bts [options] command [args] [#comment] [.|, command [args] [#comment]]
This is a command line interface to the Debian Bug Tracking System
(BTS), intended mainly for use by developers. It lets the BTS be
manipulated using simple commands that can be run at the prompt or in a
script, does various sanity checks on the input, and constructs and
sends a mail to the BTS control address for you. A local cache of web
pages and e-mails from the BTS may also be created and updated.
In general, the command line interface is the same as what you would
write in a mail to email@example.com, just prefixed with "bts".
% bts severity 69042 normal
% bts merge 69042 43233
% bts retitle 69042 blah blah
A few additional commands have been added for your convenience, and
this program is less strict about what constitutes a valid bug number.
For example, "severity Bug#85942 normal" is understood, as is "severity
#85942 normal". (Of course, your shell may regard "#" as a comment
character though, so you may need to quote it!)
Also, for your convenience, this program allows you to abbreviate
commands to the shortest unique substring (similar to how cvs lets you
abbreviate commands). So it understands things like "bts cl 85942".
It is also possible to include a comment in the mail sent to the BTS.
If your shell does not strip out the comment in a command like "bts
severity 30321 normal #inflated severity", then this program is smart
enough to figure out where the comment is, and include it in the email.
Note that most shells do strip out such comments before they get to the
program, unless the comment is quoted. (Something like "bts severity
#85942 normal" will not be treated as a comment!)
You can specify multiple commands by separating them with a single dot,
rather like update-rc.d; a single comma may also be used; all the
commands will then be sent in a single mail. It is important the
dot/comma is surrounded by whitespace so it is not mistaken for part of
a command. For example (quoting where necessary so that bts sees the
% bts severity 95672 normal , merge 95672 95673 \#they are the same!
The abbreviation "it" may be used to refer to the last mentioned bug
number, so you could write:
% bts severity 95672 wishlist , retitle it "bts: please add a --foo option"
Please use this program responsibly, and do take our users into
Do not send emails but print them to standard output.
Should we attempt to cache new versions of BTS pages when
performing show/bugs commands? Default is to cache.
When running a bts cache command, should we only mirror the basic
bug (min), or should we also mirror the mbox version (mbox), or
should we mirror the whole thing, including the mbox and the boring
attachments to the BTS bug pages and the acknowledgement emails
(full)? Default is min.
Time in seconds to delay between each download, to avoid hammering
the BTS web server. Default is 5 seconds.
Open a mail reader to read the mbox corresponding to a given bug
number for show and bugs commands.
Specify the command to read the mbox. Must contain a "%s" string
(unquoted!), which will be replaced by the name of the mbox file.
The command will be split on white space and will not be passed to
a shell. Default is 'mutt -f %s'. (Also, %% will be substituted
by a single % if this is needed.)
Send carbon copies to a list of users. CC_EMAIL_ADDRESS should be a
comma-separated list of email addresses.
Add the addresses specified in the configuration file option
BTS_DEFAULT_CC to the list specified using --cc-addr. This is the
Do not add addresses specified in BTS_DEFAULT_CC to the carbon copy
Specify the sendmail command. The command will be split on white
space and will not be passed to a shell. Default is
/usr/sbin/sendmail. The -t option will be automatically added if
the command is /usr/sbin/sendmail or /usr/sbin/exim*. For other
mailers, if they require a -t option, this must be included in the
SENDMAILCMD, for example: --sendmail="/usr/sbin/mymailer -t".
Use mutt for sending of mails. Default is not to use mutt, except
for some commands.
Specify an SMTP host. If given, bts will send mail by talking
directly to this SMTP host rather than by invoking a sendmail
The host name may be followed by a colon (":") and a port number in
order to use a port other than the default. It may also begin with
"ssmtp://" or "smtps://" to indicate that SMTPS should be used.
Note that one of $DEBEMAIL or $EMAIL must be set in the environment
in order to use direct SMTP connections to send emails.
Note that when sending directly via an SMTP host, specifying
addresses in --cc-addr or BTS_DEFAULT_CC that the SMTP host will
not relay will cause the SMTP host to reject the entire mail.
