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Reporting bugs in Debian

reportbug is a tool designed to make the reporting of bugs in Debian and derived distributions relatively painless. Its features include:

  • Access to outstanding bug reports to make it easier to identify whether problems have already been reported.
  • Automatic checking for newer versions of packages.
  • Optional automatic verification of integrity of packages via debsums.
  • Support for following-up on outstanding reports.
  • Integration with the mutt, af, and mh/nmh e-mail readers.
  • Optional PGP/GnuPG integration.

reportbug is designed to be used on systems with an installed mail transport agent, like exim or sendmail; however, you can edit the configuration file and send reports using any available mail server.

If your system's users use locales with character sets other than UTF-8 and ISO-8859-*, one of either python2.3-cjkcodecs or python2.3-iconvcodec is required for proper operation. For Asian locales, the use of python2.3-cjkcodecs is preferred over the more limited python2.3-iconvcodec.

In control@bugs.debian.org there is a robot that expects specially-crafted control messages for the ?bug tracking system BTS .

Links :

Using GMail's SMTP Server

It is sometimes easier to configure reportbug to use GMail to send bug reports rather than the existing sendmail program installed by default in Debian. The following outlines the steps to accomplish this:

  1. Run 'reportbug --configure' as your normal user. This creates a ~/.reportbugrc file that stores all the configurations.
  2. Follow the instructions and when asked if you have a Mail Transport Agent (MTA) configured choose 'No'.
  3. Then enter the SMTP host for gmail: 'smpt.gmail.com:587'
  4. For the user name enter: '<username>@gmail.com'

  5. Now open ~/.reportbugrc with your favorite editor and add a line with 'smtptls'.

Your ~/.reportbugrc should look something like this:

# name and email setting (if non-default)
# realname "Amit Uttamchandani"
# email "amit.uttam@gmail.com"
# Send all outgoing mail via the following host
smtphost "smtp.gmail.com:587"
smtpuser "amit.uttam@gmail.com"

Error Messages

Warning: unsupported locale setting

This warning may appear on the screen as reportbug is invoked. The error relates to Locale configuration.

  • Workaround : type LANG=C before the command. for example :
    LANG=C reportbug