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10. Reporting Bugs

Your bug reports play an essential role in making GCC reliable.

When you encounter a problem, the first thing to do is to see if it is already known. See section 9. Known Causes of Trouble with GCC. If it isn't known, then you should report the problem.

Reporting a bug may help you by bringing a solution to your problem, or it may not. (If it does not, look in the service directory; see 11. How To Get Help with GCC.) In any case, the principal function of a bug report is to help the entire community by making the next version of GCC work better. Bug reports are your contribution to the maintenance of GCC.

Since the maintainers are very overloaded, we cannot respond to every bug report. However, if the bug has not been fixed, we are likely to send you a patch and ask you to tell us whether it works.

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

10.1 Have You Found a Bug?  Have you really found a bug?
10.2 Where to Report Bugs  Where to send your bug report.
10.3 How to Report Bugs  How to report a bug effectively.
10.4 The gccbug script  You can use a bug reporting tool.
9. Known Causes of Trouble with GCC  Known problems.
11. How To Get Help with GCC  Where to ask for help.


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10.1 Have You Found a Bug?

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


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10.2 Where to Report Bugs

Send bug reports for the GNU Compiler Collection to gcc-bugs@gcc.gnu.org. In accordance with the GNU-wide convention, in which bug reports for tool "foo" are sent to `bug-foo@gnu.org', the address bug-gcc@gnu.org may also be used; it will forward to the address given above.

Please read http://gcc.gnu.org/bugs.html for additional and/or more up-to-date bug reporting instructions before you post a bug report.


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10.3 How to Report Bugs

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 compiler into doing the right thing despite the bug. Play it safe and give a specific, complete example. That is the easiest thing for you to do, and the most helpful.

Keep in mind that the purpose of a bug report is to enable someone to fix the bug if it is not known. It isn't very important what happens if the bug is already known. Therefore, 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, so it is basically useless. We respond by asking for enough details to enable us to investigate. You might as well expedite matters by sending them 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.

Please report each bug in a separate message. This makes it easier for us to track which bugs have been fixed and to forward your bugs reports to the appropriate maintainer.

To enable someone to investigate the bug, you should include all these things:

Here are some things that are not necessary:


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10.4 The gccbug script

To simplify creation of bug reports, and to allow better tracking of reports, we use the GNATS bug tracking system. Part of that system is the gccbug script. This is a Unix shell script, so you need a shell to run it. It is normally installed in the same directory where gcc is installed.

The gccbug script is derived from send-pr, see section `Creating new Problem Reports' in Reporting Problems. When invoked, it starts a text editor so you can fill out the various fields of the report. When the you quit the editor, the report is automatically send to the bug reporting address.

A number of fields in this bug report form are specific to GCC, and are explained at http://gcc.gnu.org/gnats.html.


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This document was generated by GCC Administrator on February, 22 2002 using texi2html