Note also that the use of the reassign command may, when either
--interactive or --force-interactive mode is enabled, lead to the
automatic addition of a Cc to $firstname.lastname@example.org. In
these cases, the note above regarding relaying applies. The
submission interface (port 587) on reportbug.debian.org does not
support relaying and, as such, should not be used as an SMTP server
for bts under the circumstances described in this paragraph.
Specify the credentials to use when connecting to the SMTP server
specified by --smtp-host. If the server does not require
authentication then these options should not be used.
If a username is specified but not a password, bts will prompt for
the password before sending the mail.
Specify the name to use in the HELO command when connecting to the
SMTP server; defaults to the contents of the file /etc/mailname, if
Note that some SMTP servers may reject the use of a HELO which
either does not resolve or does not appear to belong to the host
Use a debbugs server other than https://bugs.debian.org.
Download a bug report again, even if it does not appear to have
changed since the last cache command. Useful if a
--cache-mode=full is requested for the first time (otherwise
unchanged bug reports will not be downloaded again, even if the
boring bits have not been downloaded).
Suppress any configuration file --force-refresh option.
Suppress acknowledgment mails from the BTS. Note that this will
only affect the copies of messages CCed to bugs, not those sent to
the control bot.
Do not suppress acknowledgement mails. This is the default
Before sending an e-mail to the control bot, display the content
and allow it to be edited, or the sending cancelled.
Similar to --interactive, with the exception that an editor is
spawned before prompting for confirmation of the message to be
Send control e-mails without confirmation. This is the default
When running bts cache, only display information about newly cached
pages, not messages saying already cached. If this option is
specified twice, only output error messages (to stderr).
Do not read any configuration files. This can only be used as the
first option given on the command-line.
For full details about the commands, see the BTS documentation.
show [options] [bug number | package | maintainer | : ] [opt=val ...]
show [options] [src:package | from:submitter] [opt=val ...]
show [options] [tag:tag | usertag:tag ] [opt=val ...]
show [release-critical | release-critical/... | RC]
This is a synonym for bts bugs.
bugs [options] [bug_number | package | maintainer | : ] [opt=val ...]
bugs [options] [src:package | from:submitter] [opt=val ...]
bugs [options] [tag:tag | usertag:tag ] [opt=val ...]
bugs [release-critical | release-critical/... | RC]
Display the page listing the requested bugs in a web browser using
Options may be specified after the bugs command in addition to or
instead of options at the start of the command line: recognised
options at this point are: -o/--offline/--online, -m/--mbox,
--mailreader and --[no-]cache. These are described earlier in this
manpage. If either the -o or --offline option is used, or there is
already an up-to-date copy in the local cache, the cached version
will be used.
Display the bugs for the source package package.
Display the bugs for the maintainer email address
Display the bugs for the submitter email address submitter.
tag:tag Display the bugs which are tagged with tag.
Display the bugs which are tagged with usertag tag. See
the BTS documentation for more information on usertags.
This will require the use of a users=email option.
: Details of the bug tracking system itself, along with a
bug-request page with more options than this script, can be
found on https://bugs.debian.org/. This page itself will
be opened if the command 'bts bugs :' is used.
Display the front page of the release-critical pages on the
BTS. This is a synonym for
https://bugs.debian.org/release-critical/index.html. It is
also possible to say release-critical/debian/main.html and
the like. RC is a synonym for
After the argument specifying what to display, you can optionally
specify options to use to format the page or change what it
displayed. These are passed to the BTS in the URL downloaded. For
example, pass dist=stable to see bugs affecting the stable version
of a package, version=1.0 to see bugs affecting that version of a
package, or reverse=yes to display newest messages first in a bug
If caching has been enabled (that is, --no-cache has not been used,
and BTS_CACHE has not been set to no), then any page requested by
bts show will automatically be cached, and be available offline
thereafter. Pages which are automatically cached in this way will
be deleted on subsequent "bts show|bugs|cache" invocations if they
have not been accessed in 30 days. Warning: on a filesystem
mounted with the "noatime" option, running "bts show|bugs" does not
update the cache files' access times; a cached bug will then be
subject to auto-cleaning 30 days after its initial download, even
if it has been accessed in the meantime.
