Appendix A. The Bugzilla FAQ

This FAQ includes questions not covered elsewhere in the Guide.

1. General Questions
A.1.1. What license is Bugzilla distributed under?
A.1.2. How do I get commercial support for Bugzilla?
A.1.3. What major companies or projects are currently using Bugzilla for bug-tracking?
A.1.4. Who maintains Bugzilla?
A.1.5. How does Bugzilla stack up against other bug-tracking databases?
A.1.6. Why doesn't Bugzilla offer this or that feature or compatibility with this other tracking software?
A.1.7. Why MySQL? I'm interested in seeing Bugzilla run on PostgreSQL/Sybase/Oracle/Msql/MSSQL.
A.1.8. What is /usr/bonsaitools/bin/perl?
A.1.9. 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?
A.1.10. Is there an easy way to change the Bugzilla cookie name?
A.1.11. Does bugzilla run under mod_perl?
2. Managerial Questions
A.2.1. Is it possible to delete bug reports?
A.2.2. Is Bugzilla web-based, or do you have to have specific software or a specific operating system on your machine?
A.2.3. Does Bugzilla allow us to define our own priorities and levels? Do we have complete freedom to change the labels of fields and format of them, and the choice of acceptable values?
A.2.4. Does Bugzilla provide any reporting features, metrics, graphs, etc? You know, the type of stuff that management likes to see. :)
A.2.5. Is there email notification? If so, what do you see when you get an email?
A.2.6. Do users have to have any particular type of email application?
A.2.7. Does Bugzilla allow data to be imported and exported? If I had outsiders write up a bug report using a MS Word bug template, could that template be imported into "matching" fields? If I wanted to take the results of a query and export that data to MS Excel, could I do that?
A.2.8. Has anyone converted Bugzilla to another language to be used in other countries? Is it localizable?
A.2.9. Can a user create and save reports? Can they do this in Word format? Excel format?
A.2.10. Are there any backup features provided?
A.2.11. What type of human resources are needed to be on staff to install and maintain Bugzilla? Specifically, what type of skills does the person need to have? I need to find out what types of individuals would we need to hire and how much would that cost if we were to go with Bugzilla vs. buying an "out-of-the-box" solution.
A.2.12. What time frame are we looking at if we decide to hire people to install and maintain the Bugzilla? Is this something that takes hours or days to install and a couple of hours per week to maintain and customize, or is this a multi-week install process, plus a full time job for 1 person, 2 people, etc?
A.2.13. Is there any licensing fee or other fees for using Bugzilla? Any out-of-pocket cost other than the bodies needed as identified above?
A.2.14. We don't like referring to problems as 'bugs'. Can we change that?
3. Administrative Questions
A.3.1. 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?
A.3.2. Can users be on the system while a backup is in progress?
A.3.3. How can I update the code and the database using CVS?
A.3.4. How do I make it so that bugs can have an UNCONFIRMED status?
A.3.5. How do I move a Bugzilla installation from one machine to another?
4. Bugzilla Security
A.4.1. How do I completely disable MySQL security if it's giving me problems? (I've followed the instructions in the installation section of this guide...)
A.4.2. Are there any security problems with Bugzilla?
5. Bugzilla Email
A.5.1. I have a user who doesn't want to receive any more email from Bugzilla. How do I stop it entirely for this user?
A.5.2. I'm evaluating/testing Bugzilla, and don't want it to send email to anyone but me. How do I do it?
A.5.3. I want whineatnews.pl to whine at something other than new and reopened bugs. How do I do it?
A.5.4. How do I set up the email interface to submit/change bugs via email?
A.5.5. Email takes FOREVER to reach me from Bugzilla -- it's extremely slow. What gives?
A.5.6. How come email from Bugzilla changes never reaches me?
6. Bugzilla Database
A.6.1. I think my database might be corrupted, or contain invalid entries. What do I do?
A.6.2. I want to manually edit some entries in my database. How?
A.6.3. I think I've set up MySQL permissions correctly, but Bugzilla still can't connect.
A.6.4. How do I synchronize bug information among multiple different Bugzilla databases?
7. Bugzilla and Win32
A.7.1. What is the easiest way to run Bugzilla on Win32 (Win98+/NT/2K)?
A.7.2. Is there a "Bundle::Bugzilla" equivalent for Win32?
A.7.3. CGI's are failing with a "something.cgi is not a valid Windows NT application" error. Why?
A.7.4. I'm having trouble with the perl modules for NT not being able to talk to the database.
8. Bugzilla Usage
A.8.1. How do I change my user name (email address) in Bugzilla?
A.8.2. The query page is very confusing. Isn't there a simpler way to query?
A.8.3. I'm confused by the behavior of the "Accept" button in the Show Bug form. Why doesn't it assign the bug to me when I accept it?
A.8.4. I can't upload anything into the database via the "Create Attachment" link. What am I doing wrong?
A.8.5. How do I change a keyword in Bugzilla, once some bugs are using it?
A.8.6. Why can't I close bugs from the "Change Several Bugs at Once" page?
9. Bugzilla Hacking
A.9.1. What kind of style should I use for templatization?
A.9.2. What bugs are in Bugzilla right now?
A.9.3. How can I change the default priority to a null value? For instance, have the default priority be "---" instead of "P2"?
A.9.4. What's the best way to submit patches? What guidelines should I follow?

