[Fwd: Apport]

Will Woods wwoods at redhat.com
Fri May 2 23:26:28 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-05-02 at 17:54 -0400, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> Passing this along for consideration.

(original email ref:

I worked on Apport for Fedora during (I think) the F7 release cycle:

Things have matured for a year, and I think related technologies have
matured to the point where this could be done right in Fedora and other
distributions. Here's a braindump of some of the things involved.

1) Linux kernel support
Neil Horman worked on a kernel patch that fixed some of the hackery that
Ubuntu's kernel was using to make it work[1].
I don't have the commit id offhand, but the upshot is that you can use
arguments with command pipes in core_pattern as of.. 2.6.24, I think.

2) packaging abstraction
There were some other distro-specific bits to fill in - like looking up
package name from a filename. In Fedora I believe we can easily (and
more accurately) handle this by pulling BuildIDs[2] out of the core dump

Apport could also be using PackageKit as its packaging backend, rather
than having its own private abstractions for these things.

3) Reporting format
We had a discussion about the proper format for bug reports, and
coordinating this with other projects. Apport is using a RFC822
(essentially email)-formatted bug report with specific "headers"/"tags"
to indicate various metadata about the report[3].

GNOME's bug-buddy, as I understand it, uses Google's Breakpad[4] libs to
generate its reports; Mozilla projects do the same.

Kerneloops is a similar idea but (obviously) their reports are all just
Linux kernel oopses. 

I couldn't find details on a crash-report format specific to KDE but if
someone wants to point me at some existing work in this area I'd
appreciate it.

4) Server-side
Apport in Ubuntu uses launchpad as the server-side to report bugs to;
python-bugzilla[5] came out of my efforts to implement that for Fedora.

Mozilla's Breakpad efforts have produced a server and web client for
collecting and viewing crash reports[6]. I think it makes sense for
Fedora to follow the lead of GNOME and Mozilla and use Breakpad-style

All the pieces are there. We just need someone with the time, skills,
and drive to put 'em all together.


[1] http://kerneltrap.org/node/14010 
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/FeatureBuildId
[3] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Apport#head-43f381da3ef07fd0e601265ff1c835894d77b159
[4] http://code.google.com/p/google-breakpad/
[5] https://fedorahosted.org/python-bugzilla/
[6] http://wiki.mozilla.org/Breakpad

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