Information regarding the bug processing system for package maintainers and bug triagers Initially, a bug report is submitted by a user as an ordinary mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will then be given a number, acknowledged to the user, and forwarded to debian-bugs-dist. If the submitter included a Package line listing a package with a known maintainer the maintainer will get a copy too. The Subject line will have Bug#nnn: added, and the Reply-To will be set to include both the submitter of the report and email@example.com. * Closing bug reports * Followup messages * Severity levels * Tags for bug reports * Recording that you have passed on a bug report * Changing bug ownership * Incorrectly listed package maintainers * Reopening, reassigning and manipulating bugs * Subscribing to bugs * More-or-less obsolete subject-scanning feature * Obsolete X-Debian-PR: quiet feature Closing bug reports Debian bug reports should be closed when the problem is fixed. Problems in packages can only be considered fixed once a package that includes the bug fix enters the Debian archive. Normally, the only people that should close a bug report are the submitter of the bug and the maintainer(s) of the package against which the bug is filed. There are exceptions to this rule, for example, the bugs filed against unknown packages or certain generic pseudo-packages. When in doubt, don't close bugs, first ask for advice on the debian-devel mailing list. Bug reports should be closed by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The message body needs to contain an explanation of how the bug was fixed. With the emails received from the bug tracking system, all you need to do to close the bug is to make a Reply in your mail reader program and edit the To field to say email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org (nnn-close is provided as an alias for nnn-done). Where applicable, please supply a Version line in the pseudo-header of your message when closing a bug, so that the bug tracking system knows which releases of the package contain the fix. The person closing the bug, the person who submitted it and the debian-bugs-closed mailing list will each get a notification about the change in status of the report. The submitter and the mailing list will also receive the contents of the message sent to nnn-done. Followup messages The bug tracking system will include the submitter's address and the bug address (email@example.com) in the Reply-To header after forwarding the bug report. Please note that these are two distinct addresses. If a developer wishes to reply to a bug report they should simply reply to the message, respecting the Reply-To header. This will not close the bug. The bug tracking system will receive the message at firstname.lastname@example.org, pass it on to the package maintainer, file the reply with the rest of the logs for that bug report and forward it to debian-bugs-dist. Sending a message to email@example.com will explicitly email the submitter of the bug and place a copy in the Bug tracking system. The message will not be sent to package maintainer. If you wish to send a followup message which is not appropriate for debian-bugs-dist you can do so by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org is filed in the Bug Tracking System but is not delivered to any individuals or mailing lists. Mail to email@example.com is filed in the Bug Tracking System and is delivered only to the maintainer of the package in question. Do not use the "reply to all recipients" or "followup" feature of your mailer unless you intend to edit down the recipients substantially. In particular, see that you don't send followup messages to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about headers to suppress ACK messages and how to send carbon copies using the Bug Tracking System, see the instructions for reporting bugs. Severity levels The bug system records a severity level with each bug report. This is set to normal by default, but can be overridden either by supplying a Severity line in the pseudo-header when the bug is submitted (see the instructions for reporting bugs), or by using the severity command with the control request server. The severity levels are: critical makes unrelated software on the system (or the whole system) break, or causes serious data loss, or introduces a security hole on systems where you install the package. grave makes the package in question unusable or mostly so, or causes data loss, or introduces a security hole allowing access to the accounts of users who use the package. serious is a severe violation of Debian policy (roughly, it violates a "must" or "required" directive), or, in the package maintainer's or release manager's opinion, makes the package unsuitable for release. important a bug which has a major effect on the usability of a package, without rendering it completely unusable to everyone. normal the default value, applicable to most bugs. minor a problem which doesn't affect the package's usefulness, and is presumably trivial to fix. wishlist for any feature request, and also for any bugs that are very difficult to fix due to major design considerations. Certain severities are considered release-critical, meaning the bug will have an impact on releasing the package with the stable release of Debian. Currently, these are critical, grave and serious. For complete and canonical rules on what issues merit these severities, see the list of Release-Critical Issues for Lenny. Tags for bug reports Each bug can have zero or more of a set of given tags. These tags are displayed in the list of bugs when you look at a package's page, and when you look at the full bug log. Tags can be set by supplying a Tags line in the pseudo-header when the bug is submitted (see the instructions