I keep getting, since several days, "System program problem detected" error message:

enter image description here

I always clicked on Report problem button but nothing happens.

I also run update and upgrade everyday.

What causes this ? How to get rid of it ?

  • 1
    are you only interested in getting rid of this message? here is the solution : linuxbabe.com/ubuntu/… if this satisfies you i'll make an answer. this is something I (and many others) always do right after a fresh install of ubuntu.
    – tatsu
    Jul 26, 2019 at 12:31
  • Indeed, it is worth to summarize what is mentioned in that link. Jul 26, 2019 at 15:19
  • @begueradj Did you have Bleachbit on your box when you got this message. I believe that this error started for me after I upgraded to Bleachbit 4.0.0?
    – mccurcio
    Apr 29, 2020 at 22:07

4 Answers 4


What causes this ?

See the crash report that is dumped on your disk. The directory you want is /var/crash/ and it will contain several files pointing you to the package it is about and what the crash is.

This directory is described as:

/var/crash : System crash dumps (optional)

This directory holds system crash dumps. As of the date of this release of the standard, system crash dumps were not supported under Linux but may be supported by other systems which may comply with the FHS.

Ubuntu releases use this (optional) directory to dump crashes and the package that does that is called apport (and whoopsie). The link has a detailed description and also has a PDF that describes the crash report data format.

If you want really detailed reports on a crash install GDB: The GNU Project Debugger with sudo apt-get install gdb.

How to get rid of it ?

Depends on what you call "get rid". The ideal fix would be to check what is inside the reports, and try and find a fix for it. If the package it is about is unneeded or benign you could also purge it. Most times it is a core functionality though.

If you can not understand those crash reports most times you can google the error notice (there will always be one in there). Or drop a message in chat. Generally crashes are off topic on AU as those are bugs and would need to be reported (through this service ;) ).

You can pick any of these to remove the crash report up to actually removing the package (would be rather ironic if the error comes from apport itself):

  • sudo rm /var/crash/* will delete old crashes and stop informing you about them until some package crashes again.

  • You can stop the service with sudo systemctl disable apport (and enable it again with sudo systemctl enable apport)

  • If you do not want to see crash reports you can disable it by doing sudo vim /etc/default/apport and changingenabled=1 to enabled=0. (or sudo nano /etc/default/apport). Editing it in reverse will enable it again.

  • You can delete the service with sudo apt purge apport (and install it again with sudo apt install apport)

  • And there is also a desktop method (option "problem reporting":

enter image description here

how to read and use crash reports? has some interesting answers. It has an example crash report and a method to retrace crashes.

  • 11
    The question is, why clicking "report problem" does nothing, so old crash reports still trigger the window on each restart. So a mention of what is the intended flow would be best as the first way of getting rid of that window. Mar 30, 2020 at 15:17
  • 2
    I am seeing this error on lubuntu 18.04. My /var/crash folder exists, but it is empty. Also, I doubt that gdb would be of much use in debugging, unless you know which program is crashing.
    – Time4Tea
    Apr 24, 2020 at 20:18
  • 2
    I'd call this answer: "Everything you wanted to know about system crash but were afraid to ask". Dec 20, 2020 at 16:03
  • why nothing happens after clicking the report button.
    – Smaranjit
    Mar 19, 2022 at 14:51
  • For me it's the Xorg gist.github.com/Pacheco95/4f319d69b3d5f64d608897b77f31f355 Have no idea how to fix this Mar 30, 2023 at 12:55

Apport is an ubuntu functionality which reports errors in ubuntu.

it is non-critical and can be safely disabled without any adverse effects.

it's purpose is to aid Ubuntu devs in identifing issues as they occur on user's PCs

How to disable apport:

you must edit a file:

sudo nano /etc/default/apport

and replace the 1 with a 0

like so :

disableing apport

then Ctrl+X and Y to save.

If you don't want to reboot to apply you can disable it on the spot:

sudo systemctl disable apport

You may also completely uninstall apport:

sudo apt purge apport

After that you will no longer see this window.

More usefull information can be found here :https://www.linuxbabe.com/ubuntu/disable-apport-error-reporting-ubuntu-16-04-lts

  • Will this just get rid of the popups or will it also prevent the crash reports from appearing in /var/crash? May 6, 2020 at 14:22
  • which one? It's certain that if you do sudo apt purge apport you have no more crash entries in /var/crash as well as no popups whereas the edit of /etc/default/apport i think only disables the popup, but it might also do both.
    – tatsu
    May 6, 2020 at 16:03
  • why nothing happens after clicking the report button.
    – Smaranjit
    Mar 19, 2022 at 14:51
  • 1
    thanks a lot, this is gold: due to a project and a simulation platform made for Ubuntu, I had to return to this system, and seeing this dialogue so many times was really staring to break my nerves
    – xCovelus
    Jan 11 at 11:58

What I suggest is that you delete these crash reports. Open a terminal and use the following command:

sudo rm /var/crash/*
  • 1
    why nothing happens after clicking the report button.
    – Smaranjit
    Mar 19, 2022 at 14:50

I'm on Ubuntu 20.04.5 with Mate 1.24.0.

I was getting this message on every boot. I installed apport and apport-retrace and applied apport-retrace to the crash files I found in /var/crash. However, in all cases the program complained that something was missing. In most cases this was just "Package", and did not reveal anything else. I suspect that this is why "Report Problem" is unresponsive.

Since I couldn't get any information from the crash files, I examined /var/log/dmesg and found two boot errors. The first being ...

Unable to communicate with TPM chip

This is potentially the most serious. In the BIOS, I hid the chip. On reboot the message ...

System program problem detected

... appeared, but dmesg showed a more benign warning about being unable to find a TPM device.

To test whether the problem was in going to X, I deleted /var/log/dmesg, /var/log/syslog, and /var/log/Xorg.0.log and then rebooted the display manager using sudo systemctl restart display-manager. No new syslog was produced and the new dmesg and Xorg.0 logs only showed minor warnings.

I then deleted all of the /var/crash files and rebooted. This time the "System program problem detected" was not reported. Obviously, this message is inspired by old crash files even if they are no longer relevant.

My conclusion is use this message to alert you that there may be a boot problem but immediately delete the /var/crash/ files and try to fix serious errors you find in /var/log/dmesg, as well as potentially syslog and Xorg.0.

  • 1
    On a related note, I believe I have found the most bad*ss markdown cheatsheet ever in existence: meta.stackexchange.com/a/325826 You can access the raw markdown text by clicking "Improve this answer" under the post (even without logging in). The raw text then can be copied for studying from the textarea that appears.
    – Levente
    Jan 7, 2023 at 21:54

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