De:Gramps 4.2 Wiki Handbuch - Fehler und Warnung Referenz

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This section explains what to do when something unexpected happens.

When something goes wrong

Sometimes something goes wrong, either because you have asked to do something that Gramps doesn't know how to do, or because something has happened that the developers of Gramps did not anticipate, or because there is a mistake in the coding of Gramps.


Sometimes all the errors do not appear on the screen. If something unexpected happens, you may need to see all the error messages


An alert is a dialog that appears when Gramps needs to give you an important message about an error condition or warn you about potentially hazardous situations or consequences.

Most alerts are self explanatory, and the same type of alerts that you might get with any application. These are not discussed further here.

However, some alerts require more complicated actions, so they are described below.

Need to upgrade database

Fig. E.1 Dialogue showing DB Upgrade Required Error

This dialogue appears if you try to open a Family Tree created with a previous version of Gramps with a newer version of Gramps. If you still have the older version of Gramps available, then you should:

  • cancel this dialogue,
  • open the Family Tree with the previous version of Gramps,
  • export your family tree in Gramps XML database export format or Gramps package export format (see Export into Gramps formats),
  • open the Family Tree in the new version of Gramps and click Upgrade now in this dialogue

Cannot open database

Fig. E.2 Dialogue showing DB Environment Error

As explained in the dialogue, the Family Tree was probably created with an old version of the Berkeley database program. This is not quite the same thing as an old version of the Gramps program, because the version of the Gramps program and the version of the Berkeley database are independent. However, the effect is somewhat the same. As suggested in the dialogue, if you have the old version of Gramps and its support software, then you should:

  • cancel this dialogue,
  • open the Family Tree with the previous version of Gramps,
  • export your family tree in Gramps XML database export format or Gramps package export format (see Export into Gramps formats),
  • start the new version of Gramps,
  • open the 'Manage Family Tree' dialogue,
  • click on new and create a new Family Tree,
  • load the new Family Tree
  • Import the Gramps XML or Gramps package.

Alternatively, it may be possible to use the recovery tools. See 'obtain the bsddb recovery tools' under Recover corrupted family tree

Low level database corruption detected

Fig. E.3 Dialogue showing DB Error Dialogue

This dialogue appears when a problem is detected with the underlying database that supports Family Trees.

  • close the dialogue,
  • click on the Family Tree Manager,
  • select the Family Tree you were trying to open,
  • the Repair button should be available; click on it,
  • once the Family Tree has been repaired it should be possible to open it in the normal way.

If this does not work, try 'obtain the bsddb recovery tools' under Recover corrupted family tree

Cannot open database

Fig. E.4 Dialogue showing DB Downgrade Error

Carry out suggested action.

Cannot open database

Fig. E.5 Dialogue showing DB Version Error

Carry out suggested action.

Error detected in database

Fig. E.6 Dialogue showing Run Database Repair

Carry out suggested action.


If Gramps detects a minor error, or wishes to notify you about an occurrence within the program, then Gramps may display a warning button, as shown below. This button is only displayed for 180 seconds, so if you see it you should immediately click on it if you want to see the messages.

Fig. E.7 Gramps Main Window showing Warning button

If you click the warning button, then a Warning dialog box appears showing the last 20 messages received. More details

Fig. E.8 Gramps Main Window showing Warning messages

Some of the warnings that may appear are described below:

Locale warnings

Sometimes there is a problem with the language you have chosen.

If you have installed Gramps using your platform's standard installation method (Package manager/AIO installer/Application package) and are using your platform's built-in mechanism (System Setting/Control Panel/System Preferences) to choose the language/sort order/formats you are running in, then these errors should not occur, and may mean there is a problem in Gramps.

However, if you have set the language/sort order/formats manually by setting the 'environment' see languages, particularly if you are running Gramps from the command line, then there may be a problem with what you have typed in. The message (only part of which is shown below) should help you to understand where the error is.

  • "Date parser for '%s' not available, using default"
  • "Date displayer for '%s' not available, using default"
  • "Family relationship translator not available for language '%s'. Using 'english' instead."
  • 'Unable to determine your Locale, using English'
  • "Localization library libintl not on %PATH%, localization will be incomplete"
  • "No translations for %s were found, setting localization to U.S. English"
  • "Unable to create collator: %s"
  • "No language provided, using US English"
  • "No usable languages found in list, using US English"
  • "None of the requested languages (%s) were available, using %s instead"

Module not loaded warnings

The Gramps application contains many different 'modules'. Some of these modules are required for Gramps to run at all; some are 'strongly recommend', and some are optional.

If you have installed Gramps using your platform's standard installation method (Package manager/AIO installer/Application package) then the builder of that package will have decided which modules are present. He must include all the required modules, because otherwise Gramps will not run, but he can choose which of the recommended and optional packages he includes. Consult the documentation for your package to determine which modules are included.

If you try to do something that needs a module that is not included, then you will get a warning like the ones below (only the first part of the message is included). What you can do about it depends on your platform:

Linux You should be able to install the package using your distribution's standard Package Manager or the GUI interface to the Package Manager. However, in some cases you will need to build the module from source.

MS Windows and Mac OS X The MS Windows AIO installer and the Max OS X Application bundle come with certain modules built in. It is not possible for the normal user to add further modules. Therefore, if you find a module that you particularly feel should be included you should post on the Gramps mailing list (probably the devel list) explaining why you feel its omission is a mistake.

  • "WARNING: PIL module not loaded. "
  • "ICU not loaded because %s. Localization will be impaired. "
  • "OsmGpsMap module not loaded. "
  • "GExiv2 module not loaded. "
  • "Webkit module not loaded. "
  • "PIL (Python Imaging Library) not loaded. "
  • "GtkSpell not loaded. "

Configuration warnings

Sometimes it is worth just deleting the old configuration files.