for reporting bugs), or by using the tags command with the control request server. Separate multiple tags with commas, spaces, or both. The current bug tags are: patch A patch or some other easy procedure for fixing the bug is included in the bug logs. If there's a patch, but it doesn't resolve the bug adequately or causes some other problems, this tag should not be used. wontfix This bug won't be fixed. Possibly because this is a choice between two arbitrary ways of doing things and the maintainer and submitter prefer different ways of doing things, possibly because changing the behaviour will cause other, worse, problems for others, or possibly for other reasons. moreinfo This bug can't be addressed until more information is provided by the submitter. The bug will be closed if the submitter doesn't provide more information in a reasonable (few months) timeframe. This is for bugs like "It doesn't work". What doesn't work? unreproducible This bug can't be reproduced on the maintainer's system. Assistance from third parties is needed in diagnosing the cause of the problem. help The maintainer is requesting help with dealing with this bug. pending A solution to this bug has been found and an upload will be made soon. fixed This bug is fixed or worked around (by a non-maintainer upload, for example), but there's still an issue that needs to be resolved. This tag replaces the old "fixed" severity. security This bug describes a security problem in a package (e.g., bad permissions allowing access to data that shouldn't be accessible; buffer overruns allowing people to control a system in ways they shouldn't be able to; denial of service attacks that should be fixed, etc). Most security bugs should also be set at critical or grave severity. upstream This bug applies to the upstream part of the package. confirmed The maintainer has looked at, understands, and basically agrees with the bug, but has yet to fix it. (Use of this tag is optional; it is intended mostly for maintainers who need to manage large numbers of open bugs.) fixed-upstream The bug has been fixed by the upstream maintainer, but not yet in the package (for whatever reason: perhaps it is too complicated to backport the change or too minor to be worth bothering). fixed-in-experimental The bug has been fixed in the package of the experimental distribution, but not yet in the unstable distribution. d-i This bug is relevant to the development of debian-installer. It is expected that this will be used when the bug affects installer development but is not filed against a package that forms a direct part of the installer itself. ipv6 This bug affects support for Internet Protocol version 6. lfs This bug affects support for large files (over 2 gigabytes). l10n This bug is relevant to the localisation of the package. potato This bug particularly applies to the potato release of Debian. woody This bug particularly applies to the woody distribution. sarge This is a distribution tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect sarge (though it may also affect other distributions if other distribution tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in sarge. sarge-ignore This release-critical bug is to be ignored for the purposes of releasing sarge. This tag should only be used by the release manager; do not set it yourself without explicit authorization from them. etch This is a distribution tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect etch (though it may also affect other distributions if other distribution tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in etch. etch-ignore This release-critical bug is to be ignored for the purposes of releasing etch. This tag should only be used by the release manager; do not set it yourself without explicit authorization from them. lenny This is a release tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect lenny (though it may also affect other releases if other release tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in lenny. lenny-ignore This release-critical bug is to be ignored for the purposes of releasing lenny. This tag should only be used by the release manager(s); do not set it yourself without explicit authorization from them. squeeze This is a release tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect squeeze (though it may also affect other releases if other release tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in squeeze. squeeze-ignore This release-critical bug is to be ignored for the purposes of releasing squeeze. This tag should only be used by the release manager(s); do not set it yourself without explicit authorization from them. sid This is a release tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect sid (though it may also affect other releases if other release tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in sid. experimental This is a release tag, which has two effects. When set on a bug, the bug can only affect experimental (though it may also affect other releases if other release tags are set) but otherwise normal buggy/fixed/absent rules apply. The bug also should not be archived until it is fixed in experimental. The meanings of the latter 8 distribution-specific tags have changed recently; the -ignore tags ignore the bug for the purposes of testing propagation. The release tags indicate that the bug in question should not be archived until it is fixed in the set of releases specified. The release tags also indicate that a bug should only be considered buggy in the set of releases specified. [In other words, the bug is absent in any release whose corresponding release tag is not set if any release tags are set; otherwise the normal found/fixed rules apply.] Release tags should not be used if proper versioning of the bug would achieve the desired effect, as