Support data gathering tool

Andrew SB a.starr.b at
Mon Jun 1 00:21:33 UTC 2009

2009/5/31 Przemysław Kulczycki <przemekkulczycki at>:
> Ubuntu needs a data gathering tool for user support and bug reporting.
> Currently when filing bug reports users have to manually run lots of
> commands (dmesg, lspci, lsusb, lsmod, alsa-something...) for
> troubleshooting their issues.
> Ubuntu should have a tool to gather all necessary system logs for
> reporting bugs and asking for support on
> I work for Sun and I find their Explorer tool very handy.
> It collects many system logs and outputs of system commands to show the
> system configuration and issues to the support team. It also has some
> options to skip some logs when the customer feels if it will violate his
> privacy.
> Red Hat has something similar, though not as developed as Explorer.
> Their sos (son of sysreport) tool is GPLed and could be tweaked to run
> on Debian/Ubuntu.
> Suse used to have Siga, now they have supportconfig, but I'm not
> familiar with it.
> There is also an independent distro-agnostic tool called Linux Explorer
> but it may be a bit outdated now.
> Having an explorer-like tool in Ubuntu would benefit both desktop and
> server users.
> Bugreporting would be much easier. You would only have to run one
> command, maybe with some options, to provide all the data needed for the
> bug troubleshooters.
> Example options could be:
> toolname -audio
> toolname -usb
> toolname -kernel
> toolname -all
> toolname -xorg
> toolname -network
> Appropriate options would be used for relevant problem types (ie. -audio
> for sound problems).
> Links:
> Red Hat: sosreport, earlier: sysreport
> Suse: supportconfig, earlier: Siga
> Sun/Solaris: Explorer
> Independently developed Explorer-clone for Linux:
> Check out the Explorer page and its documentation to see how it's useful.
> --
> ## Przemysław Kulczycki <<>> Azrael Nightwalker ##
> # jabber: azrael[na] | tlen: azrael29a #
> ### www: ###

Ubuntu already uses a tool called Apport along with the command-line
tool ubuntu-bug. [1] How do these tools differ?

Apport already has the ability to be extended through the use of
per-package hooks. [2] Most relevant information that should be
provided with a bug report for a specific package can be retrieved
using them.

Maybe we should have some sort of wizard for when a user attempts to
use apport and they don't know the package. E.g. If they know the
problem is in the audio stack but not exactly where. There's still a
lot of relevant information that apport could collect.

I think the real issue is: how do we better encourage users to use the
tools that already exist?

[2] /usr/share/doc/apport/package-hooks.

- Andrew Starr-Bochicchio
Ubuntu Developer

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