Something bugging you in Fedora Linux? Let’s get it fixed!

Software has bugs. Any complicated system is guaranteed to have at least some bits that don’t work as planned. Fedora Linux is a very complicated system. It contains thousands of packages created by countless independent upstream projects around the world. There are also hundreds of updates every week. So, it’s inevitable that problems creep in. This article addresses the bug fixing process and how some bugs may be prioritized.

The release development process

As a Linux distribution project, we want to deliver a polished, “everything just works” experience to our users. Our release process starts with “Rawhide”. This is our development area where we integrate new versions of all that updated free and open source software. We’re constantly improving our ongoing testing and continuous integration processes to make even Rawhide safe to use for the adventurous. By its nature, however, Rawhide will always be a little bit rough.

Twice a year we take that rough operating system and branch it for a beta release, and then a final release. As we do that, we make a concerted effort to find problems. We run Test Days to check on specific areas and features. “Candidate builds” are made which are checked against our release validation test plan. We then enter a “freeze” state where only approved changes go into the candidates. This isolates the candidate from the constant development (which still goes into Rawhide!) so new problems are not introduced.

Many bugs, big and small, are squashed as part of the release process. When all goes according to plan, we have a shiny new on-schedule Fedora Linux release for all of our users. (We’ve done this reliably and repeatedly for the last few years — thanks, everyone who works so hard to make it so!) If something is really wrong, we can mark it as a “release blocker”. That means we won’t ship until it’s fixed. This is often appropriate for big issues, and definitely turns up the heat and attention that bug gets.

Sometimes, we have issues that are persistent. Perhaps something that’s been going on for a release or two, or where we don’t have an agreed solution. Some issues are really annoying and frustrating to many users, but individually don’t rise to the level we’d normally block a release for. We can mark these things as blockers. But that is a really big sledgehammer. A blocker may cause the bug to get finally smashed, but it can also cause disruption all around. If the schedule slips, all the other bug fixes and improvements, as well as features people have been working on, don’t get to users.

The Prioritized Bugs process

So, we have another way to address annoying bugs! The Prioritized Bugs process is a different way to highlight issues that result in unpleasantness for a large number of users. There’s no hammer here, but something more like a spotlight. Unlike the release blocker process, the Prioritized Bugs process does not have a strictly-defined set of criteria. Each bug is evaluated based on the breadth and severity of impact.

A team of interested contributors helps curate a short list of issues that need attention. We then work to connect those issues to people who can fix them. This helps take pressure off of the release process, by not tying the issues to any specific deadlines. Ideally, we find and fix things before we even get to the beta stage. We try to keep the list short, no more than a handful, so there truly is a focus. This helps the teams and individuals addressing problems because they know we’re respectful of their often-stretched-thin time and energy.

Through this process, Fedora has resolved dozens of serious and annoying problems. This includes everything from keyboard input glitches to SELinux errors to that thing where gigabytes of old, obsolete package updates would gradually fill up your disk. But we can do a lot more — we actually aren’t getting as many nominations as we can handle. So, if there’s something you know that’s causing long-term frustration or affecting a lot of people and yet which seems to not be reaching a resolution, follow the Prioritized Bugs process and let us know.

You can help

All Fedora contributors are invited to participate in the Prioritized Bugs process. Evaluation meetings occur every two weeks on IRC. Anyone is welcome to join and help us evaluate the nominated bugs. See the calendar for meeting time and location. The Fedora Program Manager sends an agenda to the triage and devel mailing lists the day before meetings.

Bug reports welcome

Big or small, when you find a bug, we really appreciate it if you report it. In many cases, the best place to do that is with the project that creates the software. For example, lets say there is a problem with the way the Darktable photography software renders images from your digital camera. It’s best to take that to the Darktable developers. For another example, say there’s a problem with the GNOME or KDE desktop environments or with the software that is part of them. Taking these issues to those projects will usually get you the best results.

However, if it’s a Fedora-specific problem, like something with our build or configuration of the software, or a problem with how it’s integrated, don’t hesitate to file a bug with us. This is also true when there is a problem which you know has a fix that we just haven’t included yet.