  • "Importing old key file 'keys.ini'..."
  • "Done importing old key file 'keys.ini'"
  • "Can't find filter %s in the defined custom filters"
  • "Number of arguments does not match number of " +
  • "Value '%(val)s' not found for option '%(opt)s'"
  • "Unable to open recent file %s because %s",
  • "WARNING: ignoring old key '%s'"
  • "WARNING: ignoring key with wrong type "
  • "Failed to parse doc options"
  • "Skipped a line in the addon listing: "
  • "Failed to load gramplets from %s because %s"

Other warnings

Suppress warning when adding parents to a child

Suppress warning when cancelling with changed data

Suppress warning about missing researcher when exporting to GEDCOM


More serious problems cause an Error Report dialog to be shown which will describe the actions you should take.

Error Report

Fig. E.9 Error Report - default(collapsed) dialog

The Error Report dialogue appears whenever something has happened in the Gramps application that the programmers did not expect.

Have a read of the How to create a good bug report article. If you believe you know how the Gramps developers might reproduce the bug or not, then select the Report button to start the Error Reporting Assistant dialog, and you can then follow the instructions.

Error Reporting Assistant dialog

Allows you an opportunity to compile a report about an error and submit it to the Gramps bug reporting system.

Report a bug page

Fig. E.10 Report a bug (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

This is the Bug Reporting Assistant. It will help you to make a bug report to the Gramps developers that will be as detailed as possible.

The assistant will ask you a few questions and will gather some information about the error that has occurred and the operating environment.

At the end of the assistant you will be asked to file a bug report on the Gramps bug tracking system.

The assistant will place the bug report on the clip board so that you can paste it into the form on the bug tracking website and review exactly what information you want to include.

Error Details page

Fig. E.11 Error Details (page) - Error Reporting Assistant (Showing example error)

If you can see that there is any personal information included in the error please remove it.

This is the detailed Gramps error information, don't worry if you do not understand it. You will have the opportunity to add further detail about the error in the following pages of the assistant.

System Information page

Fig. E.12 System Information (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

This is the information about your system that will help the developers to fix the bug.

Further Information page

Fig. E.13 Further Information (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

Please provide as much information as you can about what you were doing when the error occurred.

This is your opportunity to describe what you were doing when the error occurred.

Bug Report Summary page

Fig. E.14 Bug Report Summary (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

This is the completed bug report. The next page of the assistant will help you to file a bug on the Gramps bug tracking system website.

Send Bug Report page

Fig. E.15 Send Bug Report (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

Use the two buttons below to first copy the bug report to the clipboard and then open a webbrowser to file a bug report at

  • File bug report - Use this button to start a web browser and file a bug report on the Gramps bug tracking system.
  • Copy to clipboard - Use this button to copy the bug report onto the clipboard. Then go to the bug tracking website by using the button below, paste the report and click submit report
  • Send Bug Report - This is the final step. Use the buttons on this page to start a web browser and file a bug report on the Gramps bug tracking system.

Complete page

Fig. E.16 Complete (page) - Error Reporting Assistant

Gramps is an Open Source project. Its success depends on its users. User feedback is important. Thank you for taking the time to submit a bug report.

Seeing all the error messages

Sometimes, not all the information needed to understand what has gone wrong will appear on the screen. For example, if you start Gramps with an invalid language setting (and some missing components) then the message that appears in the Warnings dialog is:

Fig. E.17 Dialogue showing limited warnings

However, the full set of warning messages is:

(process:10929): Gtk-WARNING **: Locale not supported by C library.
	Using the fallback 'C' locale.
2013-03-13 18:49:04.376: WARNING: line 69: Date parser for 'xx_XX.UTF-8' not available, using default
2013-03-13 18:49:04.547: WARNING: line 85: Date displayer for 'xx_XX.UTF-8' not available, using default
2013-03-13 18:49:05.949: WARNING: line 74: Spelling checker is not installed
2013-03-13 18:49:14.223: WARNING: line 400: WARNING: GExiv2 module not loaded.  Image metadata functionality will not be available.

Sometimes Gramps just doesn't start and nothing appears on the screen, or Gramps suddenly quits so you don't see anything on the screen. In all these cases you may need to do something special to see all the errors.


You can start Gramps from the Command Line, as described in the note here. You will then see all the diagnostic information on the terminal.

MS Windows

You can start Gramps from the Command Line, as described in the note here. You will then see all the diagnostic information on the terminal.

Mac OS X

You can look at log messages from Gramps using the Console application. Console application is located in your Mac's Utilities folder, which is found in the Applications folder. (A shortcut on recent versions of Mac OS X is to press Command and the space bar to start a Spotlight search. In the resulting pop up window, enter the first few characters of the word "Console" and then select the Console application.)

For example, one of the early alpha releases of Gramps 4.2.0 just would not start and displayed nothing on the screen. However by opening the Console application, and typing Gramps in the filter at the top right hand corner some diagnostic information appeared. (Actually we typed "gramps[" because there were some other messages that were not relevant, but it wouldn't matter if they were included as well).

Fig. E.18 Console output

By shift clicking to select all the relevant messages and copying them we get:

01/03/2013 00:08:02 [0x0-0x88088].org.gramps-project.gramps[1867] 2939: ERROR: line 51: Could not find any typelib for Gtk 
01/03/2013 00:08:05 [0x0-0x88088].org.gramps-project.gramps[1867] Gtk typelib not installed. Install Gnome  Introspection, and pygobject version 3.3.2 or later. 
01/03/2013 00:08:05 [0x0-0x88088].org.gramps-project.gramps[1867] Gramps will terminate now. 

In this particular case, this was enough to help the developer discover the problem.

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