I want to clean the cache and trash files on my laptop. As I tried to type

sudo apt-get autoclean


sudo apt-get autoremove

I got an error message on the Terminal saying:

There was an error creating child process for this terminal

What does this mean? How can I fix it?

I am using Ubuntu 14.10 (upgraded from 14.04) on a Toshiba Satellite.

This is the error I get:

image of a terminal with the error message quoted above


  • Can you check if the following helps: Click profile preferences, go to tab "command", untick "run a custom command", exit and relaunch the terminal.
    – fret
    Nov 3, 2014 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


It looks like your terminal profile is trying to run an empty shell command - choose the 'Profile Preferences' button and then navigate to the 'Title and Command' tab and make sure that the 'Run a custom command instead of my shell' is not selected (or if it is selected, that it contains the path to a valid shell program)

gnome-terminal profile preferences

  • Thank you, @STEELDRIVER. What you suggested did fix the issue, nevertheless I noticed that Ubuntu began acting up ever since the problem began (probably because of something I installed / uninstalled during the days prior and after my question -maybe the upgrade from 14.04 to 14.10) and I decided to reinstall 14.04
    – Carlos
    Nov 14, 2014 at 0:26

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