Introduction to the bug system request server

There is a mailserver which can send the bug reports and indices as plain text on request.

To use it you send a mail message to The Subject of the message is ignored, except for generating the Subject of the reply.

The body you send should be a series of commands, one per line. You'll receive a reply which looks like a transcript of your message being interpreted, with a response to each command. No notifications are sent to anyone for most commands; however, the messages are logged and made available in the WWW pages.

Any text on a line starting with a hash sign # is ignored; the server will stop processing when it finds a line starting with quit, stop, thank or two hyphens (to avoid parsing a signature). It will also stop if it encounters too many unrecognised or badly-formatted commands. If no commands are successfully handled it will send the help text for the server.

Commands available

send bugnumber
send-detail bugnumber
Requests the transcript for the bug report in question. send-detail sends all of the `boring' messages in the transcript as well, such as the various auto-acks.
index [full]
index-summary by-package
index-summary by-number
Request the full index (with full details, and including done and forwarded reports), or the summary sorted by package or by number, respectively.
Requests the index page giving the list of maintainers with bugs (open and recently-closed) in the tracking system.
index maint maintainer
Requests the index pages of bugs in the system for the maintainer maintainer. The search term is an exact match. The bug index will be sent in a separate message.
Requests the index page giving the list of packages with bugs (open and recently-closed) in the tracking system.
index packages package
Requests the index pages of bugs in the system for the package package. The search term is an exact match. The bug index will be sent in a separate message.
send-unmatched [this|0]
send-unmatched last|-1
send-unmatched old|-2
Requests logs of messages not matched to a particular bug report, for this week, last week and the week before. (Each week ends on a Wednesday.)
getinfo filename
Request a file containing information about package(s) and or maintainer(s) - the files available are:
The unified list of packages' maintainers, as used by the tracking system.
List of descriptions and maintainers respectively for pseudo-packages.
Requests that the mailservers' reference card be sent in plain ASCII.
user email
Set the user to the given email address. The default user is the email address set in your mail client's From: or Reply-To: field. You should not use other people's email addresses without permission.
usertag bugnumber [ + | - | = ] tag [ tag ... ]
Sets usertags for the bug report #bugnumber. No notification is sent to the user who reported the bug, nor to the package maintainer. Setting the action to + means to add each given tag, - means to remove each given tag, and = means to ignore the current tags and set them afresh to the list provided. The default action is adding.

Example usage:

        # same as 'tags 123456 + patch'
        usertag 123456 patch
        # same as 'tags 123456 + help security'
        usertag 123456 help security

The meaning of usertags is decided by the owner of the email address they are associated with.

Requests that this help document be sent by email in plain ASCII.
Stops processing at this point of the message. After this you may include any text you like, and it will be ignored. You can use this to include longer comments than are suitable for #, for example for the benefit of human readers of your message (reading it via the tracking system logs or due to a CC or BCC).
One-line comment. The # must be at the start of the line.
debug level
Sets the debugging level to level, which should be a nonnegative integer. 0 is no debugging; 1 is usually sufficient. The debugging output appears in the transcript. It is not likely to be useful to general users of the bug system.

There is a reference card for the mailservers, available via the WWW, in bug-mailserver-refcard.txt or by email using the refcard command (see above).

If you wish to manipulate bug reports you should use the control@gEmailDomain address, which understands a superset of the commands listed above. This is described in another document, available on the WWW, in the file bug-maint-mailcontrol.txt, or by sending help to

In case you are reading this as a plain text file or via email: an HTML version is available via the bug system main contents page

Other pages:

Devuan BTS -- Powered by Debian bug tracking system
Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham,
1997 nCipher Corporation Ltd, 1994-97 Ian Jackson.

Devuan Bugs Owner <>.
Last modified: Mon, 25 May 2020 16:14:27 UTC