How can I report a bug when ubuntu-bug crashes?

ongun@ongun-ubuntu:~$ ubuntu-bug python
ERROR: /etc/apport/crashdb.conf is damaged: No default database
  • Might it be possible that you hit this bug bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apport/+bug/627076? – Chrissss May 1 '11 at 22:17
  • 1
    Why reopen? 8 year old post... Please leave a comment with the reason why you vote to reopen before you reopen something. – Fabby Jul 28 '19 at 18:50
  • The answer is already in the bug report from chrisss : it is a locale issue. LC_ALL=C ubuntu-bug python does work – Rinzwind Jul 29 '19 at 10:12
  • 2
    @Fabby Sorry! Although I don't think all attempts to reopen (or close) questions need comments, nor that the age of the question is all that relevant, you're totally right that a comment would have been helpful here. Anyway, speaking for myself, it was (a) unclear why this was considered off-topic and (b) not obvious that the problem described here was actually due to a bug in Apport/ubuntu-bug. Most importantly, (c) what I view to be the actual question being asked--how to report a bug when Apport isn't working--is one that can and, in my view, should be answered. (I've posted.) – Eliah Kagan Jul 29 '19 at 10:57
  • 1
    @Ongun My edits don't focus on your posts. I retitled this to help people find it and prevent ill-considered re-closure. Searching for edits on your posts, I only found that, which was new at the time. Also, I don't gain rep from edits on Ask Ubuntu; that's for approved edit suggestions by users without enough rep to edit directly. – Eliah Kagan Jul 29 '19 at 14:57

When Apport--which ubuntu-bug is part of--doesn't work, it's often best to try to fix the problem with Apport. However, it is possible to report bugs without Apport.

I don't know if the specific error described here is due to a bug or misconfiguration or some other problem. Users who see that exact message should try the workaround Rinzwind described. Somewhat more generally, though not applicable to the error message shown here, the apport-cli command will sometimes work when ubuntu-bug doesn't.

But the answer to "How can I report a bug when ubuntu-bug crashes?" (or otherwise cannot be used) is that bugs can be reported directly via Launchpad's web interface, and that such a bug report may be useful so long as the reporter describes the problem carefully and meticulously includes all information reasonably related to it.

Reporting bugs without Apport (when you must)

There are two major cases.

  1. If you're reporting a non-crash bug by running ubuntu-bug package, then Apport wouldn't attach a stack trace and core dump to the bug report anyway. So it's reasonable to report the bug directly on Launchpad. As its_me's answer to How do I report a bug? says:

    It's as easy as visiting Launchpad and filling the 2 or 3 fields that are there. Command line is not the only way.

    Alternatively, you can use this (replace PACKAGENAME in the URL with the package name. For example: unity, gnome-shell, etc):


    It's mentioned in the Ubuntu documentation.

    That applies directly to the situation described in this question. Just make sure to include enough information to fully describe the bug, the system on which the bug occurs, and the packages relevant to the bug, including their exact versions. As always, users reporting bugs this way should first read ReportingBugs.

  2. Reporting a bug that causes a crash without Apport is more laborious, but it can be done in the traditional manner. This consists of installing debug symbols for the program that crashed and the libraries it uses, opening the program in a debugger (for Ubuntu packages, gdb should typically be used), then attempting to reproduce the crash. The resulting stack trace, produced by running bt in gdb after the crash, should be usable so long as all the relevant debug symbols were available.

    This isn't the situation described in the question here, and I don't intend to cover it thoroughly. I mainly mention it so readers who are trying to report crashes don't use the approach mentioned above without also including a stack trace. But basically, some packages have corresponding debug symbols in similarly named packages whose names end in -dbg, and most others have debug symbol packages available from separate repositories that can be enabled and used as described in Debug Symbol Packages.

    Users considering doing this should definitely read DebuggingProgramCrash as well as ReportingBugs.

Once Apport is working again...

If you do later get Apport working, you can still use it to add information automatically to the bug report. As v010dya's comment on that answer says:

If you follow this method, and then decide to add files in the same way as you would by ubuntu-bug method, you can simply type apport-collect REPORTNUMBER, where REPORTNUMBER is the number of the bug, that will be in the URL of your submitted [bug].

This is most useful for crash bugs where there are stack trace and core dump files in /var/crash to attach.

  • And I've upvoted... ;-) – Fabby Jul 29 '19 at 20:34

As mentioned in the bug report in comments this seems to be a a "locale" issue.

LC_ALL=C ubuntu-bug python

works perfectly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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