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PERLBUG(1) Perl Programmers Reference Guide PERLBUG(1)


perlbug – how to submit bug reports on Perl



perlbug [ -v ] [ -a address ] [ -s subject ] [ -b body | -f inputfile ] [ -F outputfile ] [ -r returnaddress ] [ -e editor ] [ -c adminaddress | -C ] [ -S ] [ -t ] [ -d ] [ -A ] [ -h ] [ -T ]

perlbug [ -v ] [ -r returnaddress ] [ -A ] [ -ok | -okay | -nok | -nokay ]



This program is designed to help you generate and send bug reports (and
thank-you notes) about perl5 and the modules which ship with it.

In most cases, you can just run it interactively from a command line
without any special arguments and follow the prompts.

If you have found a bug with a non-standard port (one that was not part
of the standard distribution), a binary distribution, or a non-core
module (such as Tk, DBI, etc), then please see the documentation that
came with that distribution to determine the correct place to report

If you are unable to send your report using perlbug (most likely
because your system doesn’t have a way to send mail that perlbug
recognizes), you may be able to use this tool to compose your report
and save it to a file which you can then send to using
your regular mail client.

In extreme cases, perlbug may not work well enough on your system to
guide you through composing a bug report. In those cases, you may be
able to use perlbug -d to get system configuration information to
include in a manually composed bug report to

When reporting a bug, please run through this checklist:

What version of Perl you are running?
Type “perl -v” at the command line to find out.

Are you running the latest released version of perl?
Look at to find out. If you are not using the
latest released version, please try to replicate your bug on the
latest stable release.

Note that reports about bugs in old versions of Perl, especially
those which indicate you haven’t also tested the current stable
release of Perl, are likely to receive less attention from the
volunteers who build and maintain Perl than reports about bugs in
the current release.

This tool isn’t appropriate for reporting bugs in any version prior
to Perl 5.0.

Are you sure what you have is a bug?
A significant number of the bug reports we get turn out to be
documented features in Perl. Make sure the issue you’ve run into
isn’t intentional by glancing through the documentation that comes
with the Perl distribution.

Given the sheer volume of Perl documentation, this isn’t a trivial
undertaking, but if you can point to documentation that suggests
the behaviour you’re seeing is wrong, your issue is likely to
receive more attention. You may want to start with perldoc perltrap
for pointers to common traps that new (and experienced) Perl
programmers run into.

If you’re unsure of the meaning of an error message you’ve run
across, perldoc perldiag for an explanation. If the message isn’t
in perldiag, it probably isn’t generated by Perl. You may have
luck consulting your operating system documentation instead.

If you are on a non-UNIX platform perldoc perlport, as some
features may be unimplemented or work differently.

You may be able to figure out what’s going wrong using the Perl
debugger. For information about how to use the debugger perldoc

Do you have a proper test case?
The easier it is to reproduce your bug, the more likely it will be
fixed — if nobody can duplicate your problem, it probably won’t be

A good test case has most of these attributes: short, simple code;
few dependencies on external commands, modules, or libraries; no
platform-dependent code (unless it’s a platform-specific bug);
clear, simple documentation.

A good test case is almost always a good candidate to be included
in Perl’s test suite. If you have the time, consider writing your
test case so that it can be easily included into the standard test

Have you included all relevant information?
Be sure to include the exact error messages, if any. “Perl gave an
error” is not an exact error message.

If you get a core dump (or equivalent), you may use a debugger
(dbx, gdb, etc) to produce a stack trace to include in the bug

NOTE: unless your Perl has been compiled with debug info (often
-g), the stack trace is likely to be somewhat hard to use because
it will most probably contain only the function names and not their
arguments. If possible, recompile your Perl with debug info and
reproduce the crash and the stack trace.

Can you describe the bug in plain English?
The easier it is to understand a reproducible bug, the more likely
it will be fixed. Any insight you can provide into the problem
will help a great deal. In other words, try to analyze the problem
(to the extent you can) and report your discoveries.

Can you fix the bug yourself?
If so, that’s great news; bug reports with patches are likely to
receive significantly more attention and interest than those
without patches. Please attach your patch to the report using the
“-p” option. When sending a patch, create it using “git
format-patch” if possible, though a unified diff created with “diff
-pu” will do nearly as well.

Your patch may be returned with requests for changes, or requests
for more detailed explanations about your fix.

