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Bugzilla:FAQ

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This is a list of the most-frequently-asked questions about Bugzilla.

If you edit this page, please only add questions that are frequently asked. Questions that are less-commonly-asked should just get their own Wiki page.

Contents

General Questions

Can I try out Bugzilla somewhere?

If you want to take a test ride, there are test installations at http://landfill.bugzilla.org/, ready to play with directly from your browser.

What license is Bugzilla distributed under?

Bugzilla is covered by the Mozilla Public License. See details at http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/.

How do I get commercial support for Bugzilla?

http://www.bugzilla.org/support/consulting.html is a list of companies and individuals who have asked us to list them as consultants for Bugzilla.

What major companies or projects are currently using Bugzilla for bug-tracking?

There are dozens of major companies with public Bugzilla sites to track bugs in their products. We have a fairly complete list available on our website at http://bugzilla.org/installation-list/. If you have an installation of Bugzilla and would like to be added to the list, whether it's a public install or not, simply e-mail Gerv <gerv@mozilla.org>.

Who maintains Bugzilla?

A core team, led by Dave Miller (justdave@bugzilla.org).

How does Bugzilla stack up against other bug-tracking databases?

Wikipedia maintains a "comparison of issue tracking systems".

We think that compared to other bug-tracking systems, Bugzilla offers superior performance on commodity hardware, better price (free!), more developer-friendly features (such as stored queries, email integration, and platform independence), improved scalability, greater flexibility, and superior ease-of-use under long-term usage.

Which versions support MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and SQLite? What about Sybase/Msql/MSSQL?

Bugzilla 3.2 and above support MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle. Since Bugzilla 4.2, SQLite is also supported, but its support remains experimental. Support for MS-SQL is currently under way for a future version of Bugzilla.

Sybase support is no longer being worked on, and most likely will never happen, as Sybase lacks many features Bugzilla needs.

My perl is located at /usr/local/bin/perl and not /usr/bin/perl. Is there an easy to change that in all the files that have this hard-coded?

The easiest way to get around this is to create a link from one to the other:

 ln -s /usr/local/bin/perl /usr/bin/perl

If that's not an option for you, the following bit of perl magic will change all the shebang lines (that is to say, the line at the top of each file that starts with '#!' and contains the path) to something else:

 perl -pi -e 's@#\!/usr/bin/perl@#\!/usr/local/bin/perl@' *cgi *pl contrib/*pl extensions/*pl

If your perl path is something else again, just follow the above examples and replace /usr/local/bin/perl with your own perl path.

Is there an easy way to change the Bugzilla cookie name?

No.

Can bugzilla run under mod_perl?

Yes. You need to run Bugzilla 3.0 or newer. Later versions of Bugzilla generally have even better performance under mod_perl.

Does Bugzilla work under SELinux?

On most modern versions of Fedora and RHEL, Bugzilla will work fine under SELinux as long as it is underneath the /var/www/html/ directory. You may have to run this command to make it work properly, though:

 restorecon -Rv /var/www/html/

Managerial Questions

Is it possible to delete bug reports?

Yes. You have to turn on the 'allowbugdeletion' parameter, which is off by default. Note that you cannot delete bug reports one by one. You have to move them in a product or component, e.g. named "Trash", and then delete this product or component. The reason we make it hard is that you generally don't want to delete bug reports; they're supposed to be a permanent historical record.

Is Bugzilla web-based, or do you have to have specific software or a specific operating system on your machine?

Bugzilla is web-based, and it sends emails.

Does Bugzilla allow us to define our own priorities, levels, and other values?

Yes. You can edit the values of hardcoded fields but not their label. Since Bugzilla 3.0, you can even edit the list of valid resolutions and since Bugzilla 3.2, the list of legal bug statuses and transitions among them.

Moreover, Bugzilla 3.0 and newer allow you to add custom fields to Bugzilla from the UI.

Does Bugzilla provide any reporting features, metrics, graphs, etc?

Yes. Look at http://landfill.bugzilla.org/bugzilla-tip/report.cgi for samples of what Bugzilla can do in reporting and graphing. Fuller documentation is provided in Section 6.11.

There are also various third-party tools that do reporting for Bugzilla.

Is there email notification? If so, what do you see when you get an email?

Email notification is user-configurable. By default, the bug id and summary of the bug report accompany each email notification, along with a list of the changes made.

Do users have to have any particular type of email application?

No. Bugzilla email is sent in plain text, the most compatible mail format on the planet.

Does Bugzilla allow data to be imported and exported? (Say, from/to Word or Excel.)

Bugzilla can output buglists as HTML (the default), CSV, XML, and Atom. A link for each of these formats can be found at the bottom of your search results. The CSV format can easily be imported into MS Excel or other spreadsheet applications.