1. General Questions

A.1.1. What license is Bugzilla distributed under?

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

A.1.2. 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.

There are several experienced Bugzilla hackers on the mailing list/newsgroup who are willing to make themselves available for generous compensation. Try sending a message to the mailing list asking for a volunteer.

A.1.3. 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 .

A.1.4. Who maintains Bugzilla?

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

A.1.5. How does Bugzilla stack up against other bug-tracking databases?

We can't find any head-to-head comparisons of Bugzilla against other defect-tracking software. If you know of one, please get in touch. In the experience of Matthew Barnson (the original author of this FAQ), though, 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 when compared to commercial bug-tracking software.

If you happen to be a vendor for commercial bug-tracking software, and would like to submit a list of advantages your product has over Bugzilla, simply send it to and we'd be happy to include the comparison in our documentation.

A.1.6. Why doesn't Bugzilla offer this or that feature or compatibility with this other tracking software?

It may be that the support has not been built yet, or that you have not yet found it. While Bugzilla makes strides in usability, customizability, scalability, and user interface with each release, that doesn't mean it can't still use improvement!

The best way to make an enhancement request is to file a bug at bugzilla.mozilla.org and set the Severity to 'enhancement'. Your 'request for enhancement' (RFE) will start out in the UNCONFIRMED state, and will stay there until someone with the ability to CONFIRM the bug reviews it. If that person feels it to be a good request that fits in with Bugzilla's overall direction, the status will be changed to NEW; if not, they will probably explain why and set the bug to RESOLVED/WONTFIX. If someone else has made the same (or almost the same) request before, your request will be marked RESOLVED/DUPLICATE, and a pointer to the previous RFE will be added.

Even if your RFE gets approved, that doesn't mean it's going to make it right into the next release; there are a limited number of developers, and a whole lot of RFEs... some of which are quite complex. If you're a code-hacking sort of person, you can help the project along by making a patch yourself that supports the functionality you require. If you have never contributed anything to Bugzilla before, please be sure to read the Developers' Guide and Contributors' Guide before going ahead.

A.1.7. Why MySQL? I'm interested in seeing Bugzilla run on PostgreSQL/Sybase/Oracle/Msql/MSSQL.

MySQL was originally chosen because it is free, easy to install, and was available for the hardware Netscape intended to run it on.

There is currently work in progress to make Bugzilla work on PostgreSQL; track the progress of this initiative in bug 98304.

Sybase support is no longer being worked on. Even if it eventually happens, it's VERY unlikely to work without the end-user-company having to stick a few developers on making several manual changes. Sybase is just NOT very standards-compliant (despite all the hype), and it turned out that way too much had to be changed to make it work -- like moving half of the application logic into stored procedures to get any kind of decent performance out of it. Bug 173130 is the relevant bug.

Red Hat once ran a version of Bugzilla that worked on Oracle, but that was long, long ago; that version (Bugzilla 2.8) is now obsolete, insecure, and totally unsupported. Red Hat's current Bugzilla (based on Bugzilla 2.17.1) uses PostgreSQL, and work is being done to merge those changes into the main distribution. (See above.) At this time we know of no recent ports of Bugzilla to Oracle. (In our honest opinion, Bugzilla doesn't need what Oracle offers.)

Bug 237862 is a good bug to read through if you'd like to see what progress is being made on general database compatibility.

A.1.8. What is /usr/bonsaitools/bin/perl?

Bugzilla used to have the path to perl on the shebang line set to /usr/bonsaitools/bin/perl because when Terry first started writing the code for mozilla.org he needed a version of Perl and other tools that were completely under his control. This location was abandoned for the 2.18 release in favor of the more sensible /usr/bin/perl. If you installed an older version of Bugzilla and created the symlink we suggested, you can remove it now (provided that you don't have anything else, such as Bonsai, using it and you don't intend to reinstall an older version of Bugzilla).

A.1.9. 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
          

Sadly, this command-line won't work on Windows unless you also have Cygwin. However, MySQL comes with a binary called replace which can do the job:


C:\mysql\bin\replace "#!/usr/bin/perl" "#!C:\perl\bin\perl" -- *.cgi *.pl
          

Note

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

Once you've modified all your files, you'll also need to modify the t/002goodperl.t test, as it tests that all shebang lines are equal to /usr/bin/perl. (For more information on the test suite, please check out the appropriate section in the Developers' Guide.) Having done this, run the test itself:

perl runtests.pl 2 --verbose
            
to ensure that you've modified all the relevant files.

If using Apache on Windows, you can avoid the whole problem by setting the ScriptInterpreterSource directive to 'Registry'. (If using Apache 2 or higher, set it to 'Registry-Strict'.) ScriptInterperterSource requires a registry entry "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.cgi\Shell\ExecCGI\Command" to associate .cgi files with your perl executable. If one does not already exist, create it with a default value of "<full path to perl> -T", e.g. "C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe -T".

A.1.10. Is there an easy way to change the Bugzilla cookie name?

At present, no.

A.1.11. Does bugzilla run under mod_perl?

At present, no. Work is slowly taking place to remove global variables, use $cgi, and use DBI. These are all necessary for mod_perl (as well as being good for other reasons). Visit bug 87406 to view the discussion and progress.

2. Managerial Questions

A.2.1. 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 do that.

A.2.2. Is Bugzilla web-based, or do you have to have specific software or a specific operating system on your machine?

It is web and e-mail based.

A.2.3. Does Bugzilla allow us to define our own priorities and levels? Do we have complete freedom to change the labels of fields and format of them, and the choice of acceptable values?

Yes. However, modifying some fields, notably those related to bug progression states, also require adjusting the program logic to compensate for the change.

There is no GUI for adding fields to Bugzilla at this time. You can follow development of this feature in bug 91037

A.2.4. Does Bugzilla provide any reporting features, metrics, graphs, etc? You know, the type of stuff that management likes to see. :)

Yes. Look at http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/report.cgi for samples of what Bugzilla can do in reporting and graphing. Fuller documentation is provided in Section 5.12.

If you can not get the reports you want from the included reporting scripts, it is possible to hook up a professional reporting package such as Crystal Reports using ODBC. If you choose to do this, beware that giving direct access to the database does contain some security implications. Even if you give read-only access to the bugs database it will bypass the secure bugs features of Bugzilla.

A.2.5. 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.

A.2.6. Do users have to have any particular type of email application?

Bugzilla email is sent in plain text, the most compatible mail format on the planet.

Note

If you decide to use the bugzilla_email integration features to allow Bugzilla to record responses to mail with the associated bug, you may need to caution your users to set their mailer to "respond to messages in the format in which they were sent". For security reasons Bugzilla ignores HTML tags in comments, and if a user sends HTML-based email into Bugzilla the resulting comment looks downright awful.

A.2.7. Does Bugzilla allow data to be imported and exported? If I had outsiders write up a bug report using a MS Word bug template, could that template be imported into "matching" fields? If I wanted to take the results of a query and export that data to MS Excel, could I do that?

Bugzilla can output buglists as HTML (the default), CSV or RDF. The link for CSV can be found at the bottom of the buglist in HTML format. This CSV format can easily be imported into MS Excel or other spreadsheet applications.

To use the RDF format of the buglist it is necessary to append a &ctype=rdf to the URL. RDF is meant to be machine readable and thus it is assumed that the URL would be generated programmatically so there is no user visible link to this format.

Currently the only script included with Bugzilla that can import data is importxml.pl which is intended to be used for importing the data generated by the XML ctype of show_bug.cgi in association with bug moving. Any other use is left as an exercise for the user.

There are also scripts included in the contrib/ directory for using e-mail to import information into Bugzilla, but these scripts are not currently supported and included for educational purposes.

A.2.8. Has anyone converted Bugzilla to another language to be used in other countries? Is it localizable?

Yes. For more information including available translated templates, see http://www.bugzilla.org/download.html#localizations. Some admin interfaces have been templatized (for easy localization) but many of them are still available in English only. Also, there may be issues with the charset not being declared. See bug 126226 for more information.

A.2.9. Can a user create and save reports? Can they do this in Word format? Excel format?

Yes. No. Yes (using the CSV format).

A.2.10. Are there any backup features provided?

MySQL, the database back-end for Bugzilla, allows hot-backup of data. You can find strategies for dealing with backup considerations at http://www.mysql.com/doc/B/a/Backup.html.

A.2.11. What type of human resources are needed to be on staff to install and maintain Bugzilla? Specifically, what type of skills does the person need to have? I need to find out what types of individuals would we need to hire and how much would that cost if we were to go with Bugzilla vs. buying an "out-of-the-box" solution.

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

Commercial Bug-tracking software typically costs somewhere upwards of $20,000 or more for 5-10 floating licenses. Bugzilla consultation is available from skilled members of the newsgroup. Simple questions are answered there and then.

A.2.12. What time frame are we looking at if we decide to hire people to install and maintain the Bugzilla? Is this something that takes hours or days to install and a couple of hours per week to maintain and customize, or is this a multi-week install process, plus a full time job for 1 person, 2 people, etc?

It all depends on your level of commitment. Someone with much Bugzilla experience can get you up and running in less than a day, and your Bugzilla install can run untended for years. If your Bugzilla strategy is critical to your business workflow, hire somebody to who has reasonable Perl skills, and a familiarity with the operating system on which Bugzilla will be running, and have them handle your process management, bug-tracking maintenance, and local customization.

A.2.13. Is there any licensing fee or other fees for using Bugzilla? Any out-of-pocket cost other than the bodies needed as identified above?

No. Bugzilla, Perl, the Template Toolkit, and all other support software needed to make Bugzilla work can be downloaded for free. MySQL -- the database used by Bugzilla -- is also open-source, but they ask that if you find their product valuable, you purchase a support contract from them that suits your needs.

A.2.14. We don't like referring to problems as 'bugs'. Can we change that?

Yes! As of Bugzilla 2.18, it is a simple matter to change the word 'bug' into whatever word/phrase is used by your organization. See the documentation on Customization for more details, specifically Section 6.1.5.

3. Administrative Questions

A.3.1. 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.

A.3.2. Can users be on the system while a backup is in progress?

Yes, but commits to the database must wait until the tables are unlocked. Bugzilla databases are typically very small, and backups routinely take less than a minute. If your database is larger, you may want to look into alternate backup techniques, such as database replication, or backing up from a read-only mirror. (Read up on these in the MySQL docs on the MySQL site.)

A.3.3. How can I update the code and the database using CVS?

  1. Make a backup of both your Bugzilla directory and the database. For the Bugzilla directory this is as easy as doing cp -rp bugzilla bugzilla.bak. For the database, there's a number of options - see the MySQL docs and pick the one that fits you best (the easiest is to just make a physical copy of the database on the disk, but you have to have the database server shut down to do that without risking dataloss).

  2. Make the Bugzilla directory your current directory.

  3. Use cvs -q update -AdP if you want to update to the tip or cvs -q update -dP -rTAGNAME if you want a specific version (in that case you'll have to replace TAGNAME with a CVS tag name such as BUGZILLA-2_16_5).

