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How To Fix “System Program Problem Detected” Error After Ubuntu Upgrade

Ubuntu 15

If you’ve recently upgraded your Ubuntu system and are now frequently encountering a “System program problem detected” pop-up, it’s likely due to crash reports generated by Ubuntu’s error reporting system, Apport. This article provides a detailed guide on how to address this issue.

Quick Answer

To fix the "System program problem detected" error after an Ubuntu upgrade, you can try removing old crash reports by using the command "sudo rm /var/crash/*" in the terminal. If the issue persists, you can disable Apport, Ubuntu’s error reporting system, by modifying the Apport configuration file or using the command-line tool "crudini". However, it’s important to note that disabling Apport prevents developers from receiving valuable crash data that helps improve Ubuntu.

Understanding the Issue

The “System program problem detected” pop-up is a feature of Apport, Ubuntu’s error reporting system. Apport collects data from crashes and sends them to developers to help improve Ubuntu. However, if you’re seeing this pop-up regularly, it may be due to old crash reports that haven’t been cleared or an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Solution 1: Remove Old Crash Reports

One of the easiest ways to stop these pop-ups is by removing old crash reports. You can do this by opening a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and typing the following command:

sudo rm /var/crash/*

This command breaks down as follows:

  • sudo: SuperUser DO, this command allows you to execute commands with the security privileges of the superuser.
  • rm: Remove command, used to delete files and directories.
  • /var/crash/*: Specifies the directory where crash reports are stored. The asterisk (*) is a wildcard that represents all files in this directory.

After executing this command and rebooting your system, the pop-ups should no longer appear.

Solution 2: Disable Apport (Not Recommended)

While it’s possible to disable Apport to stop these pop-ups, it’s generally not recommended. Disabling Apport prevents developers from receiving valuable crash data that helps improve Ubuntu. However, if you still wish to disable Apport, you can do so by modifying the Apport configuration file.

Open a terminal and type the following command:

sudo nano /etc/default/apport

In the opened file, change enabled=1 to enabled=0, save the file (Ctrl+O), and exit (Ctrl+X).

Here, nano is a command-line text editor, and /etc/default/apport is the path to Apport’s configuration file. The enabled=1 line enables Apport, and changing it to enabled=0 disables it.

Solution 3: Use Command-Line Tool to Disable Apport

If you prefer a command-line approach, you can use the crudini tool. This tool is a utility for manipulating ini files. If it’s not already installed, you can install it using the following command:

sudo apt-get install crudini

Once installed, you can disable Apport by typing:

sudo crudini --set /etc/default/apport '' enabled 0

This command modifies the Apport configuration file to disable error reporting.


While the “System program problem detected” pop-up can be annoying, it’s important to remember that it serves a crucial purpose in improving Ubuntu. Before choosing to disable Apport, consider removing old crash reports first. If the pop-ups persist, it may be indicative of a deeper issue that needs further investigation.

Remember, when seeking help for technical issues, providing detailed information about the problem, including error messages, system logs, and steps taken, can significantly aid in diagnosing and resolving the problem.

How do I know if I have the “System program problem detected” error on my Ubuntu system?

You will see a pop-up notification with the message "System program problem detected" on your Ubuntu system.

Can I ignore the “System program problem detected” pop-up?

While you can choose to ignore the pop-up, it’s recommended to address the issue as it may indicate an underlying problem with your system.

Will removing old crash reports delete important data?

No, removing old crash reports will not delete any important data. These reports are generated by the system to help diagnose and fix errors.

Why is it not recommended to disable Apport?

Disabling Apport prevents developers from receiving valuable crash data that helps improve Ubuntu. It’s important to contribute to the improvement of the system by allowing error reports to be sent.

Can I re-enable Apport after disabling it?

Yes, you can re-enable Apport by modifying the Apport configuration file and changing enabled=0 back to enabled=1.

Is it necessary to reboot the system after removing old crash reports?

Rebooting the system is not always necessary after removing old crash reports. However, it’s recommended to reboot to ensure any lingering issues are resolved.

Are there any other ways to disable Apport?

Yes, besides modifying the Apport configuration file, you can also use the crudini tool to disable Apport via the command line, as mentioned in the article.

What should I do if the pop-ups persist even after removing old crash reports?

If the pop-ups continue to appear, it may indicate a deeper issue with your system. It’s recommended to seek further investigation or assistance to diagnose and resolve the problem.

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