I know this is kind of complex… it’d be nice to have a one-stop place to handle all of the bugs. But remember that Fedora packagers — the people who do the work of taking upstream software and configuring it to build in our system — are largely volunteers. They are not always the deepest experts in the code for the software they’re working with. When in doubt, you can always file a Fedora bug. The folks in Fedora responsible for the corresponding package can help with their connections to the upstream software project.

Remember, when you find a bug that’s gone through diagnosis and doesn’t yet have a good fix, when you see something that affects a lot of people, or when there’s a long-standing problem that just isn’t getting attention, please nominate it as a Prioritized Bug. We’ll take a look and see what can be done!

PS: The famous image in the header is, of course, from the logbook of the Mark II computer at Harvard where Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper worked. But contrary to popular belief about the story, this isn’t the first use of the term “bug” for a systems problem — it was already common in engineering, which is why it was funny to find a literal bug as the cause of an issue. #nowyouknow #jokeexplainer

Fedora Project community

49 Comments

  1. akors

    “Bug reports welcome”, but this is the average Bugzilla user experience:

    This message is a reminder that Fedora 24 is nearing its end of life.

    iirc it is still a problem in at least Fedora 25

    This bug appears to have been reported against ‘rawhide’ during the Fedora 27 development cycle.
    Changing version to ’27’.

    This message is a reminder that Fedora 27 is nearing its end of life.

    This bug appears to have been reported against ‘rawhide’ during the Fedora 30 development cycle.
    Changing version to ’30.

    This bug appears to have been reported against ‘rawhide’ during the Fedora 31 development cycle.
    Changing version to ’31’.

    This message is a reminder that Fedora 31 is nearing its end of life.

    This bug appears to have been reported against ‘rawhide’ during the Fedora 34 development cycle.
    Changing version to 34.

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Yeah, that can definitely be the case and it can be disheartening. That’s really what this article is about — the Prioritized Bugs process can help bring attention to issues which remain unresolved for a long time.

      • Yogesh Sharma

        But some bugs are never prioritized. I had a bug opened for 2-3 years. With every new release I would and update bugzilla to fix release number. Issue is that my Sony Bluetooth headset not working for conference calls, microphone won’t work, for over the course of 2-3 years. Till date I can not use my Sony Bluetooth headsets for meetings .

        • Hardware enablement is a special class of bug. Someone has to make a driver, and that’s a special skillset that is especially rare when the manufacturer isn’t involved.

          In the case of bluetooth, patents and proprietary codecs become an issue. Really, the best organization to talk to about support for Sony headsets is Sony.

      • akors

        Disheartening is the right word. Writing understandable and helpful bug reports, dig for logs, simplifying reproduction, be available for testing, that is all effort. I’m happy to help and do that if it brings the distribution forward.

        However, if I only get “This message is a reminder that Fedora 32 is nearing its end of life” as in in the majority of all bug reports, then putting in that effort is just not worth it. I have stopped filing bugs years ago, because it’s just lost effort.

        the Prioritized Bugs process can help bring attention to issues which remain unresolved for a long time.

        Did we need a “prioritized bug process” for that? The longest standing bugs should be easily identifiable, if they have been open for years and have dozens of comments from different people under them.

    • Sean Sollars

      The Fedora Linux is for business and I don’t have a business. I am disabled and play games, watch movies and such.

      • Tim Hawkins

        I play games (steam), watch movies and other things on my fedora workstation. Redhat is for business, fedora is not so limited.

    • Arjen Heidinga

      Exact this is my experience with Fedora bugs. You file a bug with as much as possible information, willingness to cooperate, test etcetera. And nothing happens…. If I just browse the bugzilla, its appears riddled with those reports.
      Not even a message a response comes. It is just the bugreport which rots away and gets automatically closed.
      To me it appears people have other things to do than solve those pesky bug reports, which I understand.

