Using Launchpad


Launchpad is a collaboration and hosting platform for software projects. I'm here to explain why its important from a user's point of view.


Nigel is a computer science student who is a passionate FOSS and Ubuntu enthusiast. He is involved is various teams in the Ubuntu community like the Beginners Team, Ubuntu Community Learning Project, and Bug Squad.

Course Structure

  • Ubuntu What is Launchpad

    Ubuntu OpenID

    Ubuntu Launchpad Answers

    Ubuntu Reporting Bugs

    Ubuntu Final Notes

    Ubuntu Q and A

Session Logs

   1 === cjohnston changed the topic of #ubuntu-classroom to: Ubuntu Classroom || Ubuntu User Days | Current Session: Using Launchpad ~~ Presented by nigel_nb || Please ask questions in #ubuntu-classroom-chat || Ubuntu User Days Survey:
   2 [17:00] <cjohnston> Thanks jamalta !
   3 [17:01] <cjohnston> Unfortunately freenode, the IRC network we use, has been hit hard recently with an influx of javascript spam. For more information please see Do not click other links that say you are infected or they are more information about the spam.
   4 [17:01] <cjohnston> Also, at some point today please take the Ubuntu User Days Survey located at
   5 [17:02] <pleia2> Nigel is a computer science student who is a passionate FOSS and Ubuntu enthusiast. He is involved is various teams in the Ubuntu community like the beginners Team,
   6 [17:02] <pleia2> Ubuntu Community Learning Project, and Bug Squad.
   7 [17:03] <nigelbabu> Alright, like starcraftman, I've got a lot of ground to cover and only the hour. I'm going to go fast, so buck up!  Please keep questions to #ubuntu-classroom-chat, reserve them for when I ask for them. Please make sure you keep them  prefaced with "QUESTION - " so people can see them.
   8 [17:03] <nigelbabu> Also, please don't PM me during this session.
   9 [17:04] <nigelbabu> As pleia2 mentioned,  I'm Nigel Babu and I'm Ubuntu's bug squad member.  I'm here to talk today about Launchpad.  hggdh will be assisting me with answering your bug reporting queries later on in the session :)
  10 [17:04] <nigelbabu> Launchpad is a collaboration and hosting platform for software projects.
  11 [17:04] <nigelbabu> It brings communities together by making it easy to share code, bug reports, translations and ideas across projects.
  12 [17:05] <nigelbabu> Now, my main focus is why it is a good idea for you, as a user, to sign up for a Launchpad account.
  13 [17:05] <nigelbabu> There are mainly 3 services that you might want to use after signing up for Launchpad -- OpenID, Launchpad Answers, and Reporting Bugs.
  14 [17:06] <nