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B.4.1 Submitting Bug Reports

Before reporting a bug, make sure you have really found a genuine bug. First, verify that you have the latest version of gawk. Many bugs (usually subtle ones) are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date, the problem may already have been solved.

Second, please see if setting the environment variable LC_ALL to LC_ALL=C causes things to behave as you expect. If so, it’s a locale issue, and may or may not really be a bug.

Third, carefully reread the documentation and see if it says you can do what you’re trying to do. If it’s not clear whether you should be able to do something or not, report that too; it’s a bug in the documentation!

Finally, before reporting a bug or trying to fix it yourself, try to isolate it to the smallest possible awk program and input data file that reproduce the problem. Then send us the program and data file, some idea of what kind of Unix system you’re using, the compiler you used to compile gawk, and the exact results gawk gave you. Also say what you expected to occur; this helps us decide whether the problem is really in the documentation.

Make sure to include the version number of gawk you are using. You can get this information with the command ‘gawk --version’.

Once you have a precise problem description, send email to “bug-gawk at gnu dot org”.

The gawk maintainers subscribe to this address, and thus they will receive your bug report. Although you can send mail to the maintainers directly, the bug reporting address is preferred because the email list is archived at the GNU Project. All email must be in English. This is the only language understood in common by all the maintainers. In addition, please be sure to send all mail in plain text, not (or not exclusively) in HTML.

NOTE: Many distributions of GNU/Linux and the various BSD-based operating systems have their own bug reporting systems. If you report a bug using your distribution’s bug reporting system, you should also send a copy to “bug-gawk at gnu dot org”.

This is for two reasons. First, although some distributions forward bug reports “upstream” to the GNU mailing list, many don’t, so there is a good chance that the gawk maintainers won’t even see the bug report! Second, mail to the GNU list is archived, and having everything at the GNU Project keeps things self-contained and not dependent on other organizations.

Non-bug suggestions are always welcome as well. If you have questions about things that are unclear in the documentation or are just obscure features, ask on the bug list; we will try to help you out if we can.


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