      • We do depend on many volunteers — even people paid by Red Hat to work on Fedora in some way are often doing a lot of their Fedora work out of interest not as a job obligation. So, there’s definitely some amount of … “better things to do”. But in general, Fedora maintainers really do care… it’s just hard to keep up.

        This process is intended to help triage, so we can get the right attention on issues with a lot of impact.

    • Jaison

      haha yes! I have seen a few of those.

    • Jet

      Couldn’t agree more.😂👍

  2. I’m very glad to see this article and outlining the “spotlight” approach. I had a really annoying bug upstream in Gnome that took years to fix (involving lack of UTC support in the session). A process like that which is outlined in the article above probably would have hastened the fix of that bug.

  3. This is an informative article, and very helpful to me. As a recent linux convert (Nov. 2019), exploring the myriad choices of OS systems was often disorienting (but fun) but I crave stability and have now run Fedora for nearly a year. My issue is not a “bug,” but a kind-of accessibility “wished-for” option. I have a chronic, but not severe vision problem (keratoconus) and I would like to see a modest system option (added to the accessibility menu) to increase/adjust font & icon size in the top bar… without having to download a separate “dock” or extensions (many with severe bug problems). That’s it! I otherwise consider Fedora perfect!

  4. This is not a bug but just a wish. Over the versions of Fedora you have had some really beautiful background images and more recently not as many I cared so much about. Is there a collection of those older backgrounds in a folder somewhere? Perhaps someday there might be a link allowing users to pick one of those older ones via Internet?

    I wonder if it would ever be feasible to add selections to update a MoBo BIOS and graphics drivers, as you support updating software apps? AMD and MoBo makers offer apps to do this but only for MS Windows of course.

    This next is probably not so likely but I will ask it anyway. Sony, Canon, Nikon, HP, etc. only ever support Windows and MacOS for firmware updates on digital cameras and ink jet printers. I would love to be able to do this from Linux.

    None of these are real big deals – postings like Glenn Junkert’s are far more important to get done. Most recent major Linux distros have gotten amazingly good now, and of course Fedora definitely is. Thanks for asking for suggestions. Do you know that for a while I was trying to get used to Apple MacOS and made a suggestion to them, and then a short while later got a letter from an Apple lawyer saying something like “We have software engineers to improve MacOS and do not want you making suggestions.” So one of wonderful things about running Linux is user suggestions are usually welcome … and probably because of that, distros like Fedora are getting really wonderful to use. Thanks!

    • This is not a bug but just a wish. Over the versions of Fedora you have had some really beautiful background images and more recently not as many I cared so much about. Is there a collection of those older backgrounds in a folder somewhere? Perhaps someday there might be a link allowing users to pick one of those older ones via Internet?

      Did you see How to install more wallpaper packs on Fedora Workstation?

      Here is a list of some older packages that you can install to get the older backgrounds:

      fedorainfinity-backgrounds
      desktop-backgrounds-waves
      solar-backgrounds
      leonidas-backgrounds-lion
      constantine-backgrounds
      goddard-backgrounds-gnome
      laughlin-backgrounds-gnome
      laughlin-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      lovelock-backgrounds-gnome
      lovelock-backgrounds-stripes-gnome
      verne-backgrounds-gnome
      verne-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      beefy-miracle-backgrounds-gnome
      spherical-cow-backgrounds-gnome
      spherical-cow-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      schroedinger-cat-backgrounds-gnome
      schroedinger-cat-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      heisenbug-backgrounds-gnome
      heisenbug-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f21-backgrounds-gnome
      f21-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f22-backgrounds-gnome
      f22-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f23-backgrounds-gnome
      f23-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f24-backgrounds-gnome
      f24-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f25-backgrounds-gnome
      f25-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      f26-backgrounds-gnome
      f26-backgrounds-extras-gnome
      
  5. Leslie Satenstein, Montreal,Que,Canada

    Hi Matt
    Can the system distinguish between user raised bugs and those that the system trapped and filed to RH bugzilla because it is programmed into the handler.

