51.1 Reading Existing Bug Reports and Known Problems
Before reporting a bug, if at all possible please check to see if it
is already known about. Indeed, it may already have been fixed in a
later release of Emacs, or in the development version. Here is a list
of the main places you can read about known issues:
- The etc/PROBLEMS file; type C-h C-p to read it. This
file contains a list of particularly well-known issues that have been
encountered in compiling, installing and running Emacs. Often, there
are suggestions for workarounds and solutions.
- Some additional user-level problems can be found in Bugs and problems in GNU Emacs FAQ.
The GNU Bug Tracker at http://debbugs.gnu.org. Emacs bugs are
filed in the tracker under the ‘emacs’ package. The tracker
records information about the status of each bug, the initial bug
report, and the follow-up messages by the bug reporter and Emacs
developers. You can search for bugs by subject, severity, and other
Instead of browsing the bug tracker as a webpage, you can browse it
from Emacs using the
debbugs package, which can be downloaded
via the Package Menu (see Packages). This package provides the
command M-x debbugs-gnu to list bugs, and M-x
debbugs-gnu-search to search for a specific bug. User tags, applied
by the Emacs maintainers, are shown by M-x debbugs-gnu-usertags.
- The ‘bug-gnu-emacs’ mailing list (also available as the newsgroup
‘gnu.emacs.bug’). You can read the list archives at
http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-gnu-emacs. This list
works as a “mirror” of the Emacs bug reports and follow-up messages
which are sent to the bug tracker. It also contains old bug reports
from before the bug tracker was introduced (in early 2008).
If you like, you can subscribe to the list. Be aware that its purpose
is to provide the Emacs maintainers with information about bugs and
feature requests, so reports may contain fairly large amounts of data;
spectators should not complain about this.
- The ‘emacs-pretest-bug’ mailing list. This list is no longer
used, and is mainly of historical interest. At one time, it was used
for bug reports in development (i.e., not yet released) versions of
Emacs. You can read the archives for 2003 to mid 2007 at
it is an alias for ‘bug-gnu-emacs’.
- The ‘emacs-devel’ mailing list. Sometimes people report bugs to
this mailing list. This is not the main purpose of the list, however,
and it is much better to send bug reports to the bug list. You should
not feel obliged to read this list before reporting a bug.