53.4 Checklist for Bug Reports

Before reporting a bug, first try to see if the problem has already been reported (see Reading Existing Bug Reports and Known Problems).

If you are able to, try the latest release of Emacs to see if the problem has already been fixed. Even better is to try the latest development version. We recognize that this is not easy for some people, so do not feel that you absolutely must do this before making a report.

The best way to write a bug report for Emacs is to use the command M-x report-emacs-bug. This sets up a mail buffer (see Sending Mail) and automatically inserts some of the essential information. However, it cannot supply all the necessary information; you should still read and follow the guidelines below, so you can enter the other crucial information by hand before you send the message. You may feel that some of the information inserted by M-x report-emacs-bug is not relevant, but unless you are absolutely sure, it is best to leave it, so that the developers can decide for themselves.

When you have finished writing your report, type C-c C-c and it will be sent to the Emacs maintainers at bug-gnu-emacs. If you cannot send mail from inside Emacs, you can copy the text of your report to your normal mail client (if your system supports it, you can type C-c M-i to have Emacs do this for you) and send it to that address. Or you can simply send an email to that address describing the problem, including the necessary information mentioned below.

If you want to submit code to Emacs (to fix a problem or implement a new feature), the easiest way to do this is to send a patch to the Emacs issue tracker. Use the M-x submit-emacs-patch command for that, which works much the same as when reporting bugs; see Sending Patches for GNU Emacs.

In any case, your report will be sent to the ‘bug-gnu-emacs’ mailing list, and stored in the GNU Bug Tracker at https://debbugs.gnu.org. Please include a valid reply email address, in case we need to ask you for more information about your report. Submissions are moderated, so there may be a delay before your report actually appears on the tracker.

You do not need to know how the GNU Bug Tracker works in order to report a bug, but if you want to, you can read the tracker’s online documentation to see the various features you can use.

All mail sent to the ‘bug-gnu-emacs’ mailing list is also gatewayed to the ‘gnu.emacs.bug’ newsgroup. The reverse is also true, but we ask you not to post bug reports (or replies) via the newsgroup. It can make it much harder to contact you if we need to ask for more information, and it does not integrate well with the bug tracker.

If your data is more than 500,000 bytes, please don’t include it directly in the bug report; instead, offer to send it on request, or make it available online and say where. Large attachments are best sent compressed.

The GNU Bug Tracker will assign a bug number to your report; please use it in the following discussions, keeping the bug address in the list of recipients, so that the bug discussion is recorded by the tracker. The bug address will look like ‘nnnnn@debbugs.gnu.org’, where nnnnn is the bug number.

To enable maintainers to investigate a bug, your report should include all these things:

Here are some things that are not necessary in a bug report:

If you are willing to debug Emacs and provide additional information about the bug, here is some useful advice: