Launchpad's bug tracker sends you email about the bugs you're 
interested in. If you see something that requires your 
attention - for example, you want to comment on a bug - rather 
than leaving your email client to fire up a web browser, all you
need to do is reply to the email.

It's not just limited to replying to bug notifications, though. 
The bug tracker's email interface allows you to do just about 
everything you can in the web interface. Within time, you may 
find that email is the main way you interact with the bug 

Before you start

Launchpad only accepts email that is GPG signed. Read our guide 
on adding your GPG key to your Launchpad account for more info:


Anatomy of an email to the bug tracker

Let's look at the elements of a bug report email:

 * From address: the address from which you send the email must 
   be registered in your Launchpad account - 
 * To address: "new@bugs.launchpad.net" to report a new bug, 
   "bugnumber@bugs.launchpad.net" to manipulate an existing bug 
   report or for bulk edits "edit@bugs.launchpad.net"
 * Subject: Launchpad uses this as the bug report or comment 
 * Email body: the text of your email forms the bug report or 
   comment detail. This is also where you can supply commands to
   manipulate the bug.
That last item, the email body, needs a little more explanation.
When you want to use one of the email interface's commands, you 
need to start the line with a space. Everything else is treated 
as part of your bug report or comment detail.

Getting started with the email interface

Let's take a look at an imaginary scenario, in which someone 
reports a bug requesting a screen cast to help demonstrate the 
bug tracker's email interface.

Reporting a bug

Reporting a new bug by email is simple. Send an email to 
new@bugs.launchpad.net and describe the problem you're having. 
Tell Launchpad which project, distribution or distribution 
package the bug affects by using the "affects" command.
Here's an example bug report email:

From: im-in-yr-emailz@gmail.com
To: new@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: Bug tracker email interface needs a screen cast


I looked on the Launchpad help wiki for information on using the
bug tracker's email interface. I found the user guide helpful 
but wanted a screen cast to demonstrate it at my local LUG.

 affects launchpad-documentation

If the bug affects a distribution package, state the 
distribution name followed by a slash and the package name. 
For example: "affects ubuntu/firefox".

Similarly, if the bug affects more than onevproject or package, 
use a new line for each project/package:

 affects exaile
 affects ubuntu/exaile

Commenting on and changing the status of a bug

If you've received a notification about a bug and you want to 
leave a comment, simply reply to the email. Otherwise, to 
comment on a bug, send your email to 

For example: "123@bugs.launchpad.net".

Here's an example bug comment email, with a command to change 
its status to "Confirmed":

From: joey@canonical.com
To: 123@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: Neat idea


What a neat idea! Matt R: can you schedule some time to create a
 screen cast?

We should put the screen cast directly in the bug tracker's 

 status confirmed
 affects malone

Joey has also marked the bug as affecting the Launchpad bug 
tracker itself, using its project name "malone".

Assigning and targeting the bug

Matthew sees that his boss, Joey, thinks this a good idea, so he
assigns it to himself and targets it to a future milestone:

From: matthew.revell@canonical.com
To: 123@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: I'll tackle this in September


> What a neat idea! Matt R: can you schedule some time to create 
  a screen cast?

Yeah, this is a great idea. I'll have time for this in September.

 assignee matthew.revell
 milestone 1.2.9
 affects launchpad-documentation

Note that Matthew used the "affects" command. Earlier, Joey 
marked the bug as also affecting another project. Here, "affects"
lets Matthew ensure the assignee and milestone are applied to 
the bug as it affects the Launchpad Documentation project.

Matthew could just as easily have left out the "affects" command
and Launchpad would have selected the most likely project that 
bug is reported against. 

Attaching files to bug reports

Once Matthew's started work on the bug, he can attach an image 
from the screen cast to the bug report to show how he's getting

In most cases, file attachments are useful for screen shots that
demonstrate the bug or for log files.

You can attach a file to a bug report by attaching the file to 
the email you send to Launchpad.

The attachment must have its content-disposition set to 
"attachment" and not "inline". Images pasted into emails in
Mozilla Thunderbird have a content-disposition of "inline", so 
attach them rather than paste them into the email body.

To help prevent unwanted files being attached to bug reports, 
Launchpad filters files that are unlikely to be intended for the
bug report, including:

 * signatures
 * VCards
 * MacOS resource forks.

Editing a bug that affects multiple contexts

Every package or project affected by a bug has its own fix 
status, assignee, milestone and so on. Use the "affects" command
to edit each of these as it affects a particular context.

For example:

From: you@example.com
To: 29760@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: <none>

 affects ubuntu/flash-player
 status fixreleased

When a bug affects only one package or product, the "affects" 
command is unnecessary.

