reportbug - reports a bug to a debbugs server
reportbug [options] <package | pseudo-package |
is primarily designed to report bugs in the Debian
distribution; by default, it creates an email to the Debian bug tracking
system at firstname.lastname@example.org
with information about the bug you've
found, and makes a carbon copy of the report for you as well.
Using the --bts
option, you can also report bugs to other servers that
use the Debian bug tracking system, debbugs
You may specify either a package name or a filename; if you use a filename, it
must either be an absolute filename (so beginning with a /
) or if you
to search the system for a filename, see the
options below. If installed, also
is used to identify the filename location and thus the package
You can also specify a pseudo-package
; these are used in the Debian bug
tracking system to track issues that are not related to one specific package.
without any arguments, then enter other
package prompt, to see a list of the most commonly-used
The program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options
starting with two dashes (` --
'). A summary of options are included
- -h, --help
- Show summary of options.
- Show the version of reportbug and exit.
- -A FILENAME, --attach=FILENAME
- Attach a file to the bug report; both text and binary files are
acceptable; this option can be specified multiple times to attach several
files. This routine will create a MIME attachment with the file included;
in some cases (usually text files), it is probably better to use
-i/--include option. (Please note that Debian's bug tracking system
has limited support for MIME attachments.)
This option supports also globbing (i.e. names with wildcards, like file.*)
but remember to include them between single quotes (the previous example
becomes: 'file.*') else the shell would expand it before calling reportbug
leading to an error.
Be aware that when using an external MUA to send the message (such as mutt),
the attachment feature is not available and no file will be attached at
all: the MUA feature to attach files must be used instead (so from within
- -b, --no-query-bts
- Don't check the Debian bug tracking system to see if this problem has
already been reported; useful for offline use or if you're really
sure it's a bug.
- Check the Debian bug tracking system to see if this problem has already
been reported (default).
- -B SYSTEM, --bts=SYSTEM
- Instead of the Debian bug server (or the bug server specified in
/etc/reportbug.conf, use the server specified by
- Use the specified BODY as the body of the message. The body text
will be wrapped at 70 columns, and the normal reportbug headers and
footers will be added as appropriate. The editor prompt and any
"special" prompting will be bypassed.
- --body-file=BODYFILE, --bodyfile=BODYFILE
- The contents of the (assumed to be) text file BODYFILE will be used
as the message body. This file is assumed to be properly formatted (i.e.
reasonable line lengths, etc.). The usual headers and footers will be
added, and the editor step and "special" prompts will be
skipped. ( BODYFILE may also be a named pipe; using a device
special file may lead to unusual results.)
- -c, --no-config-files
- Omit configuration files from the bug report without asking. By default,
you are asked if you want to include them; in some cases, doing so may
cause sensitive information to be sent via email.
- -C CLASS, --class=CLASS
- Specify report class for GNATS BTSes.
- Rerun the reportbug first time configuration routine, and write a
new $HOME/.reportbugrc file. This will erase any pre-existing
settings in the file; however, a backup will be written as
- Check for newer releases of the package at packages.debian.org
(default). In advanced and expert mode, check
- Do not check for newer releases of the package at
- Include debconf settings in your report.
- Do not include debconf settings from your report.
- -d, --debug
- Don't send a real bug report to Debian; send it to yourself instead. This
is primarily used for testing by the maintainer.
- Operate in test mode (maintainer use only).
- Save the draft (for example, when exiting and saving the report without
reporting it) into DRAFTPATH directory.
- -e EDITOR, --editor=EDITOR
- Specify the editor to use, overriding any EDITOR or VISUAL
environment variable setting.
- Set the email address your report should appear to be sent from (i.e. the
address that appears in the From header). This should be the actual
Internet email address on its own (i.e. without a real name or comment
part, like email@example.com). This setting will override the
EMAIL and DEBEMAIL environment variables, but not
- Specify the Envelope From mail header (also known as Return-path); by
default it's the From address but it can be selected a different one in
case the MTA doesn't canonicalize local users to public addresses.
