How to post useful bug reports

With the latest two PHP updates, some users reported problems with FPM, with APC, etc… It was about segfaults, problematic init scripts, and so on… But all those comments couldn’t really help me to diagnose the problems in an efficient manner.

Here are the pieces of information that you have to provide to help me fixing your problem :

  • What is your distribution? (disclaimer : only Debian stable is supported)
  • What is your architecture? amd64 or i386?
  • Which exact PHP version are you using? 5.4.x or 5.3.x?
  • Which SAPI are you using? mod_php? CGI? FPM? Embed?
  • What’s the full content of your /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d files?
  • What is the result of dpkg -l 'php*' | grep '^.i' ?
  • Please provide a textual description of the bug (don’t hesitate to provide some code, the expected result…).
  • Please provide any modified configuration directive.
  • Please provide a backtrace, after installing php5-dbg.

Now, some tips to have a stable PHP stack :

  • Only use PHP packages from Dotdeb when possible.
  • Be sure to upgrade them to the latest version.
  • Uninstall php5-suhosin if you don’t use it explicitly. The development of this extension has kinda been “stalled”.
  • If you have problems with extensions, deactivate and reactivate them one by one to find the guilty one.

Because blog comments are not the best place to report issues, Dotdeb uses the Github bugtracker for now. Be sure to follow the above instructions, to read the official PHP bug tracker and also the existing Dotdeb bug reports before submitting any new issue.

Improving the overall stability of the Dotdeb packages requires efforts from us all. Thanks in advance for your help.