Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Help Us Help You! A short guide on reporting (GIMP) bugs


After a recent increase in the amount of bugs which are reported on the GIMP bugzilla, I thought it might be a good idea to give some helpful tips about reporting bugs in GIMP (and in general in most open-source programs) - these will help us the developers to help you:
  • In case of broken functionality, please try to:
    • See if you can reproduce the problem. If you can't reproduce it maybe it's not a bug.
      Try different scenarios to reproduce the bug (i.e. try reproducing it with different images or with similar settings of the tools/plugins/etc.)
    • List the exact steps which are needed to reproduce the bug. If we don't have the steps, we won't be able to see the bug ourselves.
    • Tell us the exact version of GIMP (you can find it in the Help->About menu)
  • In cases when GIMP or one of it's plugins crashes, we'll need more technical details about your system (in addition to the details about broken functionality):
    • The name of the operating system you are using, and it's version (for example "Windows XP service pack 3"/"Ubuntu Linux 10.04")
    • For advanced users: try to provide a stack trace. To do this, launch GIMP from the command line, with the flag --stack-trace-mode=yes. Now when GIMP crashes, you'll see a question in the terminal asking you if you want to print a stack trace. Print it and attach it to your bug report.
    • For regular users: Launch GIMP from the command line (if you know how to), and if any error is shown when GIMP crashes, attach it to your bug report.
  • Enhancement requests are not bugs.
    If you have an enhancement request you can post it on any of the following places:
  • Enhancement requests can be filed as bugs, but only after they were approved as a feature that should be included in GIMP. To get feedback on your enhancement request, use the developer mailing list or the developer IRC.

Finally and most important of all: Check if the bug was already reported. Unless you are using a development release, it's very likely that the bug you encountered was already reported by someone else.
You can search for existing bug reports using the search form on the bugzilla page of GIMP. Try entering some key word related to your bug and see if it was already reported.

For more information about submitting bug reports to GIMP, see the GIMP bugs page.

For your convenience, here is a list of commonly reported bugs of the last month:
  • Bug 623563 - Text tool crashes Gimp
  • Bug 622608 - GIMP crashes when clicking any scroll bar from combo boxes
  • Bug 606247 - Crash using rectangular select tool with fixed aspect ratio on Windows XP
  • Bug 624089 - Copy-paste doesn't work (GIMP 2.6.10 - Resolved and fixed)

Thanks for reporting bugs and thanks for taking the time to read this post - it will help us help you! =)

Edit 13:27 IDT (GMT+2) 27.07.2010:
To make it clearer (as it was pointed out by peter sikking): The GIMP UI brainstorm blog is only for enhancement requests for the UI - i.e. ways to make the user interface better. It's not for general enhancement requests.


  1. Good tut it should be one gimp main page :)

  2. may I add some refinement about ‘enhancement requests’ and the GIMP UI brainstorm. the brainstorm is for ideas to improve GIMP UI (duh) and that will get published. feature requests are actively filtered out and referred to the developer mailing list. thanks,


  3. Cool to see that you also work on this kind of things. Gimp need that.

  4. peter: I edited the post to make it clearer that the UI brainstorm is just for ideas about UI enhancements and not for general enhancements.

    Bat'O: Thanks. Also, I think what you are working on is way cooler ;-)

    Ironically two of 3 comments are from developers who already know this. I do hope that more users will read this...

  5. I'm reading this too! (As a user)