reportbug(1)                General Commands Manual               reportbug(1)

       reportbug - reports a bug to a debbugs server

       reportbug [options] <package | pseudo-package | absolute-pathname>

       reportbug  is primarily designed to report bugs in the Debian distribu-
       tion; by default, it creates an email to the Debian bug tracking system
       at with information about the bug you've found,
       and makes a carbon copy of the report for you as well.

       Using the --bts option, you can also report bugs to other servers  that
       use the Debian bug tracking system, debbugs.

       You may specify either a package name or a filename; if you use a file-
       name, it must either be an absolute filename (so beginning with a /) or
       if  you  want  reportbug  to  search the system for a filename, see the
       --filename and --path options below. If installed, also dlocate is used
       to identify the filename location and thus the package containing it.

       You can also specify a pseudo-package; these are used in the Debian bug
       tracking system to track issues that are not related  to  one  specific
       package.   Run reportbug without any arguments, then enter other at the
       package prompt, to see a list of the  most  commonly-used  pseudo-pack-

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

       -h, --help
              Show summary of options.

              Show the version of reportbug and exit.

       -A FILENAME, --attach=FILENAME
              Attach  a file to the bug report; both text and binary files are
              acceptable; this option  can  be  specified  multiple  times  to
              attach  several  files.  This routine will create a MIME attach-
              ment with the file included; in some cases (usually text files),
              it  is probably better to use -i/--include option.  (Please note
              that Debian's bug tracking system has limited support  for  MIME

              This  option  supports also globbing (i.e. names with wildcards,
              like file.*) but remember to include them between single  quotes
              (the  previous  example  becomes: 'file.*') else the shell would
              expand it before calling reportbug leading to an error.

              Be aware that when using an external MUA  to  send  the  message
              (such  as  mutt), the attachment feature is not available and no
              file will be attached at all: the MUA feature  to  attach  files
              must be used instead (so from within the MUA).

       -b, --no-query-bts
              Don't  check the Debian bug tracking system to see if this prob-
              lem has already been reported; useful  for  offline  use  or  if
              you're really sure it's a bug.

              Check  the Debian bug tracking system to see if this problem has
              already been reported (default).

       -B SYSTEM, --bts=SYSTEM
              Instead of the Debian bug server (or the bug server specified in
              /etc/reportbug.conf, use the server specified by SYSTEM.

              Use  the  specified  BODY  as the body of the message.  The body
              text will be wrapped at 70 columns,  and  the  normal  reportbug
              headers  and  footers  will be added as appropriate.  The editor
              prompt and any "special" prompting will be bypassed.

       --body-file=BODYFILE, --bodyfile=BODYFILE
              The contents of the (assumed to be) text file BODYFILE  will  be
              used  as  the message body.  This file is assumed to be properly
              formatted (i.e. reasonable line lengths, etc.).  The usual head-
              ers and footers will be added, and the editor step and "special"
              prompts will be skipped.  (BODYFILE may also be  a  named  pipe;
              using a device special file may lead to unusual results.)

       -c, --no-config-files
              Omit configuration files from the bug report without asking.  By
              default, you are asked if you want  to  include  them;  in  some
              cases,  doing  so may cause sensitive information to be sent via

       -C CLASS, --class=CLASS
              Specify report class for GNATS BTSes.

              Rerun the reportbug first time configuration routine, and  write
              a new $HOME/.reportbugrc file.  This will erase any pre-existing
              settings in the file; however,  a  backup  will  be  written  as

              Check  for  newer releases of the package at
              (default).   In  advanced  and   expert   mode,   check   incom-
     and too.

              Do  not  check  for  newer  releases  of  the  package  at pack-

              Include debconf settings in your report.

              Do not include debconf settings from your report.

       -d, --debug
              Don't send a real bug report to  Debian;  send  it  to  yourself
              instead.  This is primarily used for testing by the maintainer.

       --test Operate in test mode (maintainer use only).

              Save  the draft (for example, when exiting and saving the report
              without reporting it) into DRAFTPATH directory.

       -e EDITOR, --editor=EDITOR
              Specify the editor to use, overriding any EDITOR or VISUAL envi-
              ronment variable setting.

              Set  the email address your report should appear to be sent from
              (i.e. the address that appears in the From header).  This should
              be  the actual Internet email address on its own (i.e. without a
              real name or comment part, like  This  setting
              will  override the EMAIL and DEBEMAIL environment variables, but
              not REPORTBUGEMAIL.

