"System program problem detected" error

In this blog post, I am going to talk about a common error message that Ubuntu users encounter. When I encountered this error for the first time, I thought it's an error from the Ubuntu installation process. But it was not. It is an error due to cashing.

Have you ever come up with a dialogue box like this?

Most of the times, you will come up with this error when you are booting the machine. When I started my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS machine, the above dialog box popped up and it continued to pop up whenever I start the machine. If you cancel it and restart,  it will simply comes again and again. 


For the time being ...

Unless you are getting more that a few of these, it's usually nothing to worry about. If you click "cancel" that's fine.

Report problem

If you click "report problem" then an error report will be sent to the developers so they can fix bugs. This report will, obviously, include information about your system.

Disable temporarily

If you really want to disable this alert/notification, you need to disable apport which is the crash reporting program of Ubuntu.

apport messages are generated from the logs in /var/crash/, so first try to remove all the files in that directory. Open a terminal with (CTRL+ALT+T) or any other way. Then use the following command.
$ sudo rm /var/crash/*

Then push ENTER. You will be asked for your password. Reboot the computer. You will no longer get that message.

If you don't want to reboot, you can close all open popups using the following command.
killall system-crash-notification 

After removing all the crash report files, the error message should stop popping up. However if a new crash takes place then it would appear again in future.

If you still get the same error message after removing the old crash reports, then you can completely turn off apport to get rid. Edit the configuration file at /etc/default/apport.

Disable permanently

If you want to disable these alerts permanently you need to disable apport. You need to edit /etc/default/apport. To do so, open the file by using the following command.

$ sudo vim/etc/default/apport

You can otherwise open the file using the following command if you prefer file editing with gedit.

sudo -i gedit /etc/default/apport
A file editor is now open.

Now change the line enabled=1 to enabled=0.

Save your changes and close the file editor. After a reboot the popups are gone.

Disabling apport is not recommended.


This can be an indicator of a serious problem, but most of the time it just means a program didn't close properly.

The error "System program problem detected" comes up when a certain application crashes. Ubuntu has a program called Apport that is responsible for detecting such crashes and upon user consent, report these crashes to developers. This process intends to get the problem fixed by the developers.

The apport system creates crash report files in the /var/crash directory. These crash report files cause the error message to appear every time Ubuntu boots.

However it can be very annoying to common users, and there is no point in showing errors to users when they cannot do anything about it themselves. So you might want to disable them. But disabling apport is not a desirable solution. Instead disable them temporarily. After a reboot, any further pop-ups still need to be investigated.

I hope that your problem has been solved. By now, you are aware of the cause and solution for this common error. Please comment me if you are still struggling with this issue. 


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