OpenStack – Submitting Bug reports and Getting Help from the Community
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Submitting Bug reports
OpenStack is a hugely successful open source, public and private cloud framework. It has gained this momentum by the individuals and organizations downloading and contributing to it. By using the software in a vast array of environments and scenarios, and running the software on a myriad of hardware, you will invariably encounter bugs. In an open source project, the best thing we can now do is tell the developers about it so that they can develop or suggest a solution for us.
How to accomplish it…
As with any software, you may encounter defects from time to time in the OpenStack. We track defects on a publicly available bug tracking and release management tool called Launchpad. Launchpad is also used by many other open source projects, including the OpenStack community and Ubuntu.
LaunchPad is an open source suite of tools that helps people and teams to work together on software projects and is accessible at http://launchpad.net/, so the first step is to create an account.
Creating an account on LaunchPad
Steps for creating and account on LaunchPad are as follows:
- Creating an account on LaunchPad is easy. First, head over to https://login.launchpad.net/+new_account (or navigate from the home page to the Login/Register link).
- Fill in your name, e-mail address, and password details, as shown in the following screenshot:
- We will then be sent an e-mail with a link to complete the registration. Click on this, to be taken to a confirmation page.
- We will then be taken to an account page, but no further details need to be entered here.
Submitting bug reports through LaunchPad
Now that we have an account on LaunchPad, we can submit bug reports. The following links take us directly to the bug report sections of those projects:
On submitting a short summary, a search is made to see if a similar bug exists. If it does, click on the bug and then ensure you click on the This bug affects X people. Does this bug affect you? link. If multiple people report that they are affected by a bug, its status changes from reported by a single person to confirmed, thus helping the Bug Triage team with their work. Please ensure you add any relevant additional information on the bug, in support of the issues you are facing.
If the bug doesn’t exist, we will be presented with a form that has a one-liner Summary field and a free-form text box in which to put in the required information.
On submitting bugs, try to follow these rules:
Include the OS platform, architecture, and software package versions. Give step-by-step details on how to recreate the bug
Enter what you expected to happen. Enter what actually happened instead of Be precise—developers like precision
Useful commands to help complete a bug report
The following is a list of useful commands that will help you in the completion of the bug report:
OS System Version: lsb_release -r
Architecture: uname -i
dpkg -l | grep name_of_package
dpkg -s name_of_package | grep Version
Sometimes, there will be a need to submit logging information to support your bug report. This information can be quite lengthy, so rather than including the text from such logs, within the bug report, it is encouraged to use a text paste service, which will provide you with a unique URL that you can use to reference the information within your bug report. For this purpose, you can use the service at http://paste.openstack.org/.
Ensure that you sanitize any data that you paste in public. This includes removing any sensitive data such as IPs, usernames, and passwords.
Once a bug is submitted, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address used to register with LaunchPad, and any subsequent updates in relation to the bug will be sent to this e-mail address, allowing us to track its progress all the way through to a fix being released.
How it works…
OpenStack is developed by a relatively small number of people, compared to the number of people the community that end up downloading and using the software. This means the software gets used in scenarios that developers can’t feasibly test or just didn’t see as possible at the time. The net result is that bugs often come out during this time. Being able to report these bugs is vital, and this is why open source software development is so hugely successful in creating proven and reliable software.
OpenStack’s development lives on LaunchPad, so all bug tracking and reporting is done using this service. This provides a central tool for the global community and allows end users to communicate with the relevant projects to submit bugs.
Submitting bugs is a vital element to an open source project. It allows you to shape the future of the project as well as to be part of the ecosystem that is built around it.
It is important to give as much information as possible to the developers when submitting bugs. Be precise and ensure that the steps to recreate the bug are easy to follow and provide an explanation of the environment, you are working in, to allow the bug to be recreated. If it can’t be recreated, it can’t be fixed.
Getting help from the community
OpenStack would not be where it is today without the ever-growing community of businesses, sponsors, and individuals. As with many large OSS projects, support is fantastic, meaning round-the-clock attention to requests for help, which can sometimes exceed the best efforts of paid-for support.
How to do it…
There are a number of ways to reach out for support from the excellent OpenStack community. They are explained in the following sections.
IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is often used as a real-time communication capability with open source projects. You don’t have to have a complex setup to use IRC. You can use the web client for Freenode, which doesn’t require any download or setup.
Internet Relay Chat has been the mainstay of the Internet since the beginning, and collaboration from developers and users can be found on the Freenode IRC network.
OpenStack has a channel (or a room) on the Freenode IRC network called #openstack.
There are two ways of accessing IRC, either through the web interface or by using an IRC client:
IRC access using a web browser
- Accessing the #openstack channel, using a web browser, can be achieved at http://webchat.freenode.net/.
- Enter #openstack as the channel.
- Choose a username for yourself.
- Complete the CAPTCHA and you will be placed into the #openstack
IRC access using an IRC client
- Download a suitable IRC client for your operating system (for example, Xchat).
- When loading up your client, choose a username (and enter a password if you have registered your username) and connect to the Freenode network (freenode.net).
- When connected, type the following command to join #openstack:
- We will now be in the #openstack channel.
The OpenStack General mailing list is the most active list of the project.
Subscribing to the mailing list allows you to submit and respond to queries where an instant response might not be required and is useful if you need your question to reach more members than the relatively smaller number that is on IRC.
To subscribe to the mailing list, head over to https://launchpad.net/openstack, where you will see an option to subscribe to the mailing list.
You will need to create a LaunchPad ID and be a member of the OpenStack project (see the Submitting Bug reports recipe on submitting bugs on how to do this).
When asking for help, it usually involves copying logs from your environment and sharing them with the community. To help facilitate this, a web service has been created that allows you to paste the log entries that can be referred to in an IRC chat or in an e-mail without having to paste them directly. This can be found at http://paste.openstack.org/. When you create a new paste, you are given a unique URL that you can then refer to for the information instead.
Ensure you sanitize any data that you paste in public. This includes removing any sensitive data such as IPs, usernames, and passwords.
How it works…
The OpenStack community is what makes OpenStack what it is. It is made up of developers, users, testers, companies, and individuals with a vested interest in ensuring OpenStack’s success. There are a number of useful places to ask for help when it comes to community support. This includes IRC and the mailing list.
You are encouraged to post and respond to requests in IRC and on the mailing list, as there are likely to be many people wanting the same questions answered. There will also be the development and project teams wanting to understand what is causing issues so that they can help address them.