turning off "Send error reports to Canonical" prevents using ubuntu-bug

Bug #1814611 reported by jimav on 2019-02-05
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apport (Ubuntu)
Status tracked in Eoan

Bug Description

apport was modified (bug 1778497) to reduce the number of times people have to respond to crash reports, however the changes introduced a check to see if whoopsie is enabled. That check is done for any type of report, not just crashes, and subsequently people can not use ubuntu-bug to report bugs if whoopsie is disabled which is wrong as whoopsie is only for uploading crashes to the Error Tracker.

Test Case
1) On a system with Gnome installed use the Privacy control panel and set "Send error reports to Canonical" to Off
2) In a terminal run 'ubuntu-bug gnome-terminal'
3) Click "Send" and observe nothing happening (if something does happen confirm that whoopsie is disabled via 'systemctl is-enabled whoopsie' - there may be a bug in the control panel)

Original Description
Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, X11 gnome session.

For some reason ubuntu-bug <packagename> no longer opens a browser window, so it is not possible to enter useful bug detauls, or even know the bug number.

After prompting whether or not to Send the report, clicking "Send" just closes appport and nothing else ever happens. The exit status of "ubuntu-bug" is zero.

This worked fine before, but it has been many months since I tried to submit a bug.

strace shows many stat calls on plausible browser paths, including the one that is correct (/usr/bin/firefox, which returned a successful stat call). I'll attach the trace output from

   strace -f -o /tmp/strace.log ubuntu-bug apport

jimav (james-avera) wrote :
Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

apport will first try using xdg-open and that also appears as being found in the strace output. What happens if your run 'xdg-open http://bugs.launchpad.net'?

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
jimav (james-avera) wrote :

xdg-open http://bugs.launchpad.net opens the page in Firefox.

I use zdg-open routinely.

jimav (james-avera) wrote :

x not z

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Thomas Mayer (thomas303) wrote :

I'm using ubuntu 18.04 with all updates installed.

When I type

ubuntu-bug gnome-applets

then it does not open the browser window when I click on the "send" button.

When i type

xdg-open http://bugs.launchpad.net

then the corresponding page opens perfectly fine in Firefox 67.0.4.

This is pretty much consistent with the previous description.

Thomas Mayer (thomas303) wrote :

Documentation says (after having pressed the "send" button):

"Apport will then upload the problem information to Launchpad, and a new browser window will then open to inform you that the bug report is being processed."


Thomas Mayer (thomas303) wrote :

For this to work, I had to enable the error reporting switch in system settings/privacy protection.

With error reporting enabled, the browser window opened.

This is not a bug, but I'm not very happy with the behaviour:

- Having error reporting switched off, I should be able to enforce it via CLI. There should be a corresponding parameter like --ignore-reporting-disabled. (OPT-IN)
- OR: Ignoring the disabled reporting should be the default when executing ubuntu-bug manually. (OPT-OUT). If ubuntu-bug was _not_ started manually might require another parameter like --check-reporting-enabled.

Unwanted behaviour is:
- I have to switch error reporting on (plus, I have to know this by myself!)
- ... do my stuff with ubuntu-bug
- Switch error reporting off again

Thomas Mayer (thomas303) wrote :

A quick fix could be to document at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs that the error reporting must be switch on first.

On top of that, ubuntu-bug could output a warning message that the error reporting must be switched on first (and how/where this can be done).

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :

This is still a UX bug, as thomas303 said, ubuntu-bug should still inform the user of what happened and why.

jimav (james-avera) wrote :

In privacy settings, it says I am enabling "Send error reports to Canonical... Send report *automatically*".

This does not have anything to do with NON-automatic error reporting.

This worked before, what changed?

Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

What is the output of 'systemctl is-enabled whoopsie' and 'systemctl is-active whoopsie'? Thanks in advance.

jimav (james-avera) wrote :

Well if "automatic" sending is enabled in Settings->Privacy->Problem Reporting, then
  is-enabled is "enabled" and is-active is "active".

But if "automatic" sending is disabled in Settings, then
  is-enabled is "disabled" and is-active is "inactive"

Again, I don't think running ubuntu-bug explicitly has anything to do with "automatically" sending error reports! As others have said, ubuntu-bug should ignore those settings or, at least, tell the user it won't do anything useful unless those settings are changed.

Currently it silently fails (no message, zero exit status).

jimav (james-avera) wrote :

Clarification: By "settings" I meant the single setting (as seen by users) controlled by the "Send error reports to Canonical" switch in Settings->Privacy->problem

summary: - ubuntu-bug never (any longer) opens browser window
+ turning off "Send error reports to Canonical" prevents using ubuntu-bug
description: updated
Changed in apport (Ubuntu Eoan):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → High
Changed in apport (Ubuntu Disco):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → High
Changed in apport (Ubuntu Bionic):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → High
tags: added: id-5d436db42180090edb58cd96
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