I have multiple Ubuntu Precise servers and workstations, all of which suffer from the same really infuriating problem: when the "System Problem Detected" dialog comes up due to something or other crashing, clicking "Report Problem" throws an elevation dialog... which, unfortunately, doesn't work.

I'm assuming this means that the elevation dialog is looking for a root password - for which there is none - rather than looking for my own password to use with sudo (and, yes, my account is a member of the sudo group, and normal gksudo prompts work just fine).

Does anybody know what's up with this? I'd really LIKE to be able to submit problem reports when things crash. It irritates me to no end that I end up having to just click "close" like some kind of scrub who doesn't care about reporting bugs. >=[

closed as off topic by fossfreedom May 24 '13 at 18:01

Questions on Ask Ubuntu are expected to relate to Ubuntu within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    The problem reporting things show up so often that they need to be disabled, at least for me, because they get annoying, granted, you want to contribute more to Ubuntu, though this issue is in all likelihood, a bug. – Yet Another User May 18 '13 at 4:41
  • if I understand it well, you do search for the way how to auto-authenticate apport, right? – Dee May 23 '13 at 6:53
  • 1
    You might be dealing with this bug: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apport/+bug/1050577 It is confirmed for apport 2.5.1-0ubuntu7 on 12.10. What are you on? What's your apport? – DrSAR May 23 '13 at 7:00
  • DrSAR, I'm on Precise - but that bug certainly seems to describe my problem. I "me too'ed" it and mentioned that it seems to be affecting Precise as well as Quantal. If you'll re-post this as an answer, I'll be happy to award you the bounty. – Jim Salter May 24 '13 at 13:28
  • 1
    Since you have confirmed that this is a bug, I will refund you bounty and close the question. Thanks. – fossfreedom May 24 '13 at 18:01

You may be often receiving error messages like the one below, caused by the Ubuntu problem reporting service, apport:

enter image description here

This does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your system; just that a system process has crashed. When a user clicks "Report Problem...", they are faced with this bug in apport, preventing the actual error report from being sent.

On the other hand, you could receive an error message such as the following

enter image description here

In this type of dialog, the error report service works flawlessly. This, again, reflects bug #1050577 in Ubuntu, which causes the password prompt for the error report in the first type of dialog to hang and prevents the report from being sent.

When you receive the "System program problem detected" message, go to Terminal (Ctrl - Alt- T) and type:

nautilus /var/crash/

You can study the various crash reports in that folder, and file bug reports for them accordingly.

  • sudo nautilus /var/crash/ – GUI Junkie Apr 1 '14 at 18:48

First of all, apport it doesn't fix anything, it just tells developers that something went wrong, so this (apport) doesn't help you to much personally.

Second, an explanation as to why the problem continues to occur is that the old crash report hadn’t been cleared out after reported it (you said that doesn't even work, unfortunately). To solve the problem, open a terminal and run this command:

sudo rm /var/crash/*

Log out, log back in the system and check if the dialog still appears.

Or, better, disable apport (see here a number of reasons why is good to keep aport disabled):

sudo sed -i 's/enabled=1/enabled=0/g' /etc/default/apport 

My solution (of course, not recommended)?

sudo apt-get remove --purge apport

Now, to solve the problem with "Report Problem" with the dialog that doesn't work and because you said that you are a member of the 'sudo' group, you should try by prevent PolicyKit from asking for a password following step by step this answers. I don't encourage anyone to do this; it is more better to report a system bug in this sense and to apply the solution with sudo rm /var/crash/*.

Other information about how to debug Ubuntu package crashes you will find here:


  • That's not really fixing the PROBLEM, which is that the elevation dialog doesn't work. It asks for my password because running apport requires root permissions, I give it my password, it just asks for the password again - exactly as though I had gotten the password wrong. I'm not asking for assistance with whatever crashed in the first place - I'm asking for assistance with whatever prevents elevation from occurring. (Thank you though!) – Jim Salter May 19 '13 at 23:55
  • Then this thing seem to be more like a bug. Please see How to report a system bug in this sense. – Radu Rădeanu May 20 '13 at 9:16
  • @JimSalter I edited my answer - you can find a solution to get over password. – Radu Rădeanu May 23 '13 at 23:37

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.