Any other bts commands following this on the command line will be
executed after the browser has been exited.
The desired browser can be specified and configured by setting the
BROWSER environment variable. The conventions follow those defined
so programs obeying this convention can do the right thing in
either X or console environments, trying X first. Specifying
multiple commands may also be useful for people who share files
like .profile across multiple systems. We need %s because some
popular browsers have remote-invocation syntax that requires it.
Unless %% reduces to %, it won't be possible to have a literal %s
in the string.
For example, on most Linux systems a good thing to do would be:
BROWSER='mozilla -raise -remote "openURL(%s,new-window)":links'
select [key:value ...]
Uses the SOAP interface to output a list of bugs which match the
given selection requirements.
The following keys are allowed, and may be given multiple times.
package Binary package name.
source Source package name.
E-mail address of the maintainer.
E-mail address of the submitter.
status Status of the bug. One of open, done, or forwarded.
tag Tags applied to the bug. If users is specified, may include
usertags in addition to the standard tags.
owner Bug's owner.
Address of someone who sent mail to the log.
affects Bugs which affect this package.
bugs List of bugs to search within.
users Users to use when looking up usertags.
archive Whether to search archived bugs or normal bugs; defaults to
0 (i.e. only search normal bugs). As a special case, if
archive is both, both archived and unarchived bugs are
For example, to select the set of bugs submitted by
email@example.com and tagged wontfix, one would use
Uses the SOAP interface to output status information for the given
bugs (or as read from the listed files -- use - to indicate STDIN).
By default, all populated fields for a bug are displayed.
If verbose is given, empty fields will also be displayed.
If fields is given, only those fields will be displayed. No
validity checking is performed on any specified fields.
clone bug new_ID [new_ID ...]
The clone control command allows you to duplicate a bug report. It
is useful in the case where a single report actually indicates that
multiple distinct bugs have occurred. "New IDs" are negative
numbers, separated by spaces, which may be used in subsequent
control commands to refer to the newly duplicated bugs. A new
report is generated for each new ID.
done bug [version]
Mark a bug as Done. This forces interactive mode since done
messages should include an explanation why the bug is being closed.
You should specify which version of the package closed the bug, if
reopen bug [submitter]
Reopen a bug, with optional submitter.
Archive a bug that has previously been archived but is currently
not. The bug must fulfil all of the requirements for archiving
with the exception of those that are time-based.
Unarchive a bug that is currently archived.
retitle bug title
Change the title of the bug.
summary bug [messagenum]
Select a message number that should be used as the summary of a
If no message number is given, the summary is cleared.
submitter bug [bug ...] submitter-email
Change the submitter address of a bug or a number of bugs, with !
meaning `use the address on the current email as the new submitter
reassign bug [bug ...] package [version]
Reassign a bug or a number of bugs to a different package. The
version field is optional; see the explanation at
notfixed bug version
Remove the record that a bug was fixed in the given version of the
package to which it is assigned.
This is equivalent to the sequence of commands "found bug version",
"notfound bug version".
block bug by|with bug [bug ...]
Note that a bug is blocked from being fixed by a set of other bugs.
unblock bug by|with bug [bug ...]
Note that a bug is no longer blocked from being fixed by a set of
merge bug bug [bug ...]
Merge a set of bugs together.
forcemerge bug bug [bug ...]
Forcibly merge a set of bugs together. The first bug listed is the
master bug, and its settings (those which must be equal in a normal
merge) are assigned to the bugs listed next.
Unmerge a bug.
tag bug [+|-|=] tag [tag ...]
tags bug [+|-|=] tag [tag ...]
Set or unset a tag on a bug. The tag may either be the exact tag
name or it may be abbreviated to any unique tag substring. (So
using fixed will set the tag fixed, not fixed-upstream, for
example, but fix would not be acceptable.) Multiple tags may be
specified as well. The two commands (tag and tags) are identical.