- Specify a command to open the bug reports mbox file. You can use %s
to substitute the mbox file to be used, and %% to insert a literal
percent sign. If no %s is specified, the mbox file name is supplied
at the end of the argument list.
- Display a prompt before exiting; this is useful if reportbug is run
in a transient terminal (i.e. from its Debian menu entry).
- -f FILENAME, --filename=FILENAME
- Report a bug in the package containing FILENAME so you don't have
to figure out what package the file belongs to. The path will be searched
for an exact path for FILENAME before attempting to broaden the
search to all files. If dlocate is installed, FILENAME is
actually a regular expression.
- This options is a shortcut for buildd admins to report bugs from buildd
log; the option expects a value in the format of $source_$version
where $source is the source package the bug will be reported
against and $version is its version.
- If the -f/--filename option is also specified, only search the path
for the specified FILENAME. Specifying an absolute path with the
-f/--filename option (i.e. one beginning with a /) overrides
- -g, --gnupg, --gpg
- Attach a digital signature to the bug report using GnuPG (the GNU
Privacy Guard). (This argument will be ignored if you are using an MUA to
edit and send your report.)
- -G, --gnus
- Use the Gnus mail and news reader to send your report, rather than using
- -H HEADER, --header=HEADER
- Add a custom RFC2822 header to your email; for example, to send a carbon
copy of the report to firstname.lastname@example.org you could use
-H 'X-Debbugs-CC: email@example.com'
- -i FILE, --include=FILE
- Include the specified FILE as part of the body of the message to be
edited. Can be used multiple times to add multiple files; text-only
please! From a suggestion by Michael Alan Dorman in the bug mailing
list. (See also the -a/--attach option.)
- -I, --no-check-installed
- Do not check whether the package is installed before filing a report. This
is generally only useful when filing a report on a package you know is not
installed on your system.
- Check if the specified package is installed when filing reports. (This is
the default behavior of reportbug.)
- -j JUSTIFICATION, --justification=JUSTIFICATION
- Bugs in Debian that have serious, grave, or critical
severities must meet certain criteria to be classified as such. This
option allows you to specify the justification for a release-critical bug,
instead of being prompted for it.
- -k, --kudos
- Send appreciative email to the recorded maintainer address, rather than
filing a bug report. (You can also send kudos to
firstname.lastname@example.org, for packages in the Debian
archive; however, this option uses the Maintainer address from the control
file, so it works with other package sources too.)
- -K KEYID, --keyid=KEYID
- Private key to use for PGP/GnuPG signatures. If not specified, the first
key in the secret keyring that matches your email address will be
- Display the bug reports list sorted and with the latest reports at the
- Show reportbug's copyright and license information on standard
- Send a carbon copy of the report to the specified list after a report
number is assigned; this is the equivalent to the option -H
'X-Debbugs-CC: ADDRESS'. This option will only work as intended with
- -m, --maintonly
- Only send the bug to the package maintainer; the bug tracking system will
not send a copy to the bug report distribution lists.
- Specify the maximum size any attachment file can have (this also include
the file for --body-file option). If an attachment file is too big, there
could be problems in delivering the email (and also to compose it), so we
set a limit to attachment size. By default this is 10 megabytes.
- Add a BTS mirror.
- Set the operating mode for reportbug. reportbug currently
has four operating modes: novice (the default), standard,
advanced, and expert.
novice mode is designed to minimize prompting about things that
"ordinary users" would be unlikely to know or care about,
shifting the triage burden onto the maintainer. Checking for new versions
is only done for the stable distribution in this mode. It is currently the
standard mode includes a relatively large number of prompts and
tries to encourage users to not file frivolous or duplicate bug reports.
advanced mode is like standard mode, but may include
shortcuts suitable for more advanced users of Debian, without being as
close to the metal (and potential flamage) as expert mode.
