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Beautiful bug reports

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This article should address many things you should keep in mind to make other people's life easier, when filing a bug report. Always remember, that they care about your problems for free.

General information

Reread the text before submission, the changes are not reversable and the text cannot be edited afterwards. Also any text entered into a bug report will be usually e-mailed immediately to a lot of people.

Creating a new bug

Search for duplicates, maybe someone else reported the problem already. The creation of a new bug report is guided, read the instructions carefully. Once the category is chosen, it will show a list of recently entered bug reports to avoid duplicates.

Adding information to another bug

Always stay on topic. A bug tracker is used for technical reports and chitchat should be avoided. Keep them in the forums, IRC or mailing-lists. Only confirm the existence of a problem once. It does not help solving the problem, if you and another person report it twice. But if your and the confirmer's systems differ in an obvious way and that would be helpful to know, add this information. Do not hijack other bugs. If your problem is not discussed on a bug, search for one related to your issue or create a new report. No talk on tracker bugs. Those bugs are meta bugs. If you want to add useful information, add them to a related sub bug or create a new bug.

Packages/ebuild

You should always add information about your system configuration to the bug. To do so, create a new attachment and paste the contents of:

user $ emerge --info

Problems at build time

Files and information of interest ordered by priority:

  • the exact version of the package in the title of the bug report e.g. sys-apps/package-2.3-r4
  • if possible, add parts of the error message to the title
  • the logfile in /var/tmp/portage/<category>/<packagename>/temp/build.log
    • if your logfile is too big to upload, compress it:
      user $ gzip /var/tmp/portage/<category>/<packagename>/temp/build.log
      and upload build.log.gz from this directory
  • the output of emerge --info <category/packagename>

Problems at run time

Files and information of interest ordered by priority:

  • the exact version of the package in the title of the bug report e.g. sys-apps/package-2.3-r4 crashes with error: Cannot proceed...
  • description of the problem, so that other can reproduce it:
    • how is the program run (on the console, in a terminal, as a daemon, in what runlevel etc.)
    • any error output
    • what makes the program crash, behave wrong, not start
    • is there a workaround?
    • what was the last working version of the package, if any?
    • what changed to make it not work?
  • the output of emerge --info
  • the output of emerge -pv <packagename> to quickly see what are the dependencies

Package XY was released in new version

So called zero-day requests (that means the bug report happened not later than 24 hours of the release announcement) should be avoided.

  • link to the upstream website in the bug report
  • give a link or list of fixed bugs or new features
  • provide a new ebuild and patches that were tested in the local overlay (this step is optional and not expected from users)

Package XY should be in portage

If you request a new ebuild for a software to be added to portage, you must find or become a maintainer for the package.

  • link to the upstream website in the bug report
  • give a link or list of features
  • provide an ebuild and patches that were tested in the local overlay (you can get help in IRC or in the forums with that)
  • contact the people at Sunrise Overlay

Package XY should be marked stable

A package is building and working without problems on the system for more than 30 days but is still marked as unstable

  • see KEYWORDS for more information on stable/unstable branch
  • did you test the version you want to become stable thoroughly?
  • are there other bug reports regarding this bug?
  • was the version of the package added to the tree at least 30 days ago?
  • are its dependencies all marked stable?

Kernel

Files and information of interest for kernel bug reports ordered by priority:

  • which kernel and version is used, on what architecture e.g. gentoo-sources-3.4.2-r2 on x86_64
  • the kernel configuration file should be attached to the bug report /usr/src/linux/.config
  • a list of all devices in the system can be acquired with lspci -k
  • log files during kernel initialization should be attached /var/log/dmesg or /var/log/messages
Note
On request a kernel git-bisect could be done to identify bad patches.

Other bug reports

There is no real template, this falls under the category like problems with captcha on wiki.gentoo.org, forum.gentoo.org is down or anything else that is not really related to software.

See Also