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Bugzilla Tutorial – Bug Tracking Tool

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In software development process, getting and tracking bug, defect and error is a very common process and then documenting those bugs with a proper description in the word document is a general practice. What would happen if the document is erased or data got corrupted? So, in order to get rid of all this unwanted and unavoidable condition we use bug tracking tools for tracking the bugs, defects and error found during the software development process. Now a day there are many bug tracking tools are available in the market like- Axosoft, Jira, Planio and much more. Maximum of the bug trackers are available in paid versions and very few are free. Among all these bug trackers, bug tracker Bugzilla, one of the tool which is absolutely free and very user – friendly.

Bugzilla is a web-based general bug tracker and testing tool. It is a server software which is designed to help in managing the software development process. It was released as an open-source software by Netscape Communications in 1998. Bugzilla is used 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, Linux kernel, GNOME, KDE, Apache, Redhat, FreeBSD, Eclipse, WebKit, and LibreOffice. Topics covered in this Bugzilla Tutorial Series:


Features of Bugzilla

Bugzilla has many features for both User and Administrator. Bugzilla features for users

  • Search Capability is of advanced level: Bugzilla provides 2 type of search
    Basic search that is simple for users and can search for full text.
    Advance search system where a user can create the search using some filter.
  • Email Notification: A user will receive email notification for any updations done for any bug or defect.
  • Multi format bug listing: When searching for any bug, the search result can be found in different formats. Such as a long, printable report format containing all the bug details, a CSV format for importing into spreadsheets, and XML formats.
  • Bug Reports and Chart: It has an advanced reporting system. For the bug reports, you can create a table using any two fields as the X and Y axis, and use any search criteria to limit the bugs you want information on.
  • Detect duplicate bug automatically: Bugzilla will automatically look for similar bugs in the system and allow the user to add themselves to the CC list of one of those bugs instead of filing a new one.
  • Bug updates using email: Any specific bug or defect can be modified or edited simply by sending an email to Bugzilla.
  • Time Tracker: There is a time tracking facility available, from where we can check the time required for bug fixing and can also set a deadline by when the bug is to be complete.
  • Request System: Request System is a method of asking other users to do something with a particular bug or attachment. That other user can either grant the request or can deny the request and everything get a track in Bugzilla.
  • Attachment and Comments can be made private: If working on a project in a group, then we can make some attachment or comment marked as private, which will not be visible to other users in the group.
  • Patch Viewer: It gives you a nice, colorful view of any patch attached to a bug.

Other than all these there are many other features of Bugzilla from the user perspective.

Few Features for Administrator

  • Security is excellent: Security is a serious factor Bugzilla. Bugzilla runs under Perl’s “taint” mode to prevent SQL Injection and has a very careful system in place to prevent Cross-Site Scripting.
  • Field Customization: Bugzilla supports different types of custom fields and can even display them based on the value of another field, to only use them when they are relevant. Also support adding custom fields to the bug database, to capture and search data that is unique to the company.
  • Custom Workflow: Bugzilla is built with a default list of bug status and default workflow. But it can be further edited to better meet the project requirement.
  • Full support for Unicode: Bugzilla greatly supports Unicode and data can be entered in Unicode and can be correctly searched and sorted.
  • Localization: Administrators can configure the installations and automatically serve correct, localized content to users.
  • Control bug visibility and editing to a group: The control is too advance, and it allows specific groups of the user to edit and the bugs.
  • Sanity Check: Bugzilla’s Sanity Check scans your database for inconsistencies. It reports errors and either offer to fix them automatically or gives you links to help you fix the problem.

How Bugzilla Works

1. Login/Registration

  • Use the following link: https://landfill.bugzilla.org/bugzilla-5.0-branch/ For creating a new account in Bugzilla go to the New Account option in the main menu and to get login click on the login option in the main menu.

  • For Log in: The user just needs to enter the registered Email Address and the Password and click on the Log in button. The user will be directed to the Bugzilla- main Page.

  • For creating the new account, Click on New Account & Enter a valid Email Address.

  • The user will receive an email to the entered email address and user needs to click on the registration link for proceeding further for registration.

