Bugzilla is the tracking tool used by the Fedora Project to get feedback from users and developers on bugs and requests for enhancements in Fedora.
Sometimes, new reports are missing information, are inaccurate, or have other flaws. This wastes valuable time. The person who reported the bug wastes their time when they file inaccurately, and the developers have to spend more time on the bug, which wastes their time, and may even result in the bug being ignored or forgotten. This page describes how to file quality bug reports and suggest enhancements in a constructive manner.
Do I need to file a bug?
Unless you see a problem already reported in Bugzilla, mentioned in the release notes or other formal documentation (see http://docs.fedoraproject.org/), acknowledged by developers on a mailing list, listed on the common bugs page, or listed as a broken dependency in the daily Rawhide Report, you should file a bug. Don't assume that everyone else is also seeing the same problem you are; many bugs are specific to a particular hardware, configuration, or habits of use. Discussing a bug on IRC or the fedora-test-list mailing list can help you diagnose the exact source and co-ordinate with others experiencing the same issue, but it is not a sufficient way to report the bug. It must be reported to Bugzilla so the issue can be properly tracked and will not be lost among the noise of the mailing list.
A common practice is to file a bug first, then e-mail the list with a link to the bug report, asking for further assistance. Many bugs are also filed with no e-mail to the mailing list, so be sure to search Bugzilla for your problem.
The Bugzilla workflow
An overview of the official workflow for Fedora bugs can be found here. This should help you understand the life cycle of a Fedora bug.
If you are new to Fedora's Bugzilla, then the first step is to register an account. It's a quick process, so don't hesitate to get started right away. For details about the account creation process, please consult the bugzilla documentation.
Understanding Bugzilla Culture
Understanding how other people are expecting you to use the system will improve the way your problem is presented, make others more receptive and more likely to fix your bug, and make the experience more pleasant for everyone. If you have never used Bugzilla before or are new to filing bug reports, it may be helpful to read the following pages.
- General Bugzilla Etiquette
- bugzilla.redhat.com pointers - describes the essential steps to follow for all bugs!
- How to Report Bugs Effectively (general advice)
If a particular software package is heavily used, it is more likely that users will find bugs and/or suggest enhancements to it. It does not mean that the software is more buggy.
BugZappers/UnderstandingBugzilla has a few technical notes that may help Bugzilla make more sense.
Search for Duplicates
Very common known bugs are listed at Bugs/Common.
It's important to search Bugzilla to make sure your bug hasn't already been reported. The easiest way is to do a keyword search. Or you can use the Advanced Form. Or you can use https://bugz.fedoraproject.org/packagename to look for specific bugs for a package (replace 'packagename' with the name of the package you are checking).
It's not generally useful to file "I'm experiencing this bug, too" comments, unless there are specific details which might be helpful in tracking down the cause (e.g. you have more detailed debugging information, or a different hardware or software configuration which means a hardware-specific or configuration-specific bug is more widespread than previously thought).
If you are experiencing the bug in a more recent version of Fedora than reported in the bug, this is useful to mention.
See BugZappers/FindingDuplicates for more details.
Gather Helpful Information
See "Tips by type of bug" below for specific guidance.
It is always useful to check /var/log/messages (for everyone) and ~/.xsession-errors (for desktop users) to see if there are any errors or warnings related to your problem. Some programs also have dedicated files or directories in /var/log which are worth checking.
Start Filing the Bug
You can enter a new bug here, or if you know what the package name is you can go to https://bugz.fedoraproject.org/packagename (replace 'packagename' with the name of the package) and click on 'Report a new bug against this package' link.
Read the report template carefully and provide all the requested information, as best you can.
Please try to stick to clearly explaining the bug and all necessary information. Adding comments such as "this needs to be fixed immediately!" or "this is unacceptable!" is not a good idea: it's only likely to make the maintainers feel as if you are attacking them, and this doesn't help them to fix the problem.
Finding the Right Component
When reporting a bug, it is helpful if you select the right Product, Version and Components. By doing so, you reach the developer/maintainer of the affected software package, which helps resolve the bugs faster. If you assign it to the wrong component, it can be reassigned to the correct one, so never skip filing a bug report just because you couldn't figure out which component to assign it to.
See BugZappers/CorrectComponent for details on how to determine the correct component if you aren't sure.
After Your Bug is Filed
- Developers do not normally acknowledge bug reports or offer comments unless they have substantial feedback or require more information from you. It does not mean that your bug reports have not been valuable. Keep them coming!
- After reporting a bug, you might get feedback from other users, or the developer may change the status and/or resolution of the bug report. For an explanation of the various statuses and resolutions, see this page.
