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Matt Zimmerman 03-25-2009 10:58 AM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
I've noticed that, even among Ubuntu devleopers, not everyone is applying
our best practices for reporting bugs. In particular, reporting bugs
directly to Launchpad is usually *NOT* the best approach. This should only
be done if there is no better option.

In almost all cases, it is preferable to report the bug using Apport. This
can be done in one of the following ways:

1. If the bug is a crash, apport should automatically generate a report and
guide you in filing it. Copies of the crash reports are stored in
/var/crash in case you need to refer to them directly.

2. The "Help" menu in many applications includes an entry "Report a
problem..." which will invoke Apport manually.

3. On the command line, you can run "ubuntu-bug <package>" (or "ubuntu-bug
<PID>") to invoke Apport manually. Kernel bugs should be reported with
"ubuntu-bug linux".

Using this method will automatically attach the relevant version
information, log files, etc. where available. This saves you time in filing
the bug, and saves others time in analyzing it. For example, filing a bug
on the kernel will automatically include dmesg, lspci and so on.

We're about to get flooded with bug reports from the beta, so please
start using this method immediately, and encourage everyone else who reports
bugs to do the same.

More instructions for filing bugs can be found in the community
documentation at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs

Note that if someone files a bug without using apport, you can still take
advantage of it to add the information later (assuming it's still relevant),
by using apport-collect(1). See
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2009-February/000535.html
for details.

If you'd like to enhance your packages to take better advantage of apport by
attaching relevant data, please ask for help. It's very simple once you
know how to do it. The basics can be found at
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Apport/DeveloperHowTo

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Lars Wirzenius 03-25-2009 11:13 AM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
ke, 2009-03-25 kello 11:58 +0000, Matt Zimmerman kirjoitti:
> I've noticed that, even among Ubuntu devleopers, not everyone is applying
> our best practices for reporting bugs. In particular, reporting bugs
> directly to Launchpad is usually *NOT* the best approach. This should only
> be done if there is no better option.
>
> In almost all cases, it is preferable to report the bug using Apport.

I tend to turn off apport, because it pops up every time one of my own
programs-under-development crashes, and that makes my laptop unusable
for up to about a minute (more, if I'm running with an encrypted disk).

> 2. The "Help" menu in many applications includes an entry "Report a
> problem..." which will invoke Apport manually.

I didn't know that. Bug again, launching apport from that takes about 30
seconds before anything visible happens, and after that another 30-40
secnods before I can actually do something.

Apport is very useful, but it's horrible to use, at least on my laptop.



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Matt Zimmerman 03-25-2009 11:28 AM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 02:13:37PM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> ke, 2009-03-25 kello 11:58 +0000, Matt Zimmerman kirjoitti:
> > I've noticed that, even among Ubuntu devleopers, not everyone is applying
> > our best practices for reporting bugs. In particular, reporting bugs
> > directly to Launchpad is usually *NOT* the best approach. This should only
> > be done if there is no better option.
> >
> > In almost all cases, it is preferable to report the bug using Apport.
>
> I tend to turn off apport, because it pops up every time one of my own
> programs-under-development crashes, and that makes my laptop unusable
> for up to about a minute (more, if I'm running with an encrypted disk).

Apport should probably start using ionice.

I don't think it's meant to trigger on programs which aren't installed in
standard locations, because of just the case you're describing.

In any case, you can invoke it manually using ubuntu-bug when needed.

> > 2. The "Help" menu in many applications includes an entry "Report a
> > problem..." which will invoke Apport manually.
>
> I didn't know that. Bug again, launching apport from that takes about 30
> seconds before anything visible happens, and after that another 30-40
> secnods before I can actually do something.
>
> Apport is very useful, but it's horrible to use, at least on my laptop.

For me, it pops up right away with a progress bar. It does take a long time
before I can file the bug, because it's reading the dpkg database, which
takes forever, in order to find out which package the program belongs to.
You can skip that if you invoke ubuntu-bug with a package name.

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Lars Wirzenius 03-25-2009 11:32 AM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
ke, 2009-03-25 kello 12:28 +0000, Matt Zimmerman kirjoitti:
> Apport should probably start using ionice.
>
> I don't think it's meant to trigger on programs which aren't installed in
> standard locations, because of just the case you're describing.

I'm probably a strange case, since I make packages of most of the little
programs I write for myself. Which causes apport to be triggered, when
they crash.

I'm sure it would be possible to speed apport up a lot, after we're done
making boot and login instantaneous.


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Martin Olsson 03-25-2009 01:08 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
(some more apport wish list items below)



Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> Apport should probably start using ionice.

And nice as well would be useful, at least for me it's CPU bound.

> For me, it pops up right away with a progress bar. It does take a long time
> before I can file the bug, because it's reading the dpkg database, which
> takes forever, in order to find out which package the program belongs to.
> You can skip that if you invoke ubuntu-bug with a package name.

For me apport will take 100% CPU for about 20-30 seconds before _any_ UI shows
up. It would be useful to be able to cancel _before_ it hogs all those resources.

I have GNOME system monitor so I can see it there first and then I usually
type dmesg to confirm that it was a SEGV and in what app, and then I just sit
back waiting for apport to finish hogging the CPU.

I got a quad core machine though and it only uses 1/4th of the CPU so for me
it's not that bad, but I can image for single core machines it must be horrible.

Also note that it hogs more CPU for bigger apps so it's probably saving the
crash dump that's taking time (not sure why that takes so much CPU but it does).