Currently the only script included with Bugzilla that can import data is importxml.pl. It imports bugs as XML. If you want to see the XML format it expects, view a bug and select the "XML" link on the page (it's small, you might have to search for it).

Has anyone converted Bugzilla to another language to be used in other countries? Is it localizable?

Yes, Bugzilla is fully localizable, and many languages are already available. For more information including available translated templates, see http://www.bugzilla.org/download/#localizations.

Are there any backup features provided?

You should use the commands included with your database software to run the backups of your Bugzilla data. You can find strategies for dealing with backup considerations at http://www.mysql.com/doc/B/a/Backup.html for MySQL and at http://www.postgresql.org/docs/8.0/static/backup.html for PostgreSQL.

What skills do you need to install and maintain Bugzilla?

If Bugzilla is set up correctly from the start, continuing maintenance needs are minimal and can be done easily using the web interface.

For installation or upgrades, it helps to understand Perl, Apache, and MySQL. Also, the installer should have a solid grasp of the platform (Windows, OS X, Linux, etc.) that Bugzilla is being installed on.

How much time does it take to install and maintain Bugzilla?

It all depends on what you need out of Bugzilla, and how much you plan to customize it.

Someone with a lot of Bugzilla experience can get you up and running in a few hours, and your Bugzilla install can run untended for years. Less-experienced administrators sometimes need a few days to set up Bugzilla.

If you plan to customize the code or user interface of your Bugzilla, then the amount of maintenance time increases. First, there's the time to customize (which depends on how much customization you want to do). Then, after you've customized, any time you want to upgrade, you may have to do some work to bring your customizations forward into the new version.

Is there any licensing fee or other fees for using Bugzilla?

No. Bugzilla and all the supporting software it needs (Apache, Perl, MySQL, etc.) are free.

We don't like referring to problems as 'bugs'. Can we change that?

Yes! You can edit the file template/en/default/global/variables.none.tmpl to change the word "bug" in all of Bugzilla.

Administrative Questions

Does Bugzilla provide record locking when there is simultaneous access to the same bug? Does the second person get a notice that the bug is in use or how are they notified?

Bugzilla does not lock records. It provides "mid-air collision" detection, which means that it warns a user when a commit is about to conflict with commits recently made by another user, and offers the second user a choice of options to deal with the conflict.

Can users be on the system while a backup is in progress?

Yes. You should use the commands included with your database software to run the backups of your Bugzilla data. You can find strategies for dealing with backup considerations at http://www.mysql.com/doc/B/a/Backup.html for MySQL and at http://www.postgresql.org/docs/8.0/static/backup.html for PostgreSQL.

Can I restrict a user's ability to edit certain bug fields?

Users can only edit bugs if they are the Assignee, the QA Contact, or are in the editbugs group. (Certain fields can also be edited by the Reporter. Also, all users can always comment and CC themselves on bugs.) However, note that by default, all users are in the editbugs group. If you want to change this default, go to Administration -> Groups, choose "editbugs" and clear the "userregexp" field. Then you can use Administration -> Users to explicitly add back certain users into the "editbugs" group, if you want them to be able to edit every field on every bug in the system. (Also, you can use Administration -> Products -> (select product) -> Group Controls to give groups of users "editbugs" for specific products.)

If you want any finer-grained control than that, it requires code changes. You have to edit the check_can_change_field subroutine in the file Bugzilla/Bug.pm. The file has many comments to help guide your edits.

How do I make it so that bugs can have an UNCONFIRMED status?

Bugzilla 3.6 or later: For each product that you want to enable UNCONFIRMED in, visit that product's admin page using editproducts.cgi (Administration > Products) and enable the UNCONFIRMED status using a checkbox there.

Before Bugzilla 3.6: To use the UNCONFIRMED status, you must have the 'usevotes' parameter set to "On". Then, using editproducts.cgi, you have to set the "Number of votes a bug in this product needs to automatically get out of the unconfirmed state" to a non-zero number. You will have to do this for each product that wants to use the UNCONFIRMED state.

If you do not actually want users to be able to vote for bugs entered against this product, leave the "Maximum votes per person" value at '0'.

How do I move a Bugzilla installation from one machine to another?

See Bugzilla:Move Installation.

I restricted a product to be visible to more than one group, and now only users who are members of all of those groups can see it. How do I make it visible to someone who's a member of any of those groups (but not all of them)?

Bugzilla treats all of the group restrictions on a product as an AND comparison. That is, if you put group controls for more than one group on the same product, then users must be a member of ALL of those groups to be able to perform the restricted action.

If you want OR groups (a member of any of the groups can do it), all is not lost. The way to do this is to create two different sets of groups.