Here are a few hints for creating high-quality patches:

Make sure the patch is not reversed (the first argument to diff is
typically the original file, the second argument your changed
file). Make sure you test your patch by applying it with “git am”
or the “patch” program before you send it on its way. Try to
follow the same style as the code you are trying to patch. Make
sure your patch really does work (“make test”, if the thing you’re
patching is covered by Perl’s test suite).

Can you use “perlbug” to submit the report?
perlbug will, amongst other things, ensure your report includes
crucial information about your version of perl. If “perlbug” is
unable to mail your report after you have typed it in, you may have
to compose the message yourself, add the output produced by
“perlbug -d” and email it to If, for some
reason, you cannot run “perlbug” at all on your system, be sure to
include the entire output produced by running “perl -V” (note the
uppercase V).

Whether you use “perlbug” or send the email manually, please make
your Subject line informative. “a bug” is not informative.
Neither is “perl crashes” nor is “HELP!!!”. These don’t help. A
compact description of what’s wrong is fine.

Can you use “perlbug” to submit a thank-you note?
Yes, you can do this by either using the “-T” option, or by
invoking the program as “perlthanks”. Thank-you notes are good. It
makes people smile.

Having done your bit, please be prepared to wait, to be told the bug is
in your code, or possibly to get no reply at all. The volunteers who
maintain Perl are busy folks, so if your problem is an obvious bug in
your own code, is difficult to understand or is a duplicate of an
existing report, you may not receive a personal reply.

If it is important to you that your bug be fixed, do monitor the mailing list (mailing lists are moderated, your
message may take a while to show up) and the commit logs to development
versions of Perl, and encourage the maintainers with kind words or
offers of frosty beverages. (Please do be kind to the maintainers.
Harassing or flaming them is likely to have the opposite effect of the
one you want.)

Feel free to update the ticket about your bug on if
a new version of Perl is released and your bug is still present.


-a Address to send the report to. Defaults to

-A Don’t send a bug received acknowledgement to the reply address.
Generally it is only a sensible to use this option if you are a
perl maintainer actively watching perl porters for your message
to arrive.

-b Body of the report. If not included on the command line, or in
a file with -f, you will get a chance to edit the message.

-C Don’t send copy to administrator.

-c Address to send copy of report to. Defaults to the address of
the local perl administrator (recorded when perl was built).

-d Data mode (the default if you redirect or pipe output). This
prints out your configuration data, without mailing anything.
You can use this with -v to get more complete data.

-e Editor to use.

-f File containing the body of the report. Use this to quickly
send a prepared message.

-F File to output the results to instead of sending as an email.
Useful particularly when running perlbug on a machine with no
direct internet connection.

-h Prints a brief summary of the options.

-ok Report successful build on this system to perl porters. Forces
-S and -C. Forces and supplies values for -s and -b. Only
prompts for a return address if it cannot guess it (for use
with make). Honors return address specified with -r. You can
use this with -v to get more complete data. Only makes a
report if this system is less than 60 days old.

-okay As -ok except it will report on older systems.

-nok Report unsuccessful build on this system. Forces -C. Forces
and supplies a value for -s, then requires you to edit the
report and say what went wrong. Alternatively, a prepared
report may be supplied using -f. Only prompts for a return
address if it cannot guess it (for use with make). Honors
return address specified with -r. You can use this with -v to
get more complete data. Only makes a report if this system is
less than 60 days old.

-nokay As -nok except it will report on older systems.

-p The names of one or more patch files or other text attachments
to be included with the report. Multiple files must be
separated with commas.

-r Your return address. The program will ask you to confirm its
default if you don’t use this option.

-S Send without asking for confirmation.

-s Subject to include with the message. You will be prompted if
you don’t supply one on the command line.

-t Test mode. The target address defaults to

-T Send a thank-you note instead of a bug report.

-v Include verbose configuration data in the report.

Kenneth Albanowski (), subsequently doctored by
Gurusamy Sarathy (), Tom Christiansen
(), Nathan Torkington (), Charles F.
Randall (), Mike Guy (), Dominic Dunlop
(), Hugo van der Sanden (), Jarkko
Hietaniemi (), Chris Nandor (), Jon Orwant
(, Richard Foley (), Jesse
Vincent (), and Craig A. Berry


perl, perldebug(1), perldiag(1), perlport(1), perltrap(1), diff,
patch, dbx(1), gdb


None known (guess what must have been used to report them?)

perl v5.22.1 2016-03-13 PERLBUG(1)

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