Scroll to navigation

querybts(1) General Commands Manual querybts(1)


querybts - view outstanding bug reports on a debbugs server


querybts [options] <package | number [number2]...>


querybts is designed to provide a convenient and easy-to-use interface to the Debbugs bug tracking system, as used by Debian and several other projects. You can specify a package name or one or more report numbers.


The program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`--'). A summary of options are included below.

Show summary of options.
Show the version of querybts and exit.
Browse archived bugs instead of current reports. Debbugs servers clear out closed reports after 28 days and place them in a separate archive; this option allows those older, resolved reports to be viewed (at least for servers that maintain an archive).
Instead of the Debian bug server, use the server specified by SYSTEM. Valid options are default and debian but check --help for an updated list.
Display a bugs list for the given package.
Display the bug reports list sorted and with the latest reports at the top.
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.
Retrieve the given bug number(s) or package name(s) as a mailbox file, instead of viewing it. It will be dumped to standard output.
Specify the WWW proxy server to use to handle the queries to the bug tracking system. You should only need this parameter if you are behind a firewall.
Query on source packages, rather than binary packages.
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 selected.

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.

Specify the user interface to use. Valid options are text, urwid, gtk; default is taken from the reportbug configuration files.
Launch a web browser to view bug reports, instead of using the internal interface. This will also allow you to see the whole discussion about a particular bug at once, instead of one message at a time as querybts would do. (Only the first bug number on the command line will be opened.)


querybts supports a simple run control file syntax. Commands are read from /etc/reportbug.conf and $HOME/.reportbugrc with commands in the latter overriding those in the former.

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 querybts are supported, without leading -- sequences. See the default /etc/reportbug.conf for all acceptable options and reportbug.conf(5) for all acceptable options and detailed information.

Options only supported by reportbug will be silently ignored.


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).


reportbug(1), reportbug.conf(5), bts(1)


Chris Lawrence <>, Sandro Tosi <>.