    If you've made no local changes, this should be very clean. If you have made local changes, then watch the cvs output for C results. If you get any lines that start with a C it means there were conflicts between your local changes and what's in CVS. You'll need to fix those manually before continuing.

  4. After resolving any conflicts that the cvs update operation generated, running ./checksetup.pl will take care of updating the database for you as well as any other changes required for the new version to operate.

    Warning

    Once you run checksetup.pl, the only way to go back is to restore the database backups. You can't "downgrade" the system cleanly under most circumstances.

See also the instructions in Section 3.15.2.1.

A.3.4. How do I make it so that bugs can have an UNCONFIRMED status?

To use the UNCONFIRMED status, you must have the 'usevotes' parameter set to "On". You must then visit the editproducts.cgi page and set the " Number of votes a bug in this product needs to automatically get out of the UNCONFIRMED state" to be 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'.

There is work being done to decouple the UNCONFIRMED state from the 'usevotes' parameter for future versions of Bugzilla. Follow the discussion and progress at bug 162060.

A.3.5. How do I move a Bugzilla installation from one machine to another?

Use mysqldump to make a backup of the bugs database. For a typical Bugzilla setup, such a command might look like this:

/usr/bin/mysqldump -u(username) -p(password) --database bugs > bugzilla-backup.txt
            
See the mysqldump documentation for more information on using the tool, including how to restore your copy onto the destination machine.

Warning

Depending on the size of your database, and the power of your machine, the mysqldump command could be running long enough that the password would be visible to someone using the ps command. If you are on a multi-user machine, and this is a concern to you, create an entry in the file ~/.my.cnf that looks like this:

[mysqldump]
user=bugs
password=mypassword
              
and then leave the 'user' and 'password' params out of the command line.

On your new machine, follow the instructions found in Chapter 2 as far as setting up the physical environment of the new machine with perl, webserver, modules, etc. Having done that, you can either: copy your entire Bugzilla directory from the old machine to a new one (if you want to keep your existing code and modifications), or download a newer version (if you are planning to upgrade at the same time). Even if you are upgrading to clean code, you will still want to bring over the localconfig file, and the data directory from the old machine, as they contain configuration information that you probably won't want to re-create.

Note

If the location or port number of your SQL server changed as part of the move, you'll need to update the appropriate variables in localconfig before taking the next step.

Once you have your code in place, and your database has been restored from the backup you made in step 1, run checksetup.pl. This will upgrade your database (if necessary), rebuild your templates, etc.

4. Bugzilla Security

A.4.1. How do I completely disable MySQL security if it's giving me problems? (I've followed the instructions in the installation section of this guide...)

Run MySQL like this: mysqld --skip-grant-tables. Please remember that this makes MySQL as secure as taping a $100 to the floor of a football stadium bathroom for safekeeping.

Warning

This can't be stressed enough. Doing this is a bad idea. Please consult Section 4.2 of this guide and the MySQL documentation for better solutions.

A.4.2. Are there any security problems with Bugzilla?

The Bugzilla code has undergone a reasonably complete security audit, and user-facing CGIs run under Perl's taint mode. However, it is recommended that you closely examine permissions on your Bugzilla installation, and follow the recommended security guidelines found in The Bugzilla Guide.

5. Bugzilla Email

A.5.1. I have a user who doesn't want to receive any more email from Bugzilla. How do I stop it entirely for this user?

The user can stop Bugzilla from sending any mail by unchecking all boxes on the 'Edit prefs' -> 'Email settings' page. (As of 2.18,this is made easier by the addition of a 'Disable All Mail' button.) Alternately, you can add their email address to the data/nomail file (one email address per line). This will override their personal preferences, and they will never be sent mail again.

A.5.2. I'm evaluating/testing Bugzilla, and don't want it to send email to anyone but me. How do I do it?

To disable email, set the mail_delivery_method parameter to none (2.20 and later), or
$enableSendMail
parameter to '0' in either BugMail.pm (2.18 and later) or processmail (up to 2.16.x).

