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5 Ways to Provide Feedback to Ubuntu

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Ubuntu, like many other Linux distributions, is a community-developed operating system. In addition to getting involved and submitting patches, there are a variety of ways you can provide useful feedback and suggest features to Ubuntu.

From voting on and suggesting the features you’d like to see to submitting data about your hardware support and reporting bugs – both in stable releases of Ubuntu and in development releases – Ubuntu offers several ways to submit feedback.

Vote On & Suggest Features

Use the Ubuntu Brainstorm website to submit feature ideas, vote on other submitted feature ideas, and discuss them. As the Ubuntu Brainstorm website says, “Ubuntu Brainstorm is read regularly by Ubuntu developers and contributors.” If you have programming ability, you can pick a feature and contact the relevant Ubuntu team to get started.

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Test Your Hardware

Use the System Testing tool included with Ubuntu to test whether your hardware is working properly – you can open it from the Dash.

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After testing whether your hardware is working properly, you can send a report to Ubuntu Friendly, Ubuntu’s hardware database. This will provide information to Ubuntu on what hardware is working properly and what hardware isn’t.

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Report Bugs

If you encounter a bug in Ubuntu, help Ubuntu’s developers fix it by reporting it. You can report the bug to Ubuntu’s bug tracker page on Launchpad. When reporting a bug, follow proper practices for bug reporting – don’t report feature requests and don’t report duplicate bugs. The Reporting Bugs page on the official Ubuntu wiki offers good instructions for reporting bugs and creating good bug reports.

You can report a bug using the Apport tool, which also appears automatically when a program crashes on your computer. Use the Apport tool that appears to submit crash reports that can help Ubuntu’s developers fix the problem you’re experiencing.

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When reporting a bug, bear in mind that it may be a good idea to report it to the “upstream” developers rather than Ubuntu itself. For example, if you encounter a bug in Firefox – particularly one that also appears in Firefox on Windows – you should probably report it to Mozilla’s bug tracker rather than Ubuntu’s.

Test Development Releases

The stable Ubuntu releases are ideally pretty bug-free. If you want to help find bugs before they reach the stable version of Ubuntu, you can grab the latest development release of Ubuntu from the Ubuntu Testing page. Consult the linked wiki pages for more information on how to test development releases and provide feedback.

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Test Activities

Development releases of Ubuntu aren’t the only thing that needs testing. If you want to get involved, check out the Testing Activities page on Ubuntu’s wiki. In addition to testing development releases, you can test stable release updates and become part of the first line of defense against buggy updates being pushed out to a stable version of Ubuntu – check out the page for other types of testing you can participate in.

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Do you have any other ideas on how to provide feedback or help out? Leave a comment and let us know!

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 07/9/12

Comments (7)

  1. alvas rawuther

    Why just Ubuntu?

  2. Citrus Rain

    Learned about Apport when I installed 12.04 and it is the most annoying thing I’ve ever delt with on linux. At this time, I just allow it to sit behind whatever programs I have up, and I don’t bother getting rid of the window asking to send a bug report.

    It was constantly popping up, asking to send crash information, and when I clicked no, it would crash – causing another to appear in it’s place. If I hit yes, it would start to send the report, and likely freeze. I think the problems were caused by installing Gnome 3, but it didn’t happen like that on my sister’s laptop. Just my desktop.

    So I looked up how to disable apport, and after doing that, Software Center stopped working. Meaning if some package I downloaded wants to install through Software Center (which I have attempted reinstalling via terminal, and re-enabling apport) I have to find a tedious back route for installing what I want if it’s not in the package manager.

    As soon as I get my 2TB HDD, I am wiping all linux from my PC so I can install LMDE. Because for some reason, Ubuntu won’t let me boot into the partition I created to install that on. Might be because my Ubuntu partition thinks it’s name is Linux Mint. (or that’s what GRUB says it is)

    Sorry if my rant went off topic there.

  3. cam2644

    It’s good to give feedback when it’s useful info in the case of Ubuntu and other open source apps and not just a PR exercise as with some others.
    I’m not sure if Alvas is referring to just Ubuntu for this or for your other articles but perhaps it might be an idea to mention Linux Mint etc if some of your Ubuntu based articles are not directly translatable to other Ubuntu or Debian based distros.I accept it’s impossible to cover them all but some distros are gaining new followers.

  4. mitcoes

    Any other distro WIKi is better than Ubuntu brainstorm.

    The idea is good, but admins are awful.

    I suggested ANUBIS Ubuntu for Android WUBI alike and it was voted with negatives, but as you know Ubuntu made “Ubuntu inside android”

    Other day at G+ i had an Idea of program menu as icon docks but at the other side of the screen “finger friendly” at Unity for future use in tablets and easier use. He told me, great idea tell us at this email adress, they told me send it to ubuntu brainstorm, and there it was a bad idea.

    Ubuntu brainstorm can be a great tool, but as it is now, there are bad admins as I see it.

  5. Citrus Rain

    @mitcoes

    I’d +1 that

  6. alvas rawuther

    @cam2644 – I said just ubuntu to mean that why just help ubuntu with feedback when you can help the whole linux community?

  7. Amit Shreyas

    @alvas rawuther___ . Ubuntu lead the linux-world…& in these days, linux = ubuntu.

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