apport-collect won't submit updates to a bug assigned to a source package when only a binary package of another name from that source is installed

Bug #359810 reported by Scott Kitterman on 2009-04-12
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apport (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When you run "apport-collect <bug-number>" on a bug filed against xorg-server, apport-collect just errors out:

 Package xorg-server not installed and no hook available, ignoring
 No additional information collected.

See bug #576621 as an example.


gives the following advice for filing bugs:

xorg-server (Ubuntu) guidelines:
Please report bugs against xorg-server with this command:
  $ ubuntu-bug -p xorg-server

Since xorg-server is a source package, ubuntu-bug says the package doesn't exist. I'm not sure of the intended design, so I'm not sure if this is bad advice, a launchpad problem, or an ubuntu-bug problem.

Related branches

Diogo Matsubara (matsubara) wrote :

Bug reporting guidelines are specific to the package and can be edited by the bug contact for that package. Marking as invalid.

Changed in launchpad:
status: New → Invalid
Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

I think the right way for this to be handled is to allow apport to allow filling bugs about source packages rather than updating the package bug guidelines for a source package to recommend using a binary package name (produced by the source package) for the package argument.

OK, so how is one supposed to communicate with them? What should the bug
be against?

If by them you mean the developers of apport the bug is currently in the proper place and I've subscribed pitti to it. For future reference if you are interested in updating the package bug guidelines for a specific package I'm probably the best person to talk to.

OK. I'd have guessed you or bryce. I'm involved enough in Ubuntu
development to have some idea who to talk to.

It seems very odd to me though that this be is Invalid in LP because it's
not an aspect of LP that LP developers control. How is an end user who
sees a problem with the bug reporting guideline to have any idea how to

Since it's the package POC that controls it, perhaps the rule should be
that bug reporting guideline issues get filed as a bug against the package
and that should be documented somewhere useful?

Well, actually its only the Ubuntu drivers who can set the guidelines (yes, there is some lp bug about this). What currently happens - having the bug filed about Launchpad and being contact by Launchpad QA seems fine to me until that bug is resolved.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

I updated it to say "ubuntu-bug -p xserver-xorg-core". I kept the -p for now, so that it still works under Hardy (the Jaunty version doesn't need the -p any more).

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: New → Fix Released
Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

While this fixes the particular issue with xorg-server there are many other source packages in Launchpad all of which would need to have a different binary package name for the guided bug filing instructions to work with 'ubuntu-bug'. I don't think this scales well at all and that apport should be changed to allow bugs to be filed against source packages since Launchpad allows bugs to be filled about source packages.

Since the package system is binary package based, changing apport to understand source packages is not trivial. If a source package builds several different binaries, against which package should it report the bug? If there are several, we could either collect information about all of them and invent a new syntax for Packages:/Dependencies:, or do not collect any package related information and add some heuristics for running binary package hooks.

Indeed it is unfortunate that Launchpad encourages people to file bugs against source packages (you can specify binary packages as well, but it's not pointed out very well).

summary: - xorg-server (Ubuntu) guidelines give impossible advice
+ support filing bugs against source packages
Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Fix Released → New
Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

As you mentioned its still possible to file a bug about xorg-server at and since the package hooks are for source packages it seems that the bug could just be reported about the source package.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

The solution of bug 350131 brought us a long way towards this, but it's far from complete. My plan so far:

 - If you specify a source package with ubuntu-bug which isn't also a binary package, pick an arbitrary binary package from that source package for the "Package:" field, and merge dependencies of all binary packages into the "Dependencies:" field, and run all binary package hooks.

 - If you specify a package name which is both a source and a binary package, the binary one will win, to maintain backwards compatibility, and also the notion of what a "package" generally is in the point of view of a user.

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

I've attached a (totally untested) branch with a proposed (partial) fix for this.

It first looks for the binary package and returns it if found (satisfying pitti's second requirement).

If it is not found, then it uses apt.apt_pkg.SourceRecords() to look up the source package. If that's found, it then looks through that source package's binaries for one that is present in the cache and uses it. So that should mostly satisfy pitti's first requirement.

It does not merge dependencies of all binary packages into the Dependency field, nor runs all binary package hooks, so those could be added. (In the case of xorg-server, the dependencies and package hooks are always the same, but it could be different for other packages. Still, this moves us a step forward.)

Also, it probably should only consider binary packages that are physically installed on the user's machine. I'm not sure just checking that the package is in the cache is sufficient.

Anyway, feedback welcome.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2011-10-18
description: updated
Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

I really don't want to support filing bugs against source packages in apport. But the original request here was indeed not for "apport-bug srcpkg", but for apport-collect, which is a legitimate bug indeed. Retitling accordingly, to match the title of the just duplicated bug 886586.

summary: - support filing bugs against source packages
+ apport-collect won't submit updates to a bug assigned to a source
+ package when only a binary package of another name from that source is
+ installed
affects: launchpad → apport
Changed in apport:
status: Invalid → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
importance: Wishlist → Low
assignee: nobody → Martin Pitt (pitti)
no longer affects: apport
Martin Pitt (pitti) on 2014-07-30
Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
assignee: Martin Pitt (pitti) → nobody
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