Your bug reports play an essential role in making Octave reliable. You can make fixing problems easier by following the guidelines below.

Where and How to Send Bug Reports

To report a bug in Octave, submit a bug report using the bug tracker.

Please do not send bug reports to the help-octave mailing list. Most users of Octave do not want to receive bug reports.

When you encounter a problem, the first thing to do is to see if it is already known. The best place to look for reported problems is the Octave bug tracker.

The Octave reference manual also contains a list of known causes of trouble.

If you your problem does not appear to be known, then you should report the problem.

Reporting a bug may help you by bringing a solution to your problem, or it may not. In any case, the principal function of a bug report is to help the entire community by making the next version of Octave work better, so you can contribute to the maintenance of Octave.

Have You Found a Bug?

If you are not sure whether you have found a bug, here are some guidelines:

Making Your Bug Report Count

In order for a bug report to serve its purpose, you must include the information that makes it possible to fix the bug.

The fundamental principle of reporting bugs usefully is this: report all the facts. If you are not sure whether to state a fact or leave it out, state it.

Often people omit facts because they think they know what causes the problem and they conclude that some details don't matter. Thus, you might assume that the name of the variable you use in an example does not matter. Well, probably it doesn't, but one cannot be sure. Perhaps the bug is a stray memory reference which happens to fetch from the location where that name is stored in memory; perhaps, if the name were different, the contents of that location would fool the interpreter into doing the right thing despite the bug. Play it safe and give a specific, complete example.

Keep in mind that the purpose of a bug report is to enable someone to fix the bug if it is not known. Always write your bug reports on the assumption that the bug is not known.

Sometimes people give a few sketchy facts and ask, "Does this ring a bell?" This cannot help us fix a bug. It is better to send a complete bug report to begin with.

Try to make your bug report self-contained. If we have to ask you for more information, it is best if you include all the previous information in your response, as well as the information that was missing.

The bug tracker will prompt you for some basic information like the version of Octave and the operating system you are using. You also need to include the following to enable someone to investigate the bug:

Sending Patches for Octave

If you have a suggested fix for a bug, please attach it to your report in the tracker. Your patch is more likely to be reviewed if you follow the guidelines in the Octave manual about to generate a changeset and submit patches for Octave.