  • After clicking on the registration link in the email, the user will be directed to the registration page, where need to fill the Real Name, Password and Confirm Password. After that user needs to click on Create button.
  • Bugzilla also provides an option to cancel the account by providing a Cancel button at the bottom left of the screen.

  • After successful registration is done, the user will be redirected to the Bugzilla- Main Page. The user can view the logged in user name in the Main Page.

2. Creating a New Bug in Bugzilla

  • For creating a new bug in Bugzilla, a user needs to click on the New tab in the Main Page. The user can also report a bug from the File a Bug option.

  • After that user needs to select the specific product category from the listing for which the bug is to be created or reported. The product is to be added by the administrator.

  • After selecting the desired category, the user will be redirected to the bug reporting page which is referred as Bugzilla- Enter Bug Page. If notice at the page label, then it can be seen that the product name is also added, which signifies that the bug is reported for that specific product.

In Bugzilla, enter Bug Page, the user can view the following bugs during reporting bugs:

  • Product: The product name will get pre-populated based on the product selected on the previous product category page.
  • Reporter: The reported field will also get pre-populated with the logged in user email address/user name.
  • Components: Components are second- level categories, each belongs to a particular product. The user needs to select a component from the list.
  • Versions: The version field defines the particular version of the software or product, where the defect is found.
  • Severity: The severity field explains the level of severity of the bug, that how severe the bugs is. It offers the following options in the drop-down blocker, critical, normal, major, minor, trivial and enhancement.
  • Hardware: The hardware field specifies the hardware used by the device where the bug is found.
  • OS: It defines the different operating system versions where the bug was found like- Windows 10, Windows 8, Linux. Mac OS X 10.1, etc
  • Summary: Summary is a short description of the bug which defines what the bug is all about. One important feature of the summary section is the duplicate check. A list of similar bug details will display in the listing based on the entered text and user can identify if the bug is reported earlier or not.

  • Description: Bug description is the detail description of the bug found. It may include the steps to reproduce, the bug actual behavior, expected behavior and so on.
  • Attachment: User can also attach screenshots or videos of the bug, which helps it easier to replicate the bug. A user needs to upload the file and give the description for the file uploaded.


  • After entering all the details click on Submit Bug button. The bug will get added to that project.
  • The fields marked with red asterisks (*) are the mandatory fields.
  • All the above-mentioned field may vary based on the customization done on Bugzilla.

  • After the bug is created, a random Id (for example 44877 ) is assigned to the bug.
  • A user can also add additional information to the bug which will be helpful in giving more detailed information about the created bug. Few of the extra information are- URL, WhiteBoard, Keywords, Personal tags, Depends On, Large Text Box, Blocks, Date Time, Bug ID Field and so on.
  • The user can also add the time estimation required for the bug to fix and also the deadline for the bug. Also, can change the status of the bug from Status drop down the list. Deadline in Bugzilla usually gives the time-limit to resolve the bug in given time frame.

3. How Browse works in Bugzilla

  • Browse is used to locate or find the created bugs. The user needs to click on the Browse option from the menu.

  • Then select the product category for which the bug was created. In the above example, we have created the bug for “MyOwnBadSelf”, so select this category.

  • Then select the component which was added during the creation of the bug. Bugzilla components are sub- section of products.

  • After selecting the component, it will redirect to another window, where all the bugs created under this component are displayed. The user needs to select the id of the created bug to view the bug details.

  • If any further editing is required then the user can do some editing in the bug itself like – changing the assignee name, adding to the CC list, adding keywords and so on.

4. Search Functionality in Bugzilla

  • As discussed earlier, Bugzilla provided 2 different types of searching- Simple Search and the Advanced Search.
  • Basic search that is simple for users and can search for full text.
    Advance search system where the user can create the search using some filter.

  • When the user clicks on Search option in the menu, then it displays the two different types of search in tabular form.

4.1 Simple Search

For performing the simple search, a user sends fill the 3 parameters.

  • Status: Enter the status for the bug created.
  • Product: Select the product category for which the bug was created.
  • Words: Enter some keyword or bug summary or some text which is related the created bug.

Once searching is done, the result will display based on entry.

