Bugzilla/Bug report guide

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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.

Best practices

  • Reread the text before submission, the text cannot be edited afterwards. Also any text entered into a bug report will be usually e-mailed immediately to many people. Write in precise and clean language and avoid colloquial speech. Hint: Imagine you have only one chance in your life to write this very important bug report. You know that the recipient can read English, but it is not his native language.
  • Search for duplicates, before creating a new bug.
  • Stay on topic - A bug ticket is used for technical reports and chitchat should be avoided. Keep them in the support channels (forums, IRC or mailing-lists).
  • Confirm the existence of a problem only 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.
  • Open one bug ticket per topic - If your problem is not discussed on a bug, search for one related to your issue or create a new report. Do not hijack bugs.
  • 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.

Optional: Commercial Gentoo support

If you need commercial support with bugs, any trouble around Gentoo or a new ebuild, have a look on the list of professional Gentoo consultants.

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 > /tmp/emerge--info.txt

Report a build-time bug (emerge failed)

  • First write the exact version of the package in the title of the bug report e.g. sys-apps/package-2.3-r4
  • Add a short description to the title.
  • Attach the logfile in /var/tmp/portage/<category>/<packagename>/temp/build.log
    • If your logfile is too big to upload, compress it:
      user $xz -9 /var/tmp/portage/<category>/<packagename>/temp/build.log
      and upload the build.log.xz
  • Attach the output of
    user $emerge --info <category/packagename>

Report a run-time bug

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?
  • Attach the output of emerge --info
  • Attach the output of emerge -pv <packagename> to quickly see what are the dependencies

Report a version bump; a newer upstream release is available since a while

  • Search Bugzilla before posting a bump request - is there already a bug open? Has the local Portage tree been synced lately; is it already in Portage?
  • Avoid Zero-day bump requests (wait at least 48 hours after the release announcement)
  • Has it actually been released by upstream sources, or is it just marked in the source tree? Some projects mark a release in the tree long time before it is officially released.
  • Be sure to mention if it compiles and runs well on your arch. Any other helpful information you provide is most welcome.
  • Add a link to the upstream website
  • Give a link or list of fixed bugs or new features (sometimes called changelog)
  • Write a title in the form app-editors/vim-12.3.5 version bump

Optional

  • Does the ebuild need changes? (changed dependencies, obsolete patch files)
  • Please note, if the new version needs no changes to the ebuild's contents
  • Test the ebuild in a local overlay before submitting attachments
  • Provide patches for proposed ebuild edits, with optional explanation of changes (file name should match the new version number, not old)
  • Provide additional files (initd, unit files) as separate attachments (as needed)
  • Do not paste files directly into comments; use attachments

Request for a new package; ebuild request

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
  • Suggest a preliminary category and package name for the ebuild in the subject line for example "media-gfx/inkscape ebuild request"
  • Provide an ebuild and patches that were tested in your local overlay (you can get help in IRC or in the forums with that)

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

External resources