  • Then executed the following command to bring the changes in effect:
$ sudo restart apport
  •   If the above command does not bring the changes into effect, give your system a reboot.

After these steps, I have not encountered the problem till now. Here is a Youtube video for the same solution.

For those who would argue that why should the program be disabled, here is another trick.

Just try the following command :

sudo rm /var/crash/*

This should remove any old crash logs and hence stop apport from throwing annoying pop-ups related to crashes that are old but still in system cache. Though I am not sure about this solution by this has done the trick for many Ubuntu users.

Let me know your experience and share your tips and tricks that you applied to solve this problem. :-)

NOTE – Experiencing Ubiquity crash issue? Read our article on Ubuntu 12.04 installation issue: Ubiquity installer crashes.

19 thoughts on “Ubuntu 13.04 – How To Get Rid Of “System Program Problem Detected” error

  1. Tobin


    The little trick at the end worked for me!

    1. Patty

      that last little trick worked for me, too.
      thank you very much. you’re a smart one! :)

  2. Michael Garofano

    Little command at the end worked for me as well as I wasn’t comfortable disbling an error reporting control. Wasn’t 100% sure if that’s what that command would do but still, the rm command worked which means it was probably an old error log file triggering it.


    -NYC Rockefeller Center, NYC User

  3. Paul

    Running Ubuntu 13.10.
    I had 10 of these pop up today, not seen them before since installing.
    Rebooted several times , still got the same 10 pop ups.
    Clearing the crash files with your “sudo rm /var/crash/* ” tip worked for me.
    Thank you, for figuring this one out.

  4. panos d

    As time goes on, ubuntu turns into pret a porter OS losing the essence of stability and simplicity and strives to become Iznogoud .
    Maybe i should go back to Slackware, where basically you know what you’re doing, and u selecti what program to upgrade if you want .
    Thanks for your Help .

    Panos, Athens, Greece

  5. panos

    Why not totally remove apport ?
    What is the point to keep debug reports if u dont now what to do with it .
    If an annoying error occurs, everyone will try to solve it immediately, so it becomes known to the community (That’s communities are for ) . Automation distances user from searching for a solution of his problem and automatically assign it to someone else .

  6. kwambi

    I also tried to ignore this problem but eventually got annoyed and looked it up.
    A few sites advised against disabling apport so I cleared the crash files.
    [sudo rm /var/crash/*] This worked like a charm! Thanks

    Very neat blog by the way, keep it up.

  7. Nancy

    I got this website from my buddy who shared with me regarding this web page and now this time
    I am browsing this site and reading very informative posts
    at this time.

  8. Lenka

    Thank you, I’m newbie in Linux and this was really helpful:)

  9. Frank C.

    This is a lie. Linux is largely a system for mental abuse produced by swarms of sadists, as much as an operating system, and this is just one of of its many abuse methods. Just hit the return key and forget about it.

  10. Anon

    Thanks for this,but i’m still not sure about something.So,is that really a Linux Malware?
    I have reported the problem and nothing effective happened.Have i to change my password?

  11. Mau

    deleting the old crash report worked great for two of my ubuntu computers. there was only one file in the /var/crash folder and i just deleted it.

  12. James

    Yo worked like a charm :) thanks a lot…and this one too…it was really explaining how to completely overcome this issue.

  13. vince

    sudo rm /var/crash/* returns no such file or directory
    ubuntu 14:04


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *