The correct way to file bugs in Ubuntu

Free Software 4 Comments »

Today I read a post from Matt Zimmerman on the ubuntu-devel list where he says that filing bugs directly to Launchpad is not recommended and not best practice. Instead, Apport should be used whenever possible. Apport assists the user in preparing bug reports that will be as useful as possible to the developers who will have to triage and attend to the bug report in various ways.


Many of us have told users to file a bug on Launchpad when they encounter bugs that should be reported. I’ve done it before as well, which is why I’m reposting the information to spread the word. Apport is good at picking up crashes in many programs and will automatically run and gather crash report data. Often though, bugs aren’t caused by crashes. Even so, you can still submit your bug reports using Apport:

Using the help menu in your program:

In most programs, you can simply click on the Help menu and click on “Report a Problem”. This will invoke Apport and prepare a bug report. If you’re a developer and would like to add Apport suport to your software, please refer to the Apport Developer Howto.


Manually invoking Apport

Perhaps the bug you have encountered prevents you from accessing the Apport menu, or perhaps it’s a program that for various reasons (such as being a command line tool) simply doesn’t have an Apport menu. In such a case, you can press alt+F2 and enter  “ubuntu-bug packagename” where packagename is the name of the package which the bug relates to.


How do you know which package your program belongs to? You can do a search in Synaptic (available from System -> Administration -> Synaptic) or you could check via the command line:

1. Which package does this file belong to?

jonathan@disclaimer:~$ dpkg -S /usr/bin/gnome-terminal
gnome-terminal: /usr/bin/gnome-terminal

2. Search through the APT cache:

jonathan@disclaimer:~$ apt-cache search gnome-terminal
gnome-terminal - The GNOME 2 terminal emulator application
gnome-terminal-data - Data files for the GNOME terminal emulator

The Ubuntu developers expect a big surge in bug reports following up to the release of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), which is due on 23 April. When everyone does their part to make bug reports as good as possible, then there’s less work for the developers and bugs get sorted out quicker!

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Linux Foundation to build new community

Education No Comments »


The new site will transform in the months ahead from solely being a news source to a collaborative site that will be “for the community, by the community.” Much like Linux itself, will rely on the community to create and drive the content and conversation. While the Linux Foundation will host the collaboration forum, the site will feature the real Linux experts – users and developers – and give them the tools needed to connect with each other and with Linux. will also extend the Linux Foundation’s existing content and community programs available on will provide crucial content, tools and community services to galvanize the power of this group. It will also showcase information for business users of Linux.

Now if only someone could do something about (and tell them about no-www)

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