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Can't Code? Squash a Few Bugs - page 2

Bug Hunt

  • July 17, 2006
  • By Carla Schroder

A Linux distribution is comprised of thousands of programs developed independently, so it's not always obvious who is responsible for a problem. All distributions modify programs to a degree, some more than others. So the first place to report a bug is to your distribution's bug-reporting system. If you build your programs from sources, then use the programs' own bug-trackers.

Before you actually file a bug report, do some homework first. First search mail lists and forums to see if anyone else is having the same problem. Chances are you'll learn it's not a bug, and you'll learn how to fix the problem.

Then search the bug database to see if it's already been reported. If it has, it doesn't hurt to add a "metoo" addendum. Include all the information you would put in any bug report. A nice, though not necessary, thing to do is include any useful workarounds in your bug report.

The most important step is to make sure it's a bug, and not some daft thing you're doing. You should be able to replicate the bug. If you can't, neither can the developers. This is a great opportunity to exercise those troubleshooting muscles. The majority of bug reports are not bugs, but user error.

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