(Currently, the only differences from standard mode are that it
assumes familiarity with the "incoming" queue; it allows the
reporting of bugs on "dependency" packages; and it does not
prompt where to insert the report text in the editor.)
expert mode is designed to minimize prompts that are designed to
discourage frivolous or unnecessary bug reports, "severity
inflation," and the like. In expert mode, reportbug
assumes the user is thoroughly familiar with Debian policies. In practice,
this means that reporters are no longer required to justify setting a high
severity on a bug report, and certain automated cleanups of the message
are bypassed. Individuals who do not regularly contribute to the Debian
project are highly discouraged from using expert mode, as it can
lead to flamage from maintainers when used improperly.
- -M, --mutt
- Instead of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the
mutt mail reader to edit and send it.
- Specify an alternate MTA, instead of /usr/sbin/sendmail (the
default). Any smtphost setting will override this one.
- Instead of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the specified
MUA (mail user agent) to edit and send it. --mutt and
--nmh options are processed.
- -n, --mh, --nmh
- Instead of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the
comp command (part of the nmh and mh mail systems) to
edit and send it.
- -N BUGNUMBER, --bugnumber BUGNUMBER
- Run reportbug against the specified bug report, useful when
following-up a bug and its number is already known.
- Do not execute the bug script (if present); this option can be useful
together with --template to suppress every interactive actions, since some
bug scripts can ask questions.
- Don't display the menu to enter additional addresses (CC).
- Don't display the menu to enter additional tags.
- -o FILE, --output=FILE
- Instead of sending an email, redirect it to the specified filename.
The output file is a full dump of the email message, so it contains both
headers and mail body. If you want to use it as a template to create a new
bug report, then you have to remove all the headers (mind the
Subject one, though) and start the report at the Package
- -O, --offline
- Disable all external queries. Currently has the same effect as
- -p, --print
- Instead of sending an email, print the bug report to standard output, so
you can redirect it to a file or pipe it to another program.
This option only outputs a template for a bug report (but, differently from
--template it's more interactive); you will need to fill in the
- Show the contents of the message before it is sent, including all headers.
Automatically disabled if in template mode.
- Don't show the full contents of the message before it is sent
- Attach a digital signature to the bug report using PGP (Pretty Good
Privacy). Please note, however, that the Debian project is phasing out the
use of PGP in favor of GnuPG. (This argument will be ignored
if using an MUA to edit and send your report.)
- --proxy=PROXY, --http_proxy=PROXY
- Specify the WWW proxy server to use to handle the query of the bug
tracking system. You should only need this parameter if you are behind a
firewall. The PROXY argument should be formatted as a valid HTTP
URL, including (if necessary) a port number; for example,
- -P PSEUDO-HEADER, --pseudo-header=PSEUDO-HEADER
- Add a custom pseudo-header to your report; for example, to add the
mytag usertag for the user email@example.com to the bug,
you could use -P 'User: firstname.lastname@example.org' -P 'Usertags:
- -q, --quiet
- Suppress diagnostic messages to standard error.
- -Q, --query-only
- Do not submit a bug report; just query the BTS. Option ignored if you
- Query on all binary packages built by the same source, not just the binary
- Only query on the binary package specified on the command line.
- Set the real name (human-readable name) to use for your report.
- Register the bug in the bug tracking system, but don't send a report to
the package maintainer or anyone else. Don't do this unless you're the
maintainer of the package in question, or you really know what you are
- --reply-to=ADDRESS, --replyto=ADDRESS
- Set the Reply-To address header in your report.
- -s SUBJECT, --subject=SUBJECT
- Set the subject of the bug report (i.e. a brief explanation of the
problem, less than 60 characters). If you do not specify this switch, you
will be prompted for a subject.
- If the 'security' tag is set, this option will explicitly specify to send
the report only to the Debian Security Team, as this is an undisclosed
- If the 'security' tag is set, this option will explicitly specify to not
send the report only to the Debian Security Team, as this is not an
- -S SEVERITY, --severity=SEVERITY
- Specify a severity level, from critical, grave,
serious, important, normal, minor, and
- Use the mail transport agent (MTA) at HOST to send your report,
instead of your local /usr/sbin/sendmail program. This should
generally be your ISP's outgoing mail server; you can also use 'localhost'
if you have a working mail server running on your machine. If the
PORT is omitted, the standard port for SMTP, port 25, is used.
