Getting involved with the Fedora project – Part 4

This is part four of a series of posts which explains how to get involved with the Fedora project.  In the previous three posts (1, 2 and 3) one has explained how to install and configure Oracle’s VirtualBox software and how to install Fedora as a virtual machine.  In this post one will explain how to register an account with Fedora’s bug-tracking system.  This will allow us to feedback our findings when we start testing.

Redhat’s Bugzilla!

Red Hat Bugzilla is a bug-tracking system and is used to submit and review defects that have been found in Red Hat distributions.  This includes Fedora because it is a Redhat sponsored company.  In fact, Fedora acts as an experimental arm that complements Redhat’s enterprise grade operating system.  The goal of the bug-tracking system is to allow you to submit a defect which has  not been reported yet. Defects will go directly to the engineer responsible for the component you filed the defect against. Engineers have many responsibilities and will get to your defect in due time; thus, don’t expect an instance response – unless you find a super-critical bug.

Registering an account

The bug-tracking system Fedora uses can be found here https://bugzilla.redhat.com.  The system is publicly available; however, participation requires registration.  As our intention is to test the system and log as many bugs as we can find, we’ll need to register an account.  Registration is free.  To register browse to the following URL https://bugzilla.redhat.com/createaccount.cgi

Creating a new account at bugzilla

During the registration process you will choose a username and password.  This can be used to log on to you personal Bugzilla account e.g.

Once logged on to Bugzilla you will be presented with the welcome page:

Bugzilla welcome page

Among other things you can log a new defect, view your existing bugs, or, search for an existing bug.  One link that should not be ignored is the “Red Hat Bugzilla User’s Guide“.  This will provide you with the necessary knowledge required to maintain you Bugzilla account.
We are almost ready to find our first bug!  One final stage is required.  The Fedora operating system contains thousands of software packages.  Each package is updated on a regular basis.  This may be new features being added, or, bugs being fixed.  Therefore, it is wise to ensure we are testing the latest version of each software package; otherwise, we could be wasting our time by finding bugs that have already been fixed.

Updating Fedora

Before testing any part of Fedora we should periodically ensure that we are using the latest software.  Thankfully, Fedora provides an update manage to do this task. This update manager is called YUM.  To force YUM to perform a check follow the steps below:

Updating Fedora

From the GNOME menu select the “Terminal” option from the Application->System Tools menu.  This will load a console which will allow us to invoke YUM.

Updating Fedora

Within the terminal type the following commands: first log in as the root user “su – root”.  Input the password for root and then invoke YUM “yum update”.  The first time you ask YUM to update your Fedora system it may well need to apply several software packages; thus, this may take some time.

Updating Fedora

Once YUM has evaluated the list of updates confirm you want to apply these changes by typing “Y” and pressing return.

Updating Fedora

YUM will then download and install the latest packages.  Again, this will take some time.  On completion we may need to reboot if the kernel package was updated.  If so, reboot.  Once rebooted you are ready to test and find bugs!  In part five I’ll explain the basics of bug finding.
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