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24. Reporting Bugs in GDB

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

Reporting a bug may help you by bringing a solution to your problem, or it may not. But in any case the principal function of a bug report is to help the entire community by making the next version of GDB work better. Bug reports are your contribution to the maintenance of GDB.

In order for a bug report to serve its purpose, you must include the information that enables us to fix the bug.

24.1 Have you found a bug?  
24.2 How to report bugs  

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24.1 Have you found a bug?

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

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24.2 How to report bugs

A number of companies and individuals offer support for GNU products. If you obtained GDB from a support organization, we recommend you contact that organization first.

You can find contact information for many support companies and individuals in the file `etc/SERVICE' in the GNU Emacs distribution.

In any event, we also recommend that you send bug reports for GDB to this addresses:


Do not send bug reports to `info-gdb', or to `help-gdb', or to any newsgroups. Most users of GDB do not want to receive bug reports. Those that do have arranged to receive `bug-gdb'.

The mailing list `bug-gdb' has a newsgroup `gnu.gdb.bug' which serves as a repeater. The mailing list and the newsgroup carry exactly the same messages. Often people think of posting bug reports to the newsgroup instead of mailing them. This appears to work, but it has one problem which can be crucial: a newsgroup posting often lacks a mail path back to the sender. Thus, if we need to ask for more information, we may be unable to reach you. For this reason, it is better to send bug reports to the mailing list.

As a last resort, send bug reports on paper to:

GNU Debugger Bugs
Free Software Foundation Inc.
59 Temple Place - Suite 330
Boston, MA 02111-1307

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 assume that some details do not matter. Thus, you might assume that the name of the variable you use in an example does not matter. Well, probably it does not, 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 debugger 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 us to fix the bug. It may be that the bug has been reported previously, but neither you nor we can know that unless your bug report is complete and self-contained.

Sometimes people give a few sketchy facts and ask, "Does this ring a bell?" Those bug reports are useless, and we urge everyone to refuse to respond to them except to chide the sender to report bugs properly.

To enable us to fix the bug, you should include all these things:

Here are some things that are not necessary:

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