Best practice for reporting bugs

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Wed Mar 25 19:38:50 UTC 2009

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 03:46:05PM -0300, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Mackenzie Morgan wrote:
> > On Wednesday 25 March 2009 11:08:11 am Derek Broughton wrote:
> >> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> >> 
> >> > On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 12:38:44PM +0000, Chris Jones wrote:
> >> >> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> >> >> > our best practices for reporting bugs.  In particular, reporting
> >> >> > bugs
> >> >> > directly to Launchpad is usually *NOT* the best approach.  This
> >> >> > should only
> >> >> 
> >> >> Perhaps Launchpad could specifically discourage this within /ubuntu/
> >> >> and offer up much the same information in your mail?
> >> > 
> >> > Indeed, it does give that guidance but it's usually too late to help
> >> > (i.e.
> >> > after +filebug).  
> I file many bugs at launchpad, and haven't seen anything suggesting a better
> place.  In fact, I keep getting told to file bugs at launchpad...

Launchpad itself could do a much better job of telling you how to report
bugs, I agree.

The authoritative documentation for this is currently

> > In almost all cases, it is preferable to report the bug using Apport. 
> > This can be done in one of the following ways:
> > 
> > 1. If the bug is a crash, apport should automatically generate a report
> > and
> > guide you in filing it.  Copies of the crash reports are stored in
> > /var/crash in case you need to refer to them directly.
> I think that's happened to me _once_.  iirc, it gave a message that was
> about as encouraging as the Windows "May we send a report to Microsoft...". 
> No doubt most people say "Shut up" and close the window.  It doesn't seem
> to happen with KDE apps, though I've regressed to Hardy, so perhaps it will
> when I can get back to Intrepid+.

This is only enabled during development.  For example, it's currently
enabled in Jaunty, but will be turned off for the final release, then
enabled in Karmic, etc.

> > 3. On the command line, you can run "ubuntu-bug <package>" (or "ubuntu-bug
> > <PID>") to invoke Apport manually.  Kernel bugs should be reported with
> > "ubuntu-bug linux".
> That's going to be news to the average user, of which a noticeable number
> are _still_ using the old bug tools to file a bug straight
> to "ubuntu-users" 

We don't install those tools by default, while we do install apport.  Anyone
who searches the web looking for how to report bugs in Ubuntu should find
the above documentation.  The missing piece is to get everyone telling each
other about the right way to do it.

 - mdz

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