              Specify the Envelope From mail header  (also  known  as  Return-
              path); by default it's the From address but it can be selected a
              different one in case the MTA doesn't canonicalize  local  users
              to public addresses.

              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.

              Display a prompt before exiting; this is useful if reportbug  is
              run in a transient terminal (i.e. from its Debian menu entry).

       -f FILENAME, --filename=FILENAME
              Report  a  bug  in  the package containing FILENAME so you don't
              have to figure out what package the file belongs to.   The  path
              will  be searched for an exact path for FILENAME before attempt-
              ing to broaden the search to all files. If dlocate is installed,
              FILENAME is actually a regular expression.

              This options is a shortcut for buildd admins to report bugs from
              buildd log;  the  option  expects  a  value  in  the  format  of
              $source_$version  where  $source  is  the source package the bug
              will be reported against and $version is its version.

       --path If the -f/--filename option is also specified, only  search  the
              path  for  the  specified FILENAME.  Specifying an absolute path
              with the -f/--filename option (i.e.  one  beginning  with  a  /)
              overrides this behavior.

       -g, --gnupg, --gpg
              Attach  a  digital  signature to the bug report using GnuPG (the
              GNU Privacy Guard).  (This argument will be ignored if  you  are
              using an MUA to edit and send your report.)

       -G, --gnus
              Use  the  Gnus  mail and news reader to send your report, rather
              than using the editor.

       -H HEADER, --header=HEADER
              Add a custom RFC2822 header to your email; for example, to  send
              a  carbon  copy of the report to
              you could use -H 'X-Debbugs-CC:'

       -i FILE, --include=FILE
              Include the specified FILE as part of the body of the message to
              be  edited.   Can  be used multiple times to add multiple files;
              text-only please!  From a suggestion by Michael Alan  Dorman  in
              the bug mailing list.  (See also the -A/--attach option.)

       -I, --no-check-installed
              Do  not  check  whether the package is installed before filing a
              report.  This is generally only useful when filing a report on a
              package you know is not installed on your system.

              Check if the specified package is installed when filing reports.
              (This is the default behavior of reportbug.)

       -j JUSTIFICATION, --justification=JUSTIFICATION
              Bugs in Debian that have serious, grave, or critical  severities
              must  meet  certain  criteria  to  be  classified as such.  This
              option allows you to specify the justification  for  a  release-
              critical bug, instead of being prompted for it.

       -k, --kudos
              Send  appreciative  email  to  the  recorded maintainer address,
              rather than filing a bug report.  (You can also  send  kudos  to
    ,  for packages in the Debian ar-
              chive; however, this option uses the Maintainer address from the
              control file, so it works with other package sources too.)

       -K KEYID, --keyid=KEYID
              Private  key to use for PGP/GnuPG signatures.  If not specified,
              the first key in the secret  keyring  that  matches  your  email
              address will be used.

              Display  the bug reports list sorted and with the latest reports
              at the top.

              Show reportbug's copyright and license information  on  standard

              Send  a  carbon copy of the report to the specified list after a
              report number is assigned; this is the equivalent to the  option
              -H  'X-Debbugs-CC:  ADDRESS'.   This  option  will  only work as
              intended with debbugs systems.

       -m, --maintonly
              Only send the bug to the package maintainer;  the  bug  tracking
              system  will  not  send  a  copy  to the bug report distribution

              Specify the maximum size any attachment file can have (this also
              include  the file for --body-file option). If an attachment file
              is too big, there could be problems in delivering the email (and
              also  to  compose  it), so we set a limit to attachment size. By
              default this is 10 megabytes.

              Add a BTS mirror.

              Set the operating mode for reportbug.  reportbug  currently  has
              four  operating modes: novice (the default), standard, advanced,
              and expert.

              novice mode is designed to minimize prompting about things  that
              "ordinary users" would be unlikely to know or care about, shift-
              ing the triage burden onto the  maintainer.   Checking  for  new
              versions  is only done for the stable distribution in this mode.
              It is currently the default mode.

              standard mode includes a relatively large number of prompts  and
              tries  to encourage users to not file frivolous or duplicate bug

              advanced mode is like standard mode, but may  include  shortcuts
              suitable  for  more  advanced  users of Debian, without being as
              close to the metal  (and  potential  flamage)  as  expert  mode.
              (Currently,  the only differences from standard mode are that it
              assumes familiarity with the "incoming"  queue;  it  allows  the
              reporting  of  bugs  on  "dependency"  packages; and it does not
              prompt where to insert the report text in the editor.)