    I have a bug to report about design which may be what I term a deviation of gnome from the previous version. Sometimes, and rightly so, it is not a bug, Othertimes, it is one, or a bug about an inconvenience.

  6. Making everyone happy, is a wish too good to be true.
    Atleast practically impossible unless the work is done and continuously improved by robots.
    To the people who complain, you need to understand the extend and vastness of the project, the components which you are expecting to get an update(especially for proprietary drivers – requires heavy use of free time to reverse egnineer the available softwares).
    Try to do that and you will understand the pain involved.
    We have reached till here from a time where the world was dominated by unnecessarily complicated proprietary softwares and OS. So instead of complaining, try to help the team find solutions and thereby help all people.
    For all the people involved in making Fedora, ALL OF YOU ARE AWESOME AND KEEP UP THE WORK FRIENDS.

  7. Naheem

    I always thought it strange that regular software doesnt not have access to flatpak style overlays.

    Ideally eg the system gstreamer should also check and ake available all installed plugins even if they are flatpak extensions (the search path should check if flatpak extension points are available and if so mount them). Then loading of any plugins can be standardised between all editions of Fedora including silverblue.

  8. Rudi Simon

    I’ve always dreamed of a “Fedora-Mini”. An ARM cpu/chipset/bios and dedicated gpu developed by Fedora with Fedora installed. It would be in a beautiful space-blue box with the logo in the top.
    I know it’s a dream since Linux won’t allow it, but it would be cool.

  9. Devil's Chariot

    Pulseeffects and conky manager. I last used them successfully on F32. when i upgraded to F33 the both stopped working and even now on F34 still not working proper

    • Darvond

      Have you upgraded to Pipewire? Or made sure that the server and program are on speaking terms?

      If not the former, I can fully recommend so.

      As for Conky Manager, I think the bad news is, that project was last updated four years ago.

      The one thing I wish DNF/DNFdragora made more obvious was when a package was last updated, and not just “version bumped.”

  10. Anon Ymous the 8th

    Nvidia related bug and a fix. (to help others counter the screen going blank, forcing a live cold boot)

    I have a dell g5 gaming rig – i9 processor , nvidia rtx 2080 video card. Fedora often just locks up on it. The screen goes blank, and nothing works. (screen is set to never go blank in power settings)

    As of a month ago, fedora workstation 33 and fedora silverblue seem to work without the screen going blank. However, the Fedora Design Suite version still locks up with a blank screen, forcing me to do a cold boot. Anyway, here is one fix that seems to work

    1) sudo dnf update

    2) sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

    3) sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

    4) sudo dnf install akmod-nvidia
    sudo reboot or reboot the computer.

    After doing the above, the screen problem is fixed. Also it shows the exact video card I have in settings. “NVIDIA Corporation TU104 [GeForce RTX 2080]”

    • with Nvidia and Fedora you should use stable kernel, the frequent updates of kernel break nvidia a lot.

      sudo dnf copr enable kwizart/kernel-longterm-5.10 -y

      or if you want 5.4

      sudo dnf copr enable kwizart/kernel-longterm-5.4 -y

  11. sampsonf

    Sorry in advance if this is off topic.

    Question 1:
    When filing a bug, is there any field that I can set to indicate it is only applicable to specific product like Workstation, Silverblue, coreOS, etc?

    • There isn’t a field like that. Maybe there should be, but I think the trend is towards fewer fancy bugzilla fields because it’s already pretty complicated.

      It’s definitely good information to put in your summary of the issue!

  12. Anoop

    Have been using this from the RedHat 6.1 release . Of late features are disappearing. Move to Grub-2 has been rough too. That said there are no other distribution which offer what this can.
    Now just take the case of a desktop user. Of late it has become a pain to configure grub itself. Time we got a normal GUI to do it.
    Yum was a good start. Then DNF does most of those functions, but is so slow to do the same thing. Also it takes a long time to do anything meaningful. Why not just have something like the trusted old timer for end. It was there and working. But disappeared.
    Modern laptops don’t have two sockets for mic and headphones. Windows driver for the infamous Reltek has application to set easily how to handle it. That is why you get everywhere. On most monks too. If in a headset and the recording goes haywire. It just keeps blinking saying mic is in it is out and then headphones in and out etc.
    Fedora also claims it is cutting edge. The modern OS whatever it maybe don’t need you type in a terminal . Those are stuff which makes or breakers an is. I love this , but the issue is even my family does not like it. They use mint or even Ubuntu. What a fate. After all what good can an is do if you can’t configure a boot order , set up a headset or such things. Don’t even see any good software update too. Just something interfering your work saying updates is available lol.

