Ubuntu-bug for snaps


It was already suggested in a couple of threads that a standard tool to report bugs against a snap package would be useful.

I find myself very often filing bugs on launchpad against the source packages for libreoffice and chromium-browser (which I appropriately tag with the snap keyword), from problems that users report on the forum (usually after a call for testing). When I do that I have to ask them for the version of the snap in question, the version of the core snap, their distribution, and other useful information. That’s time consuming.

I’m thinking it would be useful if snaps could optionally define in their metadata a launchpad project / source package for bug tracking, which would enable a snap bug $SNAP_NAME command, which would itself do something similar to ubuntu-bug, with additional, snap-specific information (possibly extensible with something similar to apport hooks).

Has this already been considered / discussed?


That won’t help for projects that have zero presence on launchpad. Consider once a project releases their own snap where none of the project’s developers use Ubuntu and thus don’t ever check launchpad for bugs.

Snap packages are orthogonal to Ubuntu and therefore we shouldn’t push snap-specific bugs into Ubuntu-specific forums. We should instead investigate how to get snap-specific bug reports to the correct people rather than dumping them all on launchpad and expecting the developers to check there because “arbitrary reasons”.


That’s why I wrote “if snaps could optionally define in their metadata a launchpad project / source package for bug tracking”. That would be an opt-in feature for snap maintainers, not something enabled by default for all snaps. And auto-completion of the snap bug command would list only snaps that opted in.

I am very well aware that not all upstreams use launchpad to track bugs in their projects, but some do, and it’s an easy place to start with because there’s already all the apport/ubuntu-bug machinery in place. A more generic system able to dispatch bugs to various bug trackers would of course be interesting, but it would most likely require much more work to design and implement.


I have made a simple experiment that adds a filebug command to the libreoffice snap. Not exactly what I was suggesting above, just something to toy with and see how useful the idea might be.

It works in a similar fashion to ubuntu-bug, but is specific to that snap. It will open a browser tab to file a bug against the libreoffice source package in launchpad, with a pre-filled summary prefixed with “[snap]” and a “snap” tag already set. Some information about the system is automatically attached to the bug report. Unfortunately as it runs confined there is no way (that I know of) to access information about the core snap and about the current channel. But a lot of useful information can already be extracted from the environment. An example of a bug filed with this command is bug #1755928.

This is currently in the beta channel, if anyone is interested in testing it (please use it to file actual issues!).

And this is what the script looks like: filebug.py (largely inspired by apport-bug's implementation).

Constructive criticism, suggestions and feedback welcome!


Thanks for working on this.

Given that, as you said, it is very similar to apport (ubuntu-bug), wouldn’t it make sense to extend apport to support snap packages and package apport itself as a snap to make it available on other distributions (modulo patching any specificity of Ubuntu to work on other distributions) ?


Yes, that makes sense. That’s beyond the scope of a quick experiment though, it’s probably a sizeable amount of work. Anyone with an interest in bug reporting for snaps and/or apport, please chime in!