they require manual addition and removal. If you are unsure if a release tag is required, contact the Debian BTS Administrators () or the release team for advice. Recording that you have passed on a bug report When a developer forwards a bug report to the developer of the upstream source package from which the Debian package is derived, they should note this in the bug tracking system as follows: Make sure that the To field of your message to the author has only the author(s) address(es) in it; put the person who reported the bug, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org in the CC field. Ask the author to preserve the CC to email@example.com when they reply, so that the bug tracking system will file their reply with the original report. These messages are only filed and are not sent on; to send a message as normal, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org as well. When the bug tracking system gets a message at nnn-forwarded it will mark the relevant bug as having been forwarded to the address(es) in the To field of the message it gets, if the bug is not already marked as forwarded. You can also manipulate the "forwarded to" information by sending messages to email@example.com. Changing bug ownership In cases where the person responsible for fixing a bug is not the assigned maintainer for the associated package (for example, when the package is maintained by a team), it may be useful to record this fact in the bug tracking system. To help with this, each bug may optionally have an owner. The owner can be set by supplying an Owner line in the pseudo-header when the bug is submitted (see the instructions for reporting bugs), or by using the owner and noowner commands with the control request server. Incorrectly listed package maintainers If the maintainer of a package is listed incorrectly, this is usually because the maintainer has changed recently, and the new maintainer hasn't yet uploaded a new version of the package with a changed Maintainer control file field. This will be fixed when the package is uploaded; alternatively, the archive maintainers can override the maintainer record of a package manually, for example if a rebuild and reupload of the package is not expected to be needed soon. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for changes to the override file. Reopening, reassigning and manipulating bugs It is possible to reassign bug reports to other packages, to reopen erroneously-closed ones, to modify the information saying to where, if anywhere, a bug report has been forwarded, to change the severities and titles of reports, to set the ownership of bugs, to merge and unmerge bug reports, and to record the versions of packages in which bugs were found and in which they were fixed. This is done by sending mail to email@example.com. The format of these messages is described in another document available on the World Wide Web or in the file bug-maint-mailcontrol.txt. A plain text version can also be obtained by mailing the word help to the server at the address above. Subscribing to bugs The bug tracking system also allows bug submitters, developers and other interested third parties to subscribe to individual bugs. This feature can be used by those wishing to keep an eye on a bug, without having to subscribe to a package through the PTS. All messages that are received at firstname.lastname@example.org, are sent to subscribers. Subscribing to a bug can be done by sending an email to email@example.com. The subject and body of the email are ignored by the BTS. Once this message is processed, users are sent a confirmation message that they will need to reply to before they are sent the messages relating to that bug. It is also possible to unsubscribe from a bug. Unsubscribing can be done by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject and body of the email are again ignored by the BTS. Users will be sent a confirmation message which they must reply to if they wish to be unsubscribed from the bug. By default, the address subscribed is the one found in the From header. If you wish to subscribe another address to a bug, you will need to encode the address to be subscribed into the subscription message. This takes the form of: email@example.com. That example would send firstname.lastname@example.org a subscription message for bug nnn. The @ sign must be encoded by changing it to an = sign. Similarly, an unsubscription takes the form email@example.com. In both cases, the subject and body of the email will be forwarded to the email address within the request for confirmation. More-or-less obsolete subject-scanning feature Messages that arrive at submit or bugs whose Subject starts Bug#nnn will be treated as having been sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is both for backwards compatibility with mail forwarded from the old addresses, and to catch followup mail sent to submit by mistake (for example, by using reply to all recipients). A similar scheme operates for maintonly, done, quiet and forwarded, which treat mail arriving with a Subject tag as having been sent to the corresponding email@example.com address. Messages arriving at plain forwarded and done -- ie, with no bug report number in the address -- and without a bug number in the Subject will be filed under "junk" and kept for a few weeks, but otherwise ignored. Obsolete X-Debian-PR: quiet feature It used to be possible to prevent the bug tracking system from forwarding anywhere messages it received at debian-bugs, by putting an X-Debian-PR: quiet line in the actual mail header. This header line is now ignored. Instead, send your message to quiet or nnn-quiet (or maintonly or nnn-maintonly). __________________________________________________________________
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