Note

Up to 2.16.x, changing
$enableSendMail
will only affect bugmail; email related to password changes, email address changes, bug imports, flag changes, etc. will still be sent out. As of the final release of 2.18, however, the above step will disable all mail sent from Bugzilla for any purpose.

To have bugmail (and only bugmail) redirected to you instead of its intended recipients, leave
$enableSendMail
alone; instead, edit the "newchangedmail" parameter as follows:

  • Replace "To:" with "X-Real-To:"

  • Replace "Cc:" with "X-Real-CC:"

  • Add a "To: %lt;your_email_address>"

A.5.3. I want whineatnews.pl to whine at something other than new and reopened bugs. How do I do it?

For older versions of Bugzilla, you may be able to apply Klaas Freitag's patch for "whineatassigned", which can be found in bug 6679. Note that this patch was made in 2000, so it may take some work to apply cleanly to any releases of Bugzilla newer than that, but you can use it as a starting point.

An updated (and much-expanded) version of this functionality is due to be released as part of Bugzilla 2.20; see bug 185090 for the discussion, and for more up-to-date patches if you just can't wait.

A.5.4. How do I set up the email interface to submit/change bugs via email?

You can find an updated README.mailif file in the contrib/ directory of your Bugzilla distribution that walks you through the setup.

A.5.5. Email takes FOREVER to reach me from Bugzilla -- it's extremely slow. What gives?

If you are using sendmail, try enabling sendmailnow in editparams.cgi. For earlier versions of sendmail, one could achieve significant performance improvement in the UI (at the cost of delaying the sending of mail) by setting this parameter to off. Sites with sendmail version 8.12 (or higher) should leave this on, as they will not see any performance benefit.

If you are using an alternate MTA, make sure the options given in Bugzilla/BugMail.pm and any other place where sendmail is called are correct for your MTA.

A.5.6. How come email from Bugzilla changes never reaches me?

Double-check that you have not turned off email in your user preferences. Confirm that Bugzilla is able to send email by visiting the "Log In" link of your Bugzilla installation and clicking the "Submit Request" button after entering your email address.

If you never receive mail from Bugzilla, chances are you do not have sendmail in "/usr/lib/sendmail". Ensure sendmail lives in, or is symlinked to, "/usr/lib/sendmail".

If you are using an MTA other than sendmail the sendmailnow param must be set to on or no mail will be sent.

6. Bugzilla Database

A.6.1. I think my database might be corrupted, or contain invalid entries. What do I do?

Run the "sanity check" utility (sanitycheck.cgi) from your web browser to see! If it finishes without errors, you're probably OK. If it doesn't come back OK (i.e. any red letters), there are certain things Bugzilla can recover from and certain things it can't. If it can't auto-recover, I hope you're familiar with mysqladmin commands or have installed another way to manage your database. Sanity Check, although it is a good basic check on your database integrity, by no means is a substitute for competent database administration and avoiding deletion of data. It is not exhaustive, and was created to do a basic check for the most common problems in Bugzilla databases.

A.6.2. I want to manually edit some entries in my database. How?

There is no facility in Bugzilla itself to do this. It's also generally not a smart thing to do if you don't know exactly what you're doing. If you understand SQL, though, you can use the mysql command line utility to manually insert, delete and modify table information. There are also more intuitive GUI clients available. Personal favorites of the Bugzilla team are phpMyAdmin and MySQL Control Center.

Remember, backups are your friend. Everyone makes mistakes, and it's nice to have a safety net in case you mess something up. Consider using mysqldump to make a duplicate of your database before altering it manually.

A.6.3. I think I've set up MySQL permissions correctly, but Bugzilla still can't connect.

Try running MySQL from its binary: mysqld --skip-grant-tables. This will allow you to completely rule out grant tables as the cause of your frustration. If this Bugzilla is able to connect at this point then you need to check that you have granted proper permission to the user password combo defined in localconfig.

Warning

Running MySQL with this command line option is very insecure and should only be done when not connected to the external network as a troubleshooting step.

A.6.4. How do I synchronize bug information among multiple different Bugzilla databases?

