News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system


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As a user of OpenSolaris, one of the best ways you can contribute to the community is by taking the time to submit the bugs you find in the product. You may also find that you get better traction with OpenSolaris engineering than raising the same issue in the forums - bug counts are reviewed weekly, forum postings are not.

The OpenSolaris project uses Bugzilla as its tracking system and its home page is at http://defect.opensolaris.org. Note, it uses a separate registration database then opensolaris.org, so you'll have to create a new account.

Before filing a bug you should first search to see if it's already being tracked. If so, feel free to add additional information or just CC yourself on the bug to keep informed of its progress. For example, I've CC'd myself on over 140 bugs.

The advanced search form is very powerful, which also makes it somewhat daunting. I mostly use the simple text based search form on the home page. Here are some basic tips I've found helpful for getting the most out of the simple text search:

  • By default, only open bugs are returned. Since the problem you
    are looking for might very well have already been fixed in a development
    build, prefix your search with ALL, for example, ALL mouse wheel.
  • Don't worry about case - table, Table and TABLE are all the same.
  • Substrings are searched - so use localiz instead of localize or localization, which will find both occurrences of the word.
  • Use quotes to search for exact words or phrases

See the Bugzilla QuickSearch page for more tips.

You'll notice at the bottom of the search results there's an option to "Remember search as":

This is very handy, especially if you've taken the time to cobble together an advanced search. Saved searches are then set up as links in the page footer. In the image above you can see I currently have 2 saved searches: "My Bugs" and "My CC'd Bugs".

Once you're reasonably sure the bug you've found hasn't been filed yet, click the File a Bug button on the home page. You'll be prompted to select a classification, for which you want to choose Distribution.

This will take you to the Enter Bug form:

Select the Component that is most closely related to your problem. As you select the components you'll see their description in the text box to the right. If you are still unsure, you can look at similar bugs you found during your search. Don't worry if it's mis-classified - it will get corrected.

After selecting the Version of OpenSolaris you are using, select the Severity. Although all bugs may feel like mission critical blockers to you, please try to be realistic with this setting:

Blocker Blocks development and/or testing work
Critical crashes, loss of data, severe memory leak
Major major loss of function
Normal regular issue, some loss of functionality under specific circumstances
Minor minor loss of function, or other problem where easy
workaround is present
Trivial cosmetic problem like misspelled words or misaligned
Enhancement Request for enhancement

Note the Enhancement value. I use this one a lot to request features I'd like to see in the product.

The two most important fields are the Summary and the Description. A good summary will quickly and uniquely identify the bug. Provide as much detail in the description as you can, ideally providing the exact steps on how to reproduce the bug and any possible work-arounds you may have discovered (documented work-arounds are one of the great benefits of searching through the bug database). Finally, don't clutter the Description field with large amounts of output or log text. Rather, use the attachment button to attach the text or log. Likewise, if you can take a snapshot of the problem, attach that as well (there's a screen shot tool in Applications > Graphics > Save Screenshot).

See the Bug Writing Guidelines for more information.

When satisfied, press Commit to submit your bug. And thank you, you've just made a valuable contribution to OpenSolaris.

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