Sometimes, when info is being collected by ubuntu-bug (either automatically following a program crash or by manually calling it) the following dialog pops up: enter image description here

Should I include these files or not? What is "dangerous" about someone else know my computer's hostname?

  • Sensitive can mean both a) private, no-one else's business and b) dangerous from a security perspective. I think the message speaks about a).
    – don.joey
    Feb 28, 2013 at 21:50
  • 2
    @Private These categories are not obviously separate, and my understanding is that the message is primarily referring to b -- for example, a log that might contain access credentials like a password would not be included. Mar 22, 2013 at 13:49
  • Upon rereading the post, I think it is indeed b) the OP is asking for.
    – don.joey
    Mar 24, 2013 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


The software uses several data sources for a bug report. One such source is your user environment. This is the content of the file /proc/PID/env where PID is the process ID of a specific process. In the case of a networking program this might reveal to which servers you are connected. Some software allows it to enter a password as commandline option.

Also a hostname can be sensitive. Just assume you are working inside a company. The fact itself that you're working there, could be revealed through a hostname and might be sensitive.

So in many cases a hostname will not sensitive per se, but with additional information it can easily get sensitive or sometimes dangerous.

The error message is just a reminder for you to reflect if your hostname or other information are worth being protected. If no, all is OK. If yes, you should modify the report.


General recommendation:

  • If you know what are you doing and that compromising your logs is not a threat to you, you can include logs to the error.
  • Or if you feel pretty safe, as security is not your business and your Linux is test or similar installation, you can include them.
  • From display manager there should not be anything about your networking, so I think it is pretty safe to include logs. Maximum threat is, that community will see what types of monitors you use - but I cannot guarantee that.
  • If this is not the matter, (so you don't know what you are doing, you work in "secured" environment, etc. ) it is better NOT to include the information. Remember, that these logs are accessible to the ubuntu community so almost everybody can read it / or you have no control who is reading. But in general, this cannot harm your computer.

Finally, it is up to you.

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