    • Darvond

      Let me see if I can translate this to lay:
      You don’t like Grub2. Fair enough. Grub2 is very hairy by the unfortunate nature of the beast. There are a few alternatives like ReFind.

      DNF is slow? This doesn’t really speak to anything. That could be any number of things such as the dependency resolver, the server finder, or any number of sub processes. Use the -v option if you really want to see what it’s up to. If it’s really such a bother, making DNF automatic is rather trivial. https://dnf.readthedocs.io/en/latest/automatic.html

      As for the matter of your headset troubles, is that across all outputs, desktops, and programs? Are you using Pulse or Pipe? This could be a lot of things.

      I could argue for the sake of arguing, that upgrading Mint is more a pain than upgrading Fedora; their process is such chopped liver that they actually recommend AGAINST UPGRADING AND JUST CLEAN INSTALLING.

    • Karlis K.

      There’s ‘grubby’ (CLI) and ‘grub-customizer’ (GUI) that you can install to configure your GRUB. As for DNF, ‘dnf-utils’ come in handy – it provides a good few utils that came as standalone yum plugins in the past (like fastestmirror and dnf-cache).

      But you can also give OpenSUSE a try – it’s an RPM based distro that I’ve switched over to using. I went with the KDE version of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (continuous Rolling Release, but you might like the stable Leap releases more) after having trouble with KDE on older Fedora 31 release. Yast config utility has both CLI and GUI but the GUI feels more complete in KDE version and allows you to adjust Bootloader (GRUB2) settings without manually editing the /etc/default/grub and then generating the GRUB2 configs.

  13. Alioune

    In Fedora 33 , Actually since Fedora 20 if i’m not mistaken, it’s hard to connect to a hidden network via the GUI network manager. You have to use workarounds like iwlist and so. l’m not talking about automatically connect to a hidden network; I know the network doesn’t broadcast it’s SSID , I’m taking about setting up a hidden network and then later on or some times in the future coming back and trying to connect manually it always fails. I think there is something to do with broadcom wireless network cards. That’s bugging be. Thank you for this opportunity to share this issue.

  14. Luchezar

    Hi! From the Fedora 30 onwards, on machines with an AMD processor, the effect of a “glued” keyboard and mouse appeared, at higher loads, for example, work in the OpenOffice and gimp. I also have difficulty configuring a scanner for multifunction printers. This made me return to the fedora 29.

  15. Klaus

    I never see a bug fixed… Currently I am not able to work with two monitors anymore after an update a few weeks ago. No reaction, no work around, no help!

    This week a new update makes it impossible to shut down normally

    Booting with two monitors did not work since 2 years

    Sorry, it is frustrating.

    • Darvond

      Well, are you prepared to provision actual information such as which desktop(s) this issue is occurring on, your graphics card, connector to computer & between monitors, if Wayland vs X is an issue, and so on?

      And that’s just surface level diagnostics.

  16. Lars Martin

    What is a bug or not on fedora?
    I found some on fedora https://forums.fedoraforum.org/forumdisplay.php?155-F34-Development-Forum
    but no sure if kernel issue, poor design install give error message when its works correctly or some like that? its more issue with fedora 34 beta gnome 40 than ubuntu 21.04 gnome 3.1 or simlar but not sure if developer know about it?

    • Darvond

      You can always try to raise an issue with the upstream, but be prepared that you might end up in a game of bugtracking ping-pong. Less professional projects will often put you in a defer loop instead of actually investigating things from all ends to help all sides find a solution.

