How

Provide precise and relevant information

The first thing developers try to do is understand how to reproduce the issue.

Always give them the relevant information:

  • Steps you perform to always reproduce the issue on your computer (be as precise as possible).
  • Particularities in your environment which might be relevant or different than the developers’ environment (your Mint edition and release, your locale, your drivers, etc..).
  • Any relevant error messages or software output.
  • Screenshots which show the issue.
  • Anything that might make it easier for developers to understand and/or reproduce the issue.

Note

A lot of information about the environment can be listed with the command inxi -Fxxrzc0.

Provide stack traces for crashes

When reporting a crash, provide the following:

  • The dmesg line for the crash.
  • A stack trace for the crash (you can get one using Menu ‣ System Reports).
  • As for other bugs, steps to reproduce the issue.

Explain your expectation

It might sound silly, but sometimes a bug report is clear on what the software does but not on what the author expects it to do. This can lead to a misunderstanding.

If possible, briefly explain why you think the software behavior is wrong and what you would expect it to do instead.

Be patient and pleasant

Most people are. It’s easy to be grumpy (or sometimes just to “sound” grumpy) on the Internet. Developers and users alike should do their best to make the interaction as pleasant as possible.

This is open-source after all, we’re all in it for the fun (even though, let’s face it.. bugs aren’t exactly the funniest aspect of it).

Feel like a hero

When people see their reports closed or no answers to their comments, they might assume they wasted their time. That assumption is completely wrong. There are very few developers and many many users. It is not possible to interact with everybody and to fix some bug reports without closing many. Linux Mint is getting better and better though, every day, thanks to people like us, and people like you. It is fueled by effort and feedback. If you have read until here and/or you have contributed feedback or bug reports, you should feel like a hero. It takes time to pat each other on the back and we surely don’t do it enough.