Well, you can synchronize or you can move bugs. Synchronization will only work one way -- you can create a read-only copy of the database at one site, and have it regularly updated at intervals from the main database.

MySQL has some synchronization features built-in to the latest releases. It would be great if someone looked into the possibilities there and provided a report to the newsgroup on how to effectively synchronize two Bugzilla installations.

If you simply need to transfer bugs from one Bugzilla to another, checkout the "move.pl" script in the Bugzilla distribution.

7. Bugzilla and Win32

A.7.1. What is the easiest way to run Bugzilla on Win32 (Win98+/NT/2K)?

Remove Windows. Install Linux. Install Bugzilla. The boss will never know the difference. B^)

Seriously though, making Bugzilla work easily with Windows was one of the major goals of the 2.18 milestone. If the necessary components are in place (perl, a webserver, an MTA, etc.) then installation of Bugzilla on a Windows box should be no more difficult than on any other platform. As with any installation, we recommend that you carefully and completely follow the installation instructions in Section 2.4.1.

While doing so, don't forget to check out the very excellent guide to Installing Bugzilla on Microsoft Windows written by Byron Jones. Thanks, Byron!

A.7.2. Is there a "Bundle::Bugzilla" equivalent for Win32?

Not currently. Bundle::Bugzilla enormously simplifies Bugzilla installation on UNIX systems. If someone can volunteer to create a suitable PPM bundle for Win32, it would be appreciated.

A.7.3. CGI's are failing with a "something.cgi is not a valid Windows NT application" error. Why?

Depending on what Web server you are using, you will have to configure the Web server to treat *.cgi files as CGI scripts. In IIS, you do this by adding *.cgi to the App Mappings with the <path>\perl.exe %s %s as the executable.

Microsoft has some advice on this matter, as well:

"Set application mappings. In the ISM, map the extension for the script file(s) to the executable for the script interpreter. For example, you might map the extension .py to Python.exe, the executable for the Python script interpreter. Note For the ActiveState Perl script interpreter, the extension '.pl' is associated with PerlIS.dll by default. If you want to change the association of .pl to perl.exe, you need to change the application mapping. In the mapping, you must add two percent (%) characters to the end of the pathname for perl.exe, as shown in this example: c:\perl\bin\perl.exe %s %s"

A.7.4. I'm having trouble with the perl modules for NT not being able to talk to the database.

Your modules may be outdated or inaccurate. Try:

  1. Hitting http://www.activestate.com/ActivePerl

  2. Download ActivePerl

  3. Go to your prompt

  4. Type 'ppm'

  5. PPM> install DBI DBD-mysql GD

I reckon TimeDate and Data::Dumper come with the activeperl. You can check the ActiveState site for packages for installation through PPM. http://www.activestate.com/Packages/.

8. Bugzilla Usage

A.8.1. How do I change my user name (email address) in Bugzilla?

New in 2.16 - go to the Account section of the Preferences. You will be emailed at both addresses for confirmation.

A.8.2. The query page is very confusing. Isn't there a simpler way to query?

The interface was simplified by a UI designer for 2.16. Further suggestions for improvement are welcome, but we won't sacrifice power for simplicity.

As of 2.18, there is also a 'simpler' search available. At the top of the search page are two links; "Advanced Search" will take you to the familiar full-power/full-complexity search page. The "Find a Specific Bug" link will take you to a much-simplified page where you can pick a product and status (open,closed, or both), then enter words that appear in the bug you want to find. This search will scour the 'Summary' and 'Comment' fields, and return a list of bugs sorted so that the bugs with the most hits/matches are nearer to the top.

Note

Matches in the Summary will 'trump' matches in comments, and bugs with summary-matches will be placed higher in the buglist -- even if a lower-ranked bug has more matches in the comments section.

Bugzilla uses a cookie to remember which version of the page you visited last, and brings that page up when you next do a search. The default page for new users (or after an upgrade) is the 'simple' search.

A.8.3. I'm confused by the behavior of the "Accept" button in the Show Bug form. Why doesn't it assign the bug to me when I accept it?

