How to fix “system program problem detected” error on Ubuntu

After upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 (or older) you might have experienced this annoying problem. In this article, you will learn how to fix this issue once and for all. Let’s get started !

What is this error about ?

In simple terms, this happens because of a previous crash that occurred in your system. However you should not be scared by this since it is a minor issue that does not affect your current system status. This happens because some application had crashed previously and the system wants to grab your attention in order for you to report this crash to developers.

If you click on the Report button, the issue still persists and you will see the following popup :

This is just the Apport which will let you file a bug report by creating (or logging in) an account with Launchpad.

Read: How to fix high memory usage in Linux

How to fix it then ?

Since this is due to a past crash, you will then be able to find corresponding report which is stored in /var/crash. If you look in to this directory, you should see some files ending with crash. Here is an example output :

Your output might show a different reason.

What you can do now is to completely delete the crash report files. To do so, proceed as follows :

Remove the old crash reports in /var/crash . This action will temporarily disable the annoying pop-up window, but in case another application crashes, you will notice the same issue yet again. In this case, you can either delete the crash reports like we just did, or you can simply disable the Apport (known as the debug tool) in order to completely get rid of the pop-ups once and for all.

Now issue the command below to delete the crash reports :

sudo rm var/crash/*

Permanent solution

As mentioned above, this will be a permanent fix which however has its downside. Indeed, if you proceed with this, you’ll never be notified about any application that crashes in your system. If you are ok with this, then you can continue with the steps below.

In order to disable the Apport, open up a terminal and run the following command to change the Apport settings file:

sudo nano /etc/default/apport

The content of the file is as shown below:

In the last line, change enabled=1 to enabled=0 .

Finally, save then quit and reboot your system .

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ziad nahdy

Ziad Nahdy, fan of open source and programming languages. He is a technical writer, blogger and Linux enthusiast. He loves to read and help others with their problems. He is addicted to open source software but he also loves other technology related subjects.

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