MSCFOSS/DIF122/Software Development Practices/Unit IV/Bug tracking system Bugzilla

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A bug tracking system is a software application that is designed to help quality assurance and programmers keep track of reported software bugs in their work. It may be regarded as a type of issue tracking system.

Many bug tracking systems, such as those used by most open source software projects, allow users to enter bug reports directly. Other systems are used only internally in a company or organization doing software development. Typically bug tracking systems are integrated with other software project management applications.

Having a bug tracking system is extremely valuable in software development, and they are used extensively by companies developing software products. Consistent use of a bug or issue tracking system is considered one of the "hallmarks of a good software team".


A major component of a bug tracking system is a database that records facts about known bugs. Facts may include the time a bug was reported, its severity, the erroneous program behavior, and details on how to reproduce the bug; as well as the identity of the person who reported it and any programmers who may be working on fixing it.

Typical bug tracking systems support the concept of the life cycle for a bug which is tracked through status assigned to the bug. A bug tracking system should allow administrators to configure permissions based on status, move the bug to another status, or delete the bug. The system should also allow administrators to configure the bug statuses and to what status a bug in a particular status can be moved. Some systems will e-mail interested parties, such as the submitter and assigned programmers, when new records are added or the status changes.


Bugzilla is a Web-based general-purpose bugtracker and testing tool originally developed and used by the Mozilla project, and licensed under the Mozilla Public License.

Released as open source software by Netscape Communications in 1998, it has been adopted by a variety of organizations for use as a bug tracking system for both free and open source software and proprietary projects and products. Bugzilla is used, among others, by Mozilla Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, WebKit, NASA, Yahoo!, GNOME, KDE, Apache, Red Hat and Novell.

Bugzilla Requirements

Bugzilla's system requirements include:

  • A compatible database management system
  • A suitable release of Perl 5
  • An assortment of Perl modules
  • A compatible web server
  • A suitable mail transfer agent, or any SMTP server

Currently supported database systems are MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQLite. Bugzilla is usually installed on Linux using the Apache HTTP Server, but any web server that supports CGI such as Lighttpd, Hiawatha, Cherokee can be used. Bugzilla's installation process is command line driven and runs through a series of stages where system requirements and software capabilities are checked.

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