How do I report bugs effectively in Launchpad? Here is the best way to document bugs on your Ubuntu Edition device. Bear in mind that bug reporting is one of Canonical’s main sources of obtaining direct user information.

The aim of this article is to give BQ users a better idea of Launchpad and allow anyone wishing to report bugs to contribute to the development of Ubuntu Touch.

The more useful the information you provide, and the better organised the report is, the easier the work will be for our colleagues at Canonical. They will decide if the bug should be assigned to another project or if there are other affected projects which should be added, whether it should be made a priority, and will extract useful information on the bug. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.

To begin the process, you must first answer three important questions (whether you’re a beginner or not): What is Launchpad? What do I need to bear in mind when reporting a bug? And How do I report a bug?

What is Launchpad?

It can be defined as an open code web tool designed by Canonical to report bugs, follow them up, share possible solutions and eventually publish a fix for that bug.

Despite the fact that Launchpad was designed by Canonical, many other companies use this platform to do the same work, due to its ease of use and the amount of options it offers.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd., beginning to design Launchpad with his team.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd., beginning to design Launchpad with his team.

What should I bear in mind when reporting a bug?

The first thing you need to do is establish a series of guidelines to make sure the report gets analysed:

  • Projects: this is the main project and the one you should work on. Large problems should be separated into smaller ones. For this reason, when it comes to bugs which could affect more than one project, for example bugs affecting the system, interface or Wi-Fi, MMS or Bluetooth connectivity, it’s better to report them at the root. That way, the people responsible for reviewing new bugs will add all of the affected projects and will be able to resolve them in smaller and simpler chunks.
  • If a bug affects a particular app/scope/indicator, you can report it in the corresponding project. To help you, there is an Ubuntu Avengers page with lists linking to the project for the report.
  • Private information: Launchpad projects are open to the public, so you should take care with the personal information you provide, such as passwords, names, etc. The title and description of the bug can be modified. However, for now comments cannot be deleted or modified.

 How do I report a bug?

Let’s look at step-by-step example of how to report a bug.

1. Access the main Launchpad project for Ubuntu Touch

Do so using this link: https://launchpad.net/canonical-devices-system-image

Ideally, there should be one bug per report, and no duplicates. That’s why you should check if the bug has already been reported to avoid creating unnecessary work and hassle. If you find that the explanation given doesn’t describe your user experience, you can add useful information to the existing bug. Click on the “Bugs” tab to go to the following page:

Bugs search

Bugs search

The easiest way to look for a bug is to type any of the key words related to it in the search bar at the top of the screen, or use existing tags if one of them corresponds to the bug. You can also access and search for bugs for which future OTA updates have been created.

2. Create your own report in Launchpad

If your bug doesn’t appear in the list, start by going to the “Overview” tab and clicking the “Report a bug” option:

Click “Report a bug” to begin.

Click “Report a bug” to begin.

3. Define the bug you want to report

Fill in the “Summary” field on the screen which appears in the previous step to give the bug a title. It’s important to define the bug clearly, but don’t go overboard with your explanation or exceed the number of words. Any more in-depth explanation should go in the “Further information” field below:

In this screen give the bug a title.

In this screen, give the bug a title.

4. Choose from the suggestions or create a new report

When you click “Next” you will see suggested matches so you can check if your bug has already been reported with a different description. If this is the case, select the suggested bug instead of creating a new one and duplicating the information. If not, click on “No, I need to report a new bug” at the bottom of the list:

It’s important to look at the list of suggested matches to avoid duplicating information.

It’s important to look at the list of suggested matches to avoid duplicating information.

5. Complete the information on the bug you are reporting

After choosing the option to create a new report, you will see the full list of options available to fill in information on the bug. The idea is to provide all of the useful information for the developers,  as clearly and concisely as possible.

To do this, use a template like the one below:

  • Product: State the name of your device (e.g. BQ Aquaris E4.5 or E5 HD Ubuntu Edition).
  • FW version: OTA with which the bug occurs.
  • Preconditions: Specific conditions under which the bug occurs, which Canonical would have to reproduce (e.g. certain settings on the device, r/w permissions, having a certain application installed, etc.).
  • Steps to reproduce: Steps to reproduce to make the bug occur.
  • Actual result: The behaviour of the bug when the above steps are carried out.
  • Expected result: How the device should perform  if the bug did not occur.
  • Additional information: Indicate whether the bug occurred in a specific context, the version of the app that crashed, the settings of any external devices, videos, screenshots, attached logs, and so on.
Fill in the necessary data for the report.

Fill in the necessary data for the report.

You can also add tags to identify the bug with the OTA version (OTA-X), if the feedback is about a BQ device (bq), if it is affected by the Wi-Fi, etc.

Finally, you can attach files such as screenshots, videos showing the steps to reproduce or logs obtained which allow the bug to be understood and to help design a solution.

This is what your bug will look like once published in Launchpad:

This is what your completed report will look like.

This is what your completed report will look like.

We hope this guide will help you make your reports more efficient and easy to process for our colleagues at Canonical and thus contribute to the growth of Ubuntu Touch.