The first set of groups defines groups of people. These groups are not used for group controls on products. In fact, you can leave the "use for bugs" setting turned off on them. These are the groups you will make users be members of. Groupings such as "engineering" or "QA" or "security-team" or "marketing" or similar.

The second set of groups has no users in its membership. You use these groups to define things you want to use group restrictions on, and these will be the groups that you set up in the Group Controls in the product editor. For example, if you have a product (or a set of 3 or 4 products) that you wish to secure to the same set of people, create a group for it. These groups will need to have "use for bugs" checkmarked. Then in the "Groups That Are a Member of This Group" section, add the people groups you created above that you want to be able to access things secured with this group.

Email

How do I stop email entirely for one user?

The user can stop Bugzilla from sending any mail by clicking "Disable All Mail" on the Preferences > Email Preferences page, and then submitting the form.

Alternately, an administrator can disable all bugmails for a user from the Administration > Users page. This will override that user's personal preferences, and they will never be sent mail again.

I'm evaluating/testing Bugzilla, and don't want it to send email to anyone. How do I do it?

Go to Administration > Parameters. In the "Email" section of the parameters, set mail_delivery_method to "Test". Then all emails will go to a file on the disk (data/mailer.testfile in the Bugzilla directory) instead of being sent out.

Windows

Can Bugzilla run on Windows? How?

Yes, Bugzilla can run on Windows. See the Bugzilla:Win32Install page for information about how to install and configure Bugzilla on 32-bit Windows. See the Bugzilla:WindowsServer2008Install page for information about how to install on configure Bugzilla on Windows Server 2008 64-bit.

For Users

How do I change my user name (email address) in Bugzilla?

Go to the Name and Password section of the Preferences screen. You will be emailed at both addresses for confirmation.

If you don't see the option to change your email address on this page, then your Bugzilla administrator hasn't enabled the allowemailchange parameter.

The search page is very confusing. Is there a simpler way to search?

The "Find a Specific Bug" page (one of the tabs when you go to the Search page) is simpler than the Advanced Search form.

Also, there is a type of search called "Quicksearch" available in the header and footer of every page. See the "Quicksearch Help" link on the front page of Bugzilla for information on using Quicksearch.

Why can't I close bugs from the "Change Several Bugs at Once" page?

You can, but all the bugs in your search results have to be in a status that can validly change to CLOSED. In Bugzilla 3.2 and later, this means that you have to have set a valid transition to CLOSED from the bugs' statuses, using Administration > Status Workflow. For versions of Bugzilla before 3.2, only VERIFIED bugs can transition to CLOSED.

How do I search for public bugs (bugs that aren't restricted to a group)?

You can search for bugs without a group by using Boolean Charts at the bottom of the Advanced Search page: "Not (negate this whole chart)" + "Group" + "matches regular expression" + "."

Troubleshooting

Bugzilla can't connect to the database

Here's some things to check:

  1. Make sure that the $db_user and $db_pass settings in the localconfig file are correct.
  2. If you're using MySQL, make sure that DBD::mysql was compiled against the version of MySQL that you're using. For example, a DBD::mysql compiled against MySQL 4.0 won't work with MySQL 5.1. In versions of Bugzilla 3.2 or greater, you can re-install DBD::mysql by doing:
    ./install-module.pl DBD::mysql
    in your Bugzilla directory.

I tried to move my Bugzilla from one machine to another, and now there's something wrong with the data.

Make sure that you followed the instructions on Bugzilla:Move Installation. In particular, when you import a database dump, your database has to be totally empty, meaning that it must have no tables in it at all.

I get the error "MySQL server has gone away"

This usually means that the max_allowed_packet setting in your MySQL configuration is too small. It needs to be set larger than the largest piece of data you're trying to insert in to the database. (Usually, this means it has to be larger than your maxattachmentsize parameter.) The MySQL configuration is usually in /etc/my.cnf.

I have Apache's mod_security installed, and Bugzilla is not functioning.

Bugzilla is not compatible with mod_security. You will have to uninstall mod_security or disable it for Bugzilla.

My parameters don't update when using editparams.cgi, what am I doing wrong?

Bugzilla's parameters are stored in the data/params file. In order to update parameters, the user that your web server runs Bugzilla's scripts as needs permission to:

  • create, alter and delete files in Bugzilla's data/ directory
  • alter and delete the params file in Bugzilla's data/ directory

Old Charts complain about "Unable to open the chart datafile ./data/mining/-All-"

See http://www.bugzilla.org/docs/tip/html/extraconfig.html for information on how to set up the collectstats.pl script to enable the Old Charts and New Charts.

My problem isn't listed here

If all else fails, check out places you can get support for Bugzilla.