Documentation for package maintainers

Collecting more data for your package

If a program developer (or package maintainer) requires some specific information which ABRT is not collecting, they can write a custom ABRT hook which collects the required data for his program (package). Such hook can be run at a different time during the problem processing depending on how “fresh” the information has to be. It can be run:

  1. at the time of the crash
  2. at the time when user decides to analyse the problem (usually run gdb on it)
  3. at the time of reporting

All you have to do is create a .conf and place it to /etc/libreport/events.d/ from this template:

   <whatever command you like>

The commands will execute with the current directory set to the problem directory (e.g: /var/spool/abrt/ccpp-2012-05-17-14:55:15-31664)

If you need to collect the data at the time of the crash you need to create a hook that will be run as a post-create event.

WARNING: post-create events are run with root privileges!

This sample hook will save the time to the file dateofcrash at the time when the crash is detected by ABRT:

EVENT=post-create component=binutils
        date > dateofcrash

A more realistic example: save the smart data when one of tools from udisks crashes:

EVENT=post-create component=udisks
        which skdump >/dev/null 2>&1 || exit 0
        for f in /dev/[sh]d[a-z]; do
            test -e "$f" || continue
            skdump "$f"
        done >smart_data

If you want to collect the data at the time when the problem is being reported, then you need to use a collect_ event type. Example:

        executable=`cat executable` &&
        base_executable=${executable##*/} &&
        grep -F -e "$base_executable" /var/log/messages | tail -999 >syslog

Testing how ABRT handles crashes of your application

To make sure abrt is able to handle the crash of your application and generate backtraces correctly, you can try to crash it by sending it a SIGSEGV signal (only in case of C/C++ application):

kill -SIGSEGV $( pidof yourapp )

Abrt should catch the crash and produce a problem directory correctly. It should be possible to report the crash to ABRT Analytics and bugzilla.

Using custom bugzilla template

ABRT allows package maintainers to override default Bugzilla bug formatting for their packages by providing a component specific template file for abrt. The file must be structured according to Bugzilla plugin output configuration and must be stored in

  • /etc/libreport/plugins/bugzilla_format_$component.conf for initial bug formatting and
  • /etc/libreport/plugins/bugzilla_formatdup_$component.conf for additional bug comments

Template files references ABRT problem elements listed on Elements collected by ABRT page.

Bugzilla plugin output configuration

Bugzilla reporter plugin accepts the -F option (default: /etc/libreport/plugins/bugzilla_format.conf), which allows user to modify the contents of the newly created bugs. Lines in this file have the following format:

# comment
%summary:: summary format
section:: element1[,element2]...
the literal text line to be added to Bugzilla comment. Can be empty.

Summary format is a line of text, where %element% is replaced by text element’s content, and [[...%element%...]] block is used only if %element% exists. [[...]] blocks can nest.

Sections can be:

  • %attach:: a list of elements to attach.
  • text, double colon (::) and a list of comma-separated elements.

Elements can be:

  • problem directory element names, which get formatted as

    <element_name>: <contents>


  • problem directory element names prefixed by %bare_, which is formatted as-is, without <element_name>: and starting colons

  • %oneline, %multiline, %text wildcards, which select all corresponding elements for output or attachment

  • %binary wildcard, valid only for %attach section, instructs to attach binary elements

  • problem directory element names prefixed by “-”, which excludes given element from all wildcards

Nonexistent elements are silently ignored. If none of elements exists, the section will not be created.


%summary:: [abrt] %package%[[: %reason%]]

This bug was automatically created by ABRT.

Description of problem:: %bare_comment

Version-Release number of selected component:: %bare_package
Additional info:: \

Bogosection:: nonexistent_element_name

Backtrace:: %bare_backtrace

%attach:: -comment,-reason,-reported_to,-event_log,%multiline,coredump

Note that empty lines are significant. In the above example, there is no empty line between Version-Release number of selected component and Additional info sections, which will result in these two sections having no empty line between them in newly created bug’s description too.