The current behavior is acceptable to bugzilla.mozilla.org and most users. If you want to change this behavior, though, you have your choice of patches:

Bug 35195 seeks to add an "...and accept the bug" checkbox to the UI. It has two patches attached to it: attachment 8029 was originally created for Bugzilla 2.12, while attachment 91372 is an updated version for Bugzilla 2.16
Bug 37613 also provides two patches (against Bugzilla 2.12): one to add a 'Take Bug' option, and the other to automatically reassign the bug on 'Accept'.

These patches are all somewhat dated now, and cannot be applied directly, but they are simple enough to provide a guide on how Bugzilla can be customized and updated to suit your needs.

A.8.4. I can't upload anything into the database via the "Create Attachment" link. What am I doing wrong?

The most likely cause is a very old browser or a browser that is incompatible with file upload via POST. Download the latest version of your favourite browser to handle uploads correctly.

A.8.5. How do I change a keyword in Bugzilla, once some bugs are using it?

In the Bugzilla administrator UI, edit the keyword and it will let you replace the old keyword name with a new one. This will cause a problem with the keyword cache; run sanitycheck.cgi to fix it.

A.8.6. Why can't I close bugs from the "Change Several Bugs at Once" page?

Simple answer; you can.

The logic behind the page checks every bug in the list to determine legal state changes, and then only shows you controls to do things that could apply to every bug on the list. The reason for this is that if you try to do something illegal to a bug, the whole process will grind to a halt, and all changes after the failed one will also fail. Since that isn't a good outcome, the page doesn't even present you with the option.

In practical terms, that means that in order to mark multiple bugs as CLOSED, then every bug on the page has to be either RESOLVED or VERIFIED already; if this is not the case, then the option to close the bugs will not appear on the page.

The rationale is that if you pick one of the bugs that's not VERIFIED and try to CLOSE it, the bug change will fail miserably (thus killing any changes in the list after it while doing the bulk change) so it doesn't even give you the choice.

9. Bugzilla Hacking

A.9.1. What kind of style should I use for templatization?

Gerv and Myk suggest a 2-space indent, with embedded code sections on their own line, in line with outer tags. Like this:


<fred>
[% IF foo %]
  <bar>
  [% FOREACH x = barney %]
    <tr>
      <td>
        [% x %]
      </td>
    <tr>
  [% END %]
[% END %]
</fred>

Myk also recommends you turn on PRE_CHOMP in the template initialization to prevent bloating of HTML with unnecessary whitespace.

Please note that many have differing opinions on this subject, and the existing templates in Bugzilla espouse both this and a 4-space style. Either is acceptable; the above is preferred.

A.9.2. What bugs are in Bugzilla right now?

Try this link to view current bugs or requests for enhancement for Bugzilla.

You can view bugs marked for 2.22 release here. This list includes bugs for the 2.22 release that have already been fixed and checked into CVS. Please consult the Bugzilla Project Page for details on how to check current sources out of CVS so you can have these bug fixes early!

A.9.3. How can I change the default priority to a null value? For instance, have the default priority be "---" instead of "P2"?

This is well-documented in bug 49862. Ultimately, it's as easy as adding the "---" priority field to your localconfig file in the appropriate area, re-running checksetup.pl, and then changing the default priority in your browser using editparams.cgi.

A.9.4. What's the best way to submit patches? What guidelines should I follow?

  1. Enter a bug into bugzilla.mozilla.org for the "Bugzilla" product.

  2. Upload your patch as a unified diff (having used "diff -u" against the current sources checked out of CVS), or new source file by clicking "Create a new attachment" link on the bug page you've just created, and include any descriptions of database changes you may make, into the bug ID you submitted in step #1. Be sure and click the "Patch" checkbox to indicate the text you are sending is a patch!

  3. Announce your patch and the associated URL (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=XXXXXX) for discussion in the newsgroup (mozilla.support.bugzilla). You'll get a really good, fairly immediate reaction to the implications of your patch, which will also give us an idea how well-received the change would be.

  4. If it passes muster with minimal modification, the person to whom the bug is assigned in Bugzilla is responsible for seeing the patch is checked into CVS.

  5. Bask in the glory of the fact that you helped write the most successful open-source bug-tracking software on the planet :)