      It’s kinda like a genre blindness.

      • Well, less professional projects can just be one or two people in their spare time, doing something they thought would be helpful — making an open source project doesn’t obligate one to spend one’s time investigating all reports. (You won’t get that from most commercial software either, unless you’re paying considerable amounts of money!)

        • Darvond

          Don’t get me wrong. I know that a lot of projects are basically passion projects and uplifted hobby works. XFCE is a great example of that. But the actual people involved are professionals. I more meant in terms of casual vs serious, not hobby vs corporate; though that is a seriously good point, to which I will happily bow to.

          • Yes 🙂

            I take your point too — it’s great when projects are able to devote time to tracking down problems and helping their users!

  17. F Gholamian

    ‌Broadcom bluetooth and wifi don’t work in fedora. Probably, drivers are not installed in Fedora 34. Will packages be added to Fedora 34 automatically?

  18. Leslie Satenstein

    I have a craint(known as a xxxch) about /tmp clutter. I thought that /tmp should be clean immediately following a fresh system boot. I thought that /tmp was for a user needing temporary file space.

    Currently, on a Fedora boot (…33,34), /tmp is used by systemd until the very first logon. On my system, when I do the first login and check /tmp, there are 12 directories with the name:
    “systemd-private-337693851ccd42f4ab963bf09f507….. ”

    Are these directories needed after shell presents the logon prompt? Is there any reason why these files could not be created within /var/tmp so that on first logon by a user, /tmp is clean.
    Is there an issue if a user wipes /tmp of files for his first use?
    Is there a problem if these files are relocated to /var/tmp?

    • I haven’t used it for /tmp (I have for other paths) but there is an example for “polyinstantiating” /tmp in /etc/security/namespace.conf. Like I said, I haven’t tried it, but that is my best guess as to how you might go about getting a “clean” /tmp for your user session.

    • Arjen Heidinga

      Being a Linux admin for over 20 years, me advice: don’t bother. It never has been clean after a boot. Every house had a closet with clutter. /tmp is for users /and/ services to write tmpfiles. Those pesky long systems dirs are systemd’s-privatetemp dirs. Leave them. Please don’t wipe /tmp, you’ll upset things.

  19. James

    Make DNF fast. I have used Arch and Alpine. Pacman and Apk is very fast compared to DNF.

    Packages repository’s metadata updates automatically, worse they are too big. There should a separate command to do that like others. Some people need to pay for every bytes they receive.

  20. Leslie Satenstein

    System D alert browser post bugs the bug the x out of me. The alert has a [Troubleshoot] button that I usually select. Doing so, I am presented with two columns. the left has the title “If you were trying to…”
    and on the right side, “Then this is the solution”… Here is a sample pair of right side outputs

    You should report this as a bug.
    You can generate a local policy module to allow this access.
    Allow this access for now by executing:

    ausearch -c ‘gdb’ –raw | audit2allow -M my-gdb

    semodule -X 300 -i my-gdb.pp

    My annoyance is the appearance of the two octothorpes on the left.
    I would just want to copy the two lines into a root owned terminal, or rather have the two lines presented as

    sudo ausearch -c ‘gdb’ –raw | audit2allow -M my-gdb
    sudo semodule -X 300 -i my-gdb.pp

    My second point. Because of the # before the two messages, most people do not report the bug or bugfix.

  21. Leslie Satenstein

    My paste eliminated two # to the left of the aushearch and the semondule lines.

  22. svsv sarma

    There is something wrong with dnfdragora. The display window is not adjustable at all. The bottom bar is not visible and hence not accessible. I have to use the bash for updates. Perhaps the problem will be solved in the final release of Fedora 34 cinnamon.

  23. Glenn Junkert

    I do have an issue to report: Decided to install Fedora 44 on a new Lenovo Ideapad3 & everything worked to perfection until the software update on Apr 29. Now my touchpad does not respond. A mouse with a usb wireless connection does work. Re-installed, but still no response via touchpad. Touchpad works on other linux OS, but I much prefer using Fedora!

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