Writing FreeBSD Problem Reports

$FreeBSD: doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/problem-reports/article.sgml,v 1.36 2005/01/15 02:16:42 linimon Exp $

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This article describes how to best formulate and submit a problem report to the FreeBSD Project.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. When to submit a problem report
3. Preparations
4. Writing the problem report
5. Follow-up
6. Further Reading

1. Introduction

One of the most frustrating experiences one can have as a software user is to submit a problem report only to have it summarily closed with a terse and unhelpful explanation like “not a bug” or “bogus PR”. Similarly, one of the most frustrating experiences as a software developer is to be flooded with problem reports that are not really problem reports but requests for support, or that contain little or no information about what the problem is and how to reproduce it.

This document attempts to describe how to write good problem reports. What, you ask, is a good problem report? Well, to go straight to the bottom line, a good problem report is one that can be analyzed and dealt with swiftly, to the mutual satisfaction of both user and developer.

Although the primary focus of this article is on FreeBSD problem reports, most of it should apply quite well to other software projects.

Note that this article is organized thematically, not chronologically, so you should read through the entire document before submitting a problem report, rather than treat it as a step-by-step tutorial.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.

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