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4 Writing the problem report

Now that you have decided that your issue merits a problem report, and that it is a FreeBSD problem, it is time to write the actual problem report. Make sure your VISUAL (or EDITOR if VISUAL is not set) environment variable is set to something sensible, and run send-pr(1).

4.1 Attaching patches or files

The send-pr(1) program has provisions for attaching files to a problem report. You can attach as many files as you want provided that each has a unique base name (i.e. the name of the file proper, without the path). Just use the -a command-line option to specify the names of the files you wish to attach:

    % send-pr -a /var/run/dmesg -a /tmp/errors

Do not worry about binary files, they will be automatically encoded so as not to upset your mail agent.

If you attach a patch, make sure you use the -c or -u option to diff(1) to create a context or unified diff, and make sure to specify the exact CVS revision numbers of the files you modified so the developers who read your report will be able to apply them easily.

You should also take note that unless you explicitly specify otherwise in your PR, any patches you submit will be assumed to be licensed under the same terms as the original file you modified.

4.2 Filling out the template

The template consists of a list of fields, some of which are pre-filled, and some of which have comments explaining their purpose or listing acceptable values. Do not worry about the comments; they will be removed automatically if you do not modify them or remove them yourself.

At the top of the template, below the SEND-PR: lines, are the email headers. You do not normally need to modify these, unless you are sending the problem report from a machine or account that can send but not receive mail, in which case you will want to set the From: and Reply-To: to your real email address. You may also want to send yourself (or someone else) a carbon copy of the problem report by adding one or more email addresses to the Cc: header.

Next comes a series of single-line fields:

Finally, there is a series of multi-line fields:

4.3 Sending off the problem report

Once you are done filling out the template, have saved it, and exit your editor, send-pr(1) will prompt you with s)end, e)dit or a)bort?. You can then hit s to go ahead and submit the problem report, e to restart the editor and make further modifications, or a to abort. If you choose the latter, your problem report will remain on disk ( send-pr(1) will tell you the filename before it terminates), so you can edit it at your leisure, or maybe transfer it to a system with better net connectivity, before sending it with the -f to send-pr(1):

    % send-pr -f ~/my-problem-report

This will read the specified file, validate the contents, strip comments and send it off.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.




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