4.2 Advanced Search

Now coming to Advanced Search, user needs to enter:

  • Summary: Enter the keywords for the bug created.
  • Classifications: Select the option from the Classification list.
  • Product: Select the product for which the bug was created.
  • Components: Select the component for which the bug was created.
  • Status: Select the status of the defect.
  • Resolution: Select the bug resolution, eg: Fixed, Invalid, etc.

After selecting the desired options, click on the search button. The desired output is displayed based on the searching done.

This how both the searching works in Bugzilla


5. Reports

  • The report is one of the important features of Bugzilla. In order to view the current status of the bug database Report is used. Bugzilla provides a report in 2 format – HTML table based format and Graphical format(which includes line chart, pie chart, bar chart).
  • Clicking on the Report option from the menu will redirect the user to the Bugzilla- Reporting and Charting Kitchen page.

5.1 Tabular Report

  • On selecting Tabular report option, the user is redirected to the Bugzilla – Generate Tabular Report page. Where user needs to select the Vertical axis, Horizontal Axis, and Multiple tables.

  • After selecting the parameters, a user needs to click on the Generate Report button.

5.2 Graphical Report

  • On selecting Graphical report option, the user is redirected to the Bugzilla – Generate Graphical Report page. Where user need to select the Vertical axis, Horizontal Axis, Multiple Image, and the graph format (Line graph, Bar chart, Pie Chart).
  • After user needs to enter the remaining parameters which are same in an Advanced search that is- Summary, Classification, Product, Component, Status, and Resolution.

  • After selecting the parameters, a user needs to click on the Generate Report button.

  • In this Bugzilla – Report: Blocks / Bug ID Field Page, Bugzilla provides an option for changing the displayed report graph into some other format also like- Bar, table, and CSV format.

6. Preferences

Preference is one of the very important section from where we can change the default setting of Bugzilla and can custom it based on the project requirement. Bugzilla provides 5 types of preferences.

6.1 General Preferences

General Preference is one of most important of all preferences. The user can perform the below-mentioned customization from General Preference.

  • Add ‘New:’ to subject line of email sent when a new bug is filed.
  • Position of the Additional Comments box.
  • When viewing a bug, show comments in this order.
  • Field separator character for CSV files.
  • Show a quip at the top of each bug list.
  • Preferred email format.
  • Language used in email.
  • Display possible duplicates when reporting a new bug.
  • After changing a bug.
  • Include comments when performing quick searches (slower).
  • Quote the associated comment when you click on its reply link.
  • Automatically add me to the CC list of bugs I am requested to review.
  • Bugzilla’s general appearance (skin).
  • Automatically add me to the CC list of bugs I change.
  • Timezone used to display dates and times.
  • Zoom text areas large when in use (requires JavaScript).

After performing the changes user needs to click on Submit Changes button.

6.2 Email Preferences

The Email Preference option allows user to enable and disable the email or notification send my Bugzilla for the specific task. If a user is willing to receive all the notification, then the user need to select the Enable All Mail button and save the change if does not want to receive any notification from Bugzilla then the user can select Disable all Mail button.

6.3 Saved Searches

From the Saved Search preference section, a user can view and run the search saved by the user and also by other members of the group.

6.4 Account Information

Under Account information section, a user can change the password and can also update the name and the email address field.

6.5 Permissions

API keys are used to authenticate web service API calls. The user can create more than one API key if required. Each API key has an optional description which can help user record what each key is used for. The user can update the description, and revoke or revise existing API keys under Existing API key section.

The user can also generate a new API key by ticking the field “Generate a new API key with optional description “ and optionally providing a description for the API key. The API key will be randomly generated for a user.

7. Logout

Finally, the log out button, after done with all the bug creation, assigning and reporting user can get the log out of the application by clicking on the Logout button. 


That is all about Bugzilla and how it works.

About the author

Asim Mondal author

Asim is ISTQB certified tester, expert in QA/Testing with a Master's in Computer Application, whether it is Mobile testing (Android, iOS and windows) or website testing he always lead the way in IT systems efficiency and a swift resolution of issues minimizing his employer’s risk.

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