Martin

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Mackenzie Morgan 03-25-2009 01:40 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
On Wednesday 25 March 2009 8:32:56 am Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> ke, 2009-03-25 kello 12:28 +0000, Matt Zimmerman kirjoitti:
> > Apport should probably start using ionice.
> >
> > I don't think it's meant to trigger on programs which aren't installed in
> > standard locations, because of just the case you're describing.
>
> I'm probably a strange case, since I make packages of most of the little
> programs I write for myself. Which causes apport to be triggered, when
> they crash.

Nah, if I'm trying to patch anything that's already a package, I use bzr
builddeb rather than recompile it unpackaged, in case it spews apt-unknown
files anywhere. If it's not already package, it's something for school and has
a Makefile < 15 lines.

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Matt Zimmerman 03-25-2009 02:53 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 03:08:44PM +0100, Martin Olsson wrote:
> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > For me, it pops up right away with a progress bar. It does take a long time
> > before I can file the bug, because it's reading the dpkg database, which
> > takes forever, in order to find out which package the program belongs to.
> > You can skip that if you invoke ubuntu-bug with a package name.
>
> For me apport will take 100% CPU for about 20-30 seconds before _any_ UI shows
> up. It would be useful to be able to cancel _before_ it hogs all those resources.

This part is apport actually reading, compressing and saving the core dump.

This is approximately https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/61730

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Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 16:55:38 +0100
Message-ID: <145d4e1a0903250855v67d51160kc35e136d6c858dbf@mail .gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Ubuntu Netbook Remix beta candidate testing
From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Javier_G=E1lvez_Guerrero?=
<javier.galvez.guerrero@gmail.com>
To: Paul Larson <paul.larson@canonical.com>
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Hi,

Can Ubuntu Netbook Remix be installed in UMPCs? Has any UMPC tested with it
or it is only for netbooks?


Thanks,
Javi


2009/3/25 Paul Larson <paul.larson@canonical.com>

> There is only a short time left before 9.04 beta, but a beta candidate
> is available at:
>
> http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/cdimage/ubuntu-netbook-remix/daily-live/current/jaunty-netbook-remix-i386.img
>
> If you have a netbook, and would like to help, grab the image and a USB
> stick to boot from and head over to:
> http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/test/2475
>
> There you will find some basic test plans for testing the install of
> UNR. While you are waiting on the image to download, you may wish to
> create an account on http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com so you can log your test
> results.
>
> Even if you are not ready to install a beta of Jaunty UNR on your
> netbook, you can still help by running through the live boot test that
> is listed there. Please let us know about any bugs you find, and
> whether the installs passed or failed on your hardware.
>
> Thanks,
> Paul Larson
>
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--001636a7dabfed5c650465f38796
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hi,<br><br>Can Ubuntu Netbook Remix be installed in UMPCs? Has any UMPC tes=
ted with it or it is only for netbooks?<br><br><br>Thanks,<br>Javi<br><br><=
br><div class=3D"gmail_quote">2009/3/25 Paul Larson <span dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<=
a href=3D"mailto:paul.larson@canonical.com">paul.lar son@canonical.com</a>&g=
t;</span><br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, =
204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">There is only a s=
hort time left before 9.04 beta, but a beta candidate<br>
is available at:<br>
<a href=3D"http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/cdimage/ubuntu-netbook-remix/daily-liv=
e/current/jaunty-netbook-remix-i386.img" target=3D"_blank">http://cdimage.u=
buntu.com/cdimage/ubuntu-netbook-remix/daily-live/current/jaunty-netbook-re=
mix-i386.img</a><br>

<br>
If you have a netbook, and would like to help, grab the image and a USB<br>
stick to boot from and head over to:<br>
<a href=3D"http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/test/2475" target=3D"_blank">=
http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/test/2475</a><br>
<br>
There you will find some basic test plans for testing the install of<br>
UNR. =A0While you are waiting on the image to download, you may wish to<br>
create an account on <a href=3D"http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com" target=3D"_blank"=
>http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com</a> so you can log your test<br>
results.<br>
<br>
Even if you are not ready to install a beta of Jaunty UNR on your<br>
netbook, you can still help by running through the live boot test that<br>
is listed there. =A0Please let us know about any bugs you find, and<br>
whether the installs passed or failed on your hardware.<br>
<br>
Thanks,<br>
Paul Larson<br>
<font color=3D"#888888"><br>
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Martin Pitt 03-25-2009 03:37 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
Lars Wirzenius [2009-03-25 14:13 +0200]:
> I tend to turn off apport, because it pops up every time one of my own
> programs-under-development crashes, and that makes my laptop unusable
> for up to about a minute (more, if I'm running with an encrypted disk).

If you are talking about packaged programs, then it's a hard problem,
since apport needs to invoke apt and dpkg to figure out that it's not
an Ubuntu package.

If you are really talking about apport getting fired when you develop
and run software from your home directory (as probably almost all
developers do), then this is indeed a bug, and should be reported. The
code to detect those cases is pretty robust, though.

Martin
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Martin Pitt 03-25-2009 03:38 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
Martin Olsson [2009-03-25 15:08 +0100]:
> For me apport will take 100% CPU for about 20-30 seconds before _any_ UI shows
> up. It would be useful to be able to cancel _before_ it hogs all those resources.

That only happens for crashes, not for reporting bugs.

Martin
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Lars Wirzenius 03-25-2009 03:42 PM

Best practice for reporting bugs
 
ke, 2009-03-25 kello 17:37 +0100, Martin Pitt kirjoitti:
> If you are really talking about apport getting fired when you develop
> and run software from your home directory (as probably almost all
> developers do), then this is indeed a bug, and should be reported. The
> code to detect those cases is pretty robust, though.

It's for installed programs, certainly.



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