Reporting bugs for the Linux kernel

Richard Gooch

Here is a general guide on how to ask questions in a way that greatly improves your chances of getting a reply: If you have a bug to report, you should also read

The following text is from the REPORTING-BUGS file in the kernel source tree. Please follow these instructions when submitting a bug report on the Linux kernel.

[Some of this is taken from Frohwalt Egerer's original linux-kernel FAQ]

     What follows is a suggested procedure for reporting Linux bugs. You
aren't obliged to use the bug reporting format, it is provided as a guide
to the kind of information that can be useful to developers - no more.

     If the failure includes an "OOPS:" type message in your log or on
screen please read "Documentation/oops-tracing.txt" before posting your
bug report. This explains what you should do with the "Oops" information
to make it useful to the recipient.

      Send the output the maintainer of the kernel area that seems to
be involved with the problem. Don't worry too much about getting the
wrong person. If you are unsure send it to the person responsible for the
code relevant to what you were doing. If it occurs repeatably try and
describe how to recreate it. That is worth even more than the oops itself.
The list of maintainers is in the MAINTAINERS file in this directory.

      If you are totally stumped as to whom to send the report, send it to (For more information on the linux-kernel
mailing list see

This is a suggested format for a bug report sent to the Linux kernel mailing 
list. Having a standardized bug report form makes it easier  for you not to 
overlook things, and easier for the developers to find the pieces of 
information they're really interested in. Don't feel you have to follow it.

      First run the ver_linux script included as scripts/ver_linux, which
reports the version of some important subsystems.  Run this script with
the command "sh scripts/ver_linux".

Use that information to fill in all fields of the bug report form, and
post it to the mailing list with a subject of "PROBLEM: " for easy identification by the developers    

[1.] One line summary of the problem:    
[2.] Full description of the problem/report:
[3.] Keywords (i.e., modules, networking, kernel):
[4.] Kernel version (from /proc/version):
[5.] Output of Oops.. message (if applicable) with symbolic information 
     resolved (see Documentation/oops-tracing.txt)
[6.] A small shell script or example program which triggers the
     problem (if possible)
[7.] Environment
[7.1.] Software (add the output of the ver_linux script here)
[7.2.] Processor information (from /proc/cpuinfo):
[7.3.] Module information (from /proc/modules):
[7.4.] Loaded driver and hardware information (/proc/ioports, /proc/iomem)
[7.5.] PCI information ('lspci -vvv' as root)
[7.6.] SCSI information (from /proc/scsi/scsi)
[7.7.] Other information that might be relevant to the problem
       (please look in /proc and include all information that you
       think to be relevant):
[X.] Other notes, patches, fixes, workarounds:

Thank you

Go back to my: Home Page or Linux Page. The Linux kernel mailing list FAQ is available here.

Richard Gooch (rgooch at atnf dot csiro dot au)