- Specify the network timeout, the number of seconds to wait for a resource
to respond. If nothing is specified, a default timeout of 1 minute is
In case of a network error, there are chances it's due to a too low timeout:
try passing the --timeout option with a higher value than default.
- If using SMTP, use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to secure the
connection to the mail server. Some SMTP servers may require this
- If using SMTP, use the specified USERNAME for authentication.
- If using SMTP, use the specified PASSWORD for authentication. If
the password isn't specified on the command line or in the configuration
file, a prompt will be displayed asking for it.
Use of this option is insecure on multiuser systems. Instead, you should set
this option in $HOME/.reportbugrc and ensure it is only readable by
your user (e.g. with chmod 600 $HOME/.reportbugrc).
- --src, --source
- Specify to report the bug against the source package, and not the binary
package (default behaviour). In order for this option to work, you have to
populate the relevant 'deb-src' lines in /etc/apt/sources.list so that apt
cache will know about source packages too.
- -t TYPE, --type=TYPE
- Specify the type of report to be submitted; currently accepts either
gnats or debbugs.
- -T TAG, --tag=TAG
- Specify a tag to be filed on this report, for example --tag=patch.
Multiple tags can be specified using multiple -T/--tag arguments.
Alternatively, you can specify the 'tag' none to bypass the tags
prompt without specifying any tags; this will also ignore any tags
specified on the command line.
- Output a template report to standard output. Differently from
-p/--print, it tries to be not interactive, and presents a template
without user's input.
- -u INTERFACE, --interface=INTERFACE, --ui=INTERFACE
- Specify the user interface to use. Valid options are text,
urwid, and gtk2; default is taken from the reportbug
- -v, --verify
- Verify the integrity of the package (if installed) using debsums
- Do not verify the integrity of the package with debsums.
- -V VERSION, --package-version=VERSION
- Specify the version of the package the problem was found in. This is
probably most useful if you are reporting a bug in a package that is not
installable or installed on a different system.
- -x, --no-cc
- Don't send a blind carbon copy (BCC) of the bug report to the submitter
- -z, --no-compress
- Don't compress configuration files by removing comments and blank
- reportbug lynx-ssl
- Report a bug in the lynx-ssl package.
- reportbug --path --filename=ls
- Report a bug in the installed package that includes a program in your path
From version 0.22 on, reportbug
has supported a simple run control file
syntax. Commands are read from /etc/reportbug.conf
with commands in the latter overriding those in the
Commands are not case sensitive, and currently take 0 or 1 argument; arguments
containing whitespace must be enclosed in quotes.
Any line starting with #
is taken to be a comment and will be ignored.
Generally, options corresponding to the long options for reportbug
supported, without leading --
sequences. See reportbug.conf(5)
for all acceptable options and detailed information.
- Editor to use for editing your bug report.
- Editor to use for editing the bug report (overridden by
- REPORTBUGEMAIL, DEBEMAIL, EMAIL
- Email address to use as your from address (in this order). If no
environment variable exists, the default is taken from your user name and
- DEBFULLNAME, DEBNAME, NAME
- Real name to use; default is taken from /etc/passwd.
- Address for Reply-To header in outgoing mail.
- Use the specified CC address on your email. Note you can also use the
-H option for this (and for Bcc's too).
- Use the specified BCC address, instead of your email address. (CC and BCC
based on suggestions from Herbert Thielen in the bug
- Provides the address of a proxy server to handle the BTS query. This
should be a valid http URL for a proxy server, including any
required port number (simply specifying a hostname, or omitting a port
other than 80, WILL NOT WORK).
should probably be compatible with other bug tracking systems,
(used by the GNOME and Mozilla projects) and
(used by Samba, AbiSource and FreeCiv) but it isn't.
available tags, querybts(1)
Chris Lawrence <email@example.com>, Sandro Tosi