At least one tag must be specified, unless the = flag is used,
where the command
bts tags <bug> =
will remove all tags from the specified bug.
Adding/removing the security tag will add
"team\@security.debian.org" to the Cc list of the control email.
affects bug [+|-|=] package [package ...]
Indicates that a bug affects a package other than that against
which it is filed, causing the bug to be listed by default in the
package list of the other package. This should generally be used
where the bug is severe enough to cause multiple reports from users
to be assigned to the wrong package. At least one package must be
specified, unless the = flag is used, where the command
bts affects <bug> =
will remove all indications that bug affects other packages.
bts usertags <bug> =
will remove all user tags from the specified bug.
claim bug [claim]
Record that you have claimed a bug (e.g. for a bug squashing
party). claim should be a unique token allowing the bugs you have
claimed to be identified; an e-mail address is often used.
If no claim is specified, the environment variable DEBEMAIL or
EMAIL (checked in that order) is used.
unclaim bug [claim]
Remove the record that you have claimed a bug.
If no claim is specified, the environment variable DEBEMAIL or
EMAIL (checked in that order) is used.
severity bug severity
Change the severity of a bug. Available severities are: wishlist,
minor, normal, important, serious, grave, critical. The severity
may be abbreviated to any unique substring.
forwarded bug address
Mark the bug as forwarded to the given address (usually an email
address or a URL for an upstream bug tracker).
Mark a bug as not forwarded.
package [package ...]
The following commands will only apply to bugs against the listed
packages; this acts as a safety mechanism for the BTS. If no
packages are listed, this check is turned off again.
limit [key[:value]] ...
The following commands will only apply to bugs which meet the
specified criterion; this acts as a safety mechanism for the BTS.
If no values are listed, the limits for that key are turned off
again. If no keys are specified, all limits are reset.
E-mail address of the submitter.
date Date the bug was submitted.
subject Subject of the bug.
msgid Message-id of the initial bug report.
package Binary package name.
source Source package name.
For example, to limit the set of bugs affected by the subsequent
control commands to those submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org
and tagged wontfix, one would use
bts limit submitter:email@example.com tag:wontfix
If a key is used multiple times then the set of bugs selected
includes those matching any of the supplied values; for example
bts limit package:foo severity:wishlist severity:minor
only applies the subsequent control commands to bugs of package foo
with either wishlist or minor severity.
owner bug owner-email
Change the "owner" address of a bug, with ! meaning `use the
address on the current email as the new owner address'.
The owner of a bug accepts responsibility for dealing with it.
Mark a bug as having no "owner".
subscribe bug [email]
Subscribe the given email address to the specified bug report. If
no email address is specified, the environment variable DEBEMAIL or
EMAIL (in that order) is used. If those are not set, or ! is given
as email address, your default address will be used.
After executing this command, you will be sent a subscription
confirmation to which you have to reply. When subscribed to a bug
report, you receive all relevant emails and notifications. Use the
unsubscribe command to unsubscribe.
unsubscribe bug [email]
Unsubscribe the given email address from the specified bug report.
As with subscribe above, if no email address is specified, the
environment variables DEBEMAIL or EMAIL (in that order) is used.
If those are not set, or ! is given as email address, your default
address will be used.
After executing this command, you will be sent an unsubscription
confirmation to which you have to reply. Use the subscribe command
to, well, subscribe.
reportspam bug ...
The reportspam command allows you to report a bug report as
containing spam. It saves one from having to go to the bug web
page to do so.
spamreport bug ...
spamreport is a synonym for reportspam.
is not set, in ~/.cache/devscripts/bts/.
You can use the cached bugs with the -o switch. For example:
bts -o bugs
bts -o show 12345
Also, bts will update the files in it in a piecemeal fashion as it
downloads information from the BTS using the show command. You
might thus set up the cache, and update the whole thing once a
week, while letting the automatic cache updates update the bugs you
frequently refer to during the week.