              expert mode is designed to minimize prompts that are designed to
              discourage  frivolous  or  unnecessary  bug  reports,  "severity
              inflation," and the like.  In expert mode, reportbug assumes the
              user  is thoroughly familiar with Debian policies.  In practice,
              this means that reporters are no longer required to justify set-
              ting  a  high  severity  on  a bug report, and certain automated
              cleanups of the message are bypassed.  Individuals  who  do  not
              regularly  contribute  to the Debian project are highly discour-
              aged from using expert mode, as it  can  lead  to  flamage  from
              maintainers when used improperly.

       -M, --mutt
              Instead  of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the
              mutt mail reader to edit and send it.

              Specify an alternate MTA,  instead  of  /usr/sbin/sendmail  (the
              default).  Any smtphost setting will override this one.

              Instead  of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the
              specified MUA (mail user agent) to edit and send it. --mutt  and
              --nmh options are processed.

       -n, --mh, --nmh
              Instead  of spawning an editor to revise the bug report, use the
              comp command (part of the nmh and mh mail systems) to  edit  and
              send it.

       -N BUGNUMBER, --bugnumber BUGNUMBER
              Run reportbug against the specified bug report, useful when fol-
              lowing-up a bug and its number is already known.

              Do not execute the bug script (if present); this option  can  be
              useful  together  with  --template to suppress every interactive
              actions, since some bug scripts can ask questions.

              Don't display the menu to enter additional addresses (CC).

              Don't display the menu to enter additional tags.

       -o FILE, --output=FILE
              Instead of sending an email, redirect it to the specified  file-

              The  output file is a full dump of the email message, so it con-
              tains both headers and mail body. If you want to  use  it  as  a
              template to create a new bug report, then you have to remove all
              the headers (mind the Subject one, though) and start the  report
              at the Package pseudo-header.

       -O, --offline
              Disable  all external queries.  Currently has the same effect as
              --no-check-available --no-query-bts.

       -p, --print
              Instead of sending an email, print the bug  report  to  standard
              output,  so  you can redirect it to a file or pipe it to another

              This option only outputs a template for a bug report (but,  dif-
              ferently  from  --template it's more interactive); you will need
              to fill in the long description.

              Show the contents of the message before it  is  sent,  including
              all headers.  Automatically disabled if in template mode.

              Don't  show  the  full contents of the message before it is sent

       --pgp  Attach a digital signature to the bug report using  PGP  (Pretty
              Good Privacy).  Please note, however, that the Debian project is
              phasing out the use of PGP in favor of  GnuPG.   (This  argument
              will be ignored if using an MUA to edit and send your report.)

       --proxy=PROXY, --http_proxy=PROXY
              Specify  the  WWW proxy server to use to handle the query of the
              bug tracking system.  You should only need this parameter if you
              are  behind  a firewall.  The PROXY argument should be formatted
              as a valid HTTP URL, including (if necessary) a port number; for

       -P PSEUDO-HEADER, --pseudo-header=PSEUDO-HEADER
              Add  a  custom pseudo-header to your report; for example, to add
              the mytag usertag for the user to the  bug,
              you  could  use  -P  'User:' -P 'Usertags:

       -q, --quiet
              Suppress diagnostic messages to standard error.

       -Q, --query-only
              Do not submit a bug report; just query the BTS.  Option  ignored
              if you specify --no-bts-query.

              Query  on all binary packages built by the same source, not just
              the binary package specified.

              Only query on the binary package specified on the command line.

              Set the real name (human-readable name) to use for your report.

              Register the bug in the bug tracking system, but  don't  send  a
              report  to the package maintainer or anyone else.  Don't do this
              unless you're the maintainer of the package in question, or  you
              really know what you are doing.

       --reply-to=ADDRESS, --replyto=ADDRESS
              Set the Reply-To address header in your report.

       -s SUBJECT, --subject=SUBJECT
              Set  the  subject of the bug report (i.e. a brief explanation of
              the problem, less than 60 characters).  If you  do  not  specify
              this switch, you will be prompted for a subject.

              If  the 'security' tag is set, this option will explicitly spec-
              ify to send the report only to the Debian Security Team, as this
              is an undisclosed vulnerability.

