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Reporting bugs in Debian

Note: this page is not maintained by reportbug maintainers, so the information in here might be outdated or no longer correct.


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

This package provides access to the Debian Bug Tracking System, which can be used for both reporting and researching bugs, by a number of interfaces, including email, web, and command-line utilities.


apt-get install reportbug

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 there is a robot that expects specially-crafted control messages for the bug tracking system.

See also

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 "Do you have a 'mail transport agent' (MTA) configured", choose 'No'.

  3. Then enter the SMTP host for gmail: ''
  4. For the user name enter: '<username>'

  5. For the question "Does your SMTP host require TLS authentication?", choose 'Yes' (If you are on a release < squeeze, reportbug will not ask this question.)

If you have set up Google's two-factor authentication for your GMail account, you can create an application-specific password to use with reportbug.

Error Messages

Warning: unsupported locale setting

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