Some options affect the behaviour of the cache command. The first
is the setting of --cache-mode, which controls how much bts
downloads of the referenced links from the bug page, including
boring bits such as the acknowledgement emails, emails to the
control bot, and the mbox version of the bug report. It can take
three values: min (the minimum), mbox (download the minimum plus
the mbox version of the bug report) or full (the whole works). The
second is --force-refresh or -f, which forces the download, even if
the cached bug report is up-to-date. The --include-resolved option
indicates whether bug reports marked as resolved should be
downloaded during caching.
Each of these is configurable from the configuration file, as
described below. They may also be specified after the cache
command as well as at the start of the command line.
Finally, -q or --quiet will suppress messages about caches being
up-to-date, and giving the option twice will suppress all cache
messages (except for error messages).
Beware of caching RC, though: it will take a LONG time! (With
1000+ RC bugs and a delay of 5 seconds between bugs, you're looking
at a minimum of 1.5 hours, and probably significantly more than
cleancache package | src:package | maintainer
cleancache from:submitter | tag:tag | usertag:tag | number | ALL
Clean the cache for the specified package, maintainer, etc., as
described above for the bugs command, or clean the entire cache if
ALL is specified. This is useful if you are going to have permanent
network access or if the database has become corrupted for some
reason. Note that for safety, this command does not default to the
value of DEBEMAIL or EMAIL.
List cached bug ids (intended to support bash completion). The
optional number argument restricts the list to those bug ids that
start with that number.
Display version and copyright information.
If DEBEMAIL is set, DEBFULLNAME is examined to determine the full
name to use; if this is not set, bts attempts to determine a name
from your passwd entry.
If set, it specifies the browser to use for the show and bugs
options. See the description above.
The two configuration files /etc/devscripts.conf and ~/.devscripts are
sourced by a shell in that order to set configuration variables.
Command line options can be used to override configuration file
settings. Environment variable settings are ignored for this purpose.
The currently recognised variables are:
If this is set to yes, then it is the same as the --offline command
line parameter being used. Only has an effect on the show and bugs
commands. The default is no. See the description of the show
command above for more information.
If this is set to no, then it is the same as the --no-cache command
line parameter being used. Only has an effect on the show and bug
commands. The default is yes. Again, see the show command above
for more information.
How much of the BTS should we mirror when we are asked to cache
something? Just the minimum, or also the mbox or the whole thing?
The default is min, and it has the same meaning as the --cache-mode
command line parameter. Only has an effect on the cache. See the
cache command for more information.
If this is set to yes, then it is the same as the --force-refresh
command line parameter being used. Only has an effect on the cache
command. The default is no. See the cache command for more
If this is set, specifies a mail reader to use instead of mutt.
Same as the --mailreader command line option.
If this is set, specifies a sendmail command to use instead of
/usr/sbin/sendmail. Same as the --sendmail command line option.
Download only new bugs when caching. Do not check for updates in
bugs we already have. The default is no. Same as the --only-new
command line option.
Same as the --smtp-helo command line option.
If this is set to no, then it is the same as the
--no-include-resolved command line parameter being used. Only has
an effect on the cache command. The default is yes. See the cache
command for more information.
If this is set to yes, then it is the same as the --no-ack command
line parameter being used. The default is no.
If this is set to yes or force, then it is the same as the
--interactive or --force-interactive command line parameter being
used. The default is no.
Specify a list of e-mail addresses to which a carbon copy of the
generated e-mail to the control bot should automatically be sent.
Specify the name of a debbugs server which should be used instead
Please see <https://www.debian.org/Bugs/server-control> for more
details on how to control the BTS using emails and
<https://www.debian.org/Bugs/> for more information about the BTS.
querybts(1), reportbug(1), pts-subscribe(1)
This program is Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by Joey Hess
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. Many modifications have been made, Copyright (C)
2002-2005 Julian Gilbey <email@example.com> and Copyright (C) 2007 Josh
It is licensed under the terms of the GPL, either version 2 of the
License, or (at your option) any later version.
Debian Utilities 2016-03-23 BTS(1)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2019
All Rights Reserved.