              If  the 'security' tag is set, this option will explicitly spec-
              ify to not send the report only to the Debian Security Team,  as
              this is not an undisclosed vulnerability.

       -S SEVERITY, --severity=SEVERITY
              Specify  a severity level, from critical, grave, serious, impor-
              tant, normal, minor, and wishlist.

              Use the mail transport agent (MTA) at HOST to send your  report,
              instead  of  your local /usr/sbin/sendmail program.  This should
              generally be your ISP's outgoing mail server; you can  also  use
              'localhost'  if  you  have a working mail server running on your
              machine.  If the PORT is omitted, the standard  port  for  SMTP,
              port 25, is used.

              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.

       --tls  If  using SMTP, use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to
              secure the connection to the mail server.  Some SMTP servers may
              require this option.

              If using SMTP, use the specified USERNAME for authentication.

              If  using  SMTP,  use the specified PASSWORD for authentication.
              If the password isn't specified on the command line  or  in  the
              configuration file, a prompt will be displayed asking for it.

              Use  of  this option is insecure on multiuser systems.  Instead,
              you should set this option in $HOME/.reportbugrc and  ensure  it
              is   only   readable   by   your   user  (e.g.  with  chmod  600

       --src, --source
              Specify to report the bug against the source  package,  and  not
              the  binary  package  (default  behaviour).   In  order for this
              option to work, you have  to  populate  the  relevant  'deb-src'
              lines in /etc/apt/sources.list so that apt cache will know about
              source packages too.

       -t TYPE, --type=TYPE
              Specify the type of report to be  submitted;  currently  accepts
              either gnats or debbugs.

       -T TAG, --tag=TAG
              Specify   a  tag  to  be  filed  on  this  report,  for  example
              --tag=patch.  Multiple tags  can  be  specified  using  multiple
              -T/--tag arguments.

              Alternatively, you can specify the 'tag' none to bypass the tags
              prompt without specifying any tags; this will  also  ignore  any
              tags specified on the command line.

              Output  a  template  report to standard output. Differently from
              -p/--print, it tries to be not interactive, and presents a  tem-
              plate without user's input.

       -u INTERFACE, --interface=INTERFACE, --ui=INTERFACE
              Specify  the  user  interface  to  use.  Valid options are text,
              urwid, and gtk2; default is taken from the reportbug  configura-
              tion files.

       -v, --verify
              Verify the integrity of the package (if installed) using debsums
              before reporting.

              Do not verify the integrity of the package with debsums.

       -V VERSION, --package-version=VERSION
              Specify the version of the package the  problem  was  found  in.
              This  is  probably  most  useful if you are reporting a bug in a
              package that is not installable or installed on a different sys-

       -x, --no-cc
              Don't  send  a  blind carbon copy (BCC) of the bug report to the
              submitter (i.e. yourself).

       -z, --no-compress
              Don't compress configuration  files  by  removing  comments  and
              blank lines.

       reportbug lynx-ssl
              Report a bug in the lynx-ssl package.

       reportbug --path --filename=ls
              Report a bug in the installed package that includes a program in
              your path called ls.

       From version 0.22 on, reportbug has supported a simple run control file
       syntax.   Commands are read from /etc/reportbug.conf and $HOME/.report-
       bugrc 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 reportbug are
       supported, without leading -- sequences.  See reportbug.conf(5) for all
       acceptable options and detailed information.

       VISUAL Editor to use for editing your bug report.

       EDITOR Editor to use for editing the bug report (overridden by VISUAL).

              Email address to use as your from address (in this order). If no
              environment variable exists, the default is taken from your user
              name and /etc/mailname.

              Real name to use; default is taken from /etc/passwd.

              Address for Reply-To header in outgoing mail.

       MAILCC Use  the  specified CC address on your email.  Note you can also
              use the -H option for this (and for Bcc's too).

              Use the specified BCC address, instead of  your  email  address.
              (CC and BCC based on suggestions from Herbert Thielen in the bug

              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 omit-
              ting a port other than 80, WILL NOT WORK).

       reportbug  should  probably  be compatible with other bug tracking sys-
       tems, like bugzilla (used by the GNOME and Mozilla projects)  and  jit-
       terbug (used by Samba, AbiSource and FreeCiv) but it isn't.

       reportbug.conf(5), for avail-
       able tags, querybts(1)

       Chris Lawrence <>, Sandro Tosi <>.


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