What to expect when you submit an email

Launchpad processes incoming bug mail every three minutes, so a 
slight delay between sending a mail and receiving a response is 

On success

If Launchpad processed your email successfully, it will reply by
email to confirm the changes. This email is identical to the bug
notification that would get if you had made the same changes 
using the web interface.

For example, if you sent an email like:

From: you@example.com
To: 28919@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: Re: [Bug 28919] error signing code of conduct: "str: 
         No public key"

 status incomplete

You'll receive a response like:

From: you@example.com
To: you@example.com
Subject: [Bug 28919] error signing code of conduct: "str: 
         No public key"

Public bug report changed:

Changed in: Launchpad (upstream)
         Status: Unconfirmed => Incomplete

On failure

If an error occurs while processing your email, Launchpad will 
send you a failure message. 

For example, if you forget to GPG-sign an email reporting a new 
bug, you'll receive an error message similar to:

From: noreply@bugs.launchpad.net
To: you@example.com
Subject: Submit Request Failure

An error occurred while processing a mail you sent to Malone's 
email interface.

Error message:

In order to submit bugs via email you have to sign the message 
with a GPG key that is registered in Launchpad.

For more information about using Malone's email interface, 
please see:


If you've waited several minutes and still not received either a
change notification or an error message, please email 

Filtering bug mail

If you deal with a large number of bug reports by email, you may
find that you want to filter them to stop them cluttering your 
in-box. Launchpad appends custom headers to bug emails to help 
you filter them.

You can find out more about the headers that Launchpad uses in 
our article on bug subscriptions:


Commands reference

You must write one email command per line.

For example:

 status confirmed
 assignee foobar

You can mix commands with non-command text, such as the 
description when filing a bug, or comment text when replying to 
a bug notification.

For example:

This is an example bit of bug description.

 affects ubuntu/firefox

And this is some more description.

 assignee bradb


"affects [distribution|package|product]"

When filing a bug, "affects $target" marks the bug as affecting 

You can also, optionally, use "affects" when you're editing a
bug. For example, if you want to set the status of a bug as it 
affects Zope 3, you'd use "affects zope3".

If you leave out "affects", Launchpad will make your changes to 
the bug the following context:

 1. the project, distribution or package for which you are a bug 
 2. the distribution of which you're a member

If Launchpad can't determine the context in which to make your 
changes, it will email you with an error message.

The "affects" target can take the following forms:

 * affects ubuntu/$packagename
 * affects $distroname
 * affects $productname


"summary '$summary'"

Change the one-line summary of the bug. Quotes are required.

 summary 'A better summary'


"assignee [name|email|nobody]"

Assign a bug to someone:

 assignee bac


 assignee brad.crittenden@canonical.com

Unassign the bug:

 assignee nobody


"status [new|incomplete|invalid|wontfix|confirmed|triaged|inprogress|fixcommitted|fixreleased]"

Change the status of a bug:

 status fixreleased


"importance [wishlist|low|medium|high|critical]"

Change the importance of a bug:

 importance high


"milestone $milestone"

Sets or clears the milestone of the bug. The milestone must 
already exist in Launchpad:

 milestone 1.1.10

You can clear the milestone by sending a hyphen:

 milestone -


"informationtype [public|publicsecurity|privatesecurity|private|proprietary]"

Changes the information type of the bug that affects visibility of the bug. Only the people that the project shares confidential information with can see "Private", "Private Security", and "Proprietary" bugs.

 informationtype privatesecurity


"subscribe [name|email]"

Subscribe yourself or someone else to the bug. If you don't 
specify a name or email, Launchpad will subscribe you, the send 
of the email, to the bug.

Subscribe yourself to the bug:


Subscribe Foo Bar to the bug:

 subscribe foo.bar@canonical.com

Subscribe the user bjornt to the bug:

 subscribe bjornt


"unsubscribe [name|email]"

The opposite of the subscribe command.


"duplicate $bugid"

Mark the bug as a duplicate of another bug:

  duplicate 42

To unmark the bug as a duplicate, specify "no" in place of a bug

  duplicate no


"bug $bugid"

The "bug"` command is useful if you want to use one email to 
make changes to several bugs.

Send such emails to "edit@bugs.launchpad.net"

From: terry.tibbs@tibbsmotors.com
To: edit@bugs.launchpad.net
Subject: <whatever>

 bug 42
 status confirmed

 bug 49
 status confirmed


"tag $tag"

Assign a tag to a bug. You can specify multiple tags with a 
single command:

 tag foo


 tag foo bar

Remove a tag by prefixing the tag name with "-":

 tag -foo


"done" tells Launchpad to process no further commands.

For example:

 tag foo
 status confirmed
 affects everyone using version 1.0.1

The line below "done" looks like an "affects" command but
Launchpad will ignore it.

Bugs/EmailInterface/PlainTextVersion (last edited 2012-09-06 17:10:34 by sinzui)