- Please keep your report focused on the original issue that was reported. Adding discussions of slightly related (or even entirely unrelated) will only cause the report to become confused and difficult to follow. If you notice a different problem, or when the initial problem is fixed you notice another problem that it was hiding, please file a new report rather than appending comments to the first report.
- If you file a bug against a version of Fedora and it is not fixed or otherwise resolved before the version reaches its End of Life (EOL), someone will need to test a more recent version of Fedora to see if the bug persists, and update the Version field if so. Otherwise, your bug will be closed. You will get an e-mail notification if this is the case. Many bugs are fixed or made obsolete when software is incorporated into new versions of Fedora from upstream programmers. Older bugs remain in the system for future reference, but re-testing will keep the bug open and "on the radar" for Fedora developers. See BugZappers/HouseKeeping for more process information.
If you need a command-line or programmatic interface to Bugzilla, try: "yum install python-bugzilla" and see the included documentation. This provides the command "bugzilla".
Things Every Bug Should Have
- Version number: The exact version number of the problem RPM (or a list of suspicious RPMs). The number in the Version selector field is the version of the Fedora distribution as a whole (9, 10, Rawhide); the RPM version number for a specific component within the distribution will change as updates are released.
- Clear description: Reporting as much as possible about what was happening at the time of the incident, or exact steps about how to reproduce the bug. Explanation of how what happened differs from what should happen, if it's not obvious.
- Diagnostic info: Any relevant warnings printed on screen, excerpt from system logs around the time of the problem, any troubleshooting dumps available.
- Context: For example, if this is a window manager problem, is it happening under GNOME or KDE? If this is a network problem, what does the network setup look like? If an application is being run in an unusual way (emulation, remotely), this should be mentioned. What related items on the system have been customized? Use your good judgment and common sense.
Additional information may be requested out of course, depending on the type of bug and affected component. See "Tips by Type of Bug" below.
Tips by Type of Bug
If you have experienced a program crash, it will almost certainly be necessary to include a stack trace with your bug report. Crashes are often difficult to reproduce and even more difficult to fix, so the more information you can provide, the better. You will probably need to install -debuginfo RPMs so your stack trace will have useful debugging symbols. See the following pages for more information:
Wedges, Seizures, and Panics
If you suspect your bug has something to do with the specific hardware you have, attach or include a link to your Smolt profile in the bug. You can dump it to
/tmp/smoltprofile.txt with the command:
smoltSendProfile -p > /tmp/smoltprofile.txt (But see Bug 575524.)
yum install smolt if you don't already have Smolt installed.
A strong indication of a hardware-specific bug is that other people with different hardware should be able to reproduce the bug, but can't. They also usually involve code that specifically interacts with a peripheral, such a webcam, video card, printer, or sound card (so for instance, it is uncommon for bugs affecting the user interface of a word processor or desktop calculator to be hardware-specific).
- When filing an enhancement request in Bugzilla, add the keyword Future
Feature to the report. Make sure you supply enough information and rationale for your enhancement requests to be considered.
- The Fedora Project has the objective to be a platform built exclusively from free and open-source software. Suggestions to include support for proprietary or other legally encumbered software is not constructive. See the list of forbidden items page for details about this.
- If you want to make a new feature happen on your own create a wiki page for your feature and get it accepted. See more on the Feature Process at Features/Policy.
- Requests for new packages to be added to Fedora should not be added to Bugzilla. Please add them to the wiki instead, on the Package maintainers wishlist.
We pay special attention to security-sensitive bugs. Read the Security Bugs page to understand the special process.
Graphical User Interfaces
If you are having trouble with a graphical user interface (GUI), it is often helpful to include a screenshot showing the bug in action. This helps developers find the exact place in the code which is causing the bug, and helps communicate what is going wrong when it is difficult to reproduce (for example, machine-specific layout problems).
- To take a screenshot, hit the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard, or in from the GNOME menu select: Applications -> Accessories -> Take Screenshot
- To get video of your screen (a "screencast"), you can use Istanbul. "yum install istanbul" on the command line, then run "istanbul". It will also appear on the GNOME menu under: Applications -> Sound & Video -> Istanbul Desktop Session Recorder
Information required for bugs in specific components
- Anaconda (installer)
- Kernel (also see common kernel problems)
Filing bugs for multiple releases
If your bug is present in more than one Fedora release, you can clone it by clicking Clone This Bug in the top-right corner of the bug report and then assign a different version number in the newly created report.
- The Fedora Bug Triaging team is actively soliciting new volunteers. If you are interested, Please see the BugZappers page.
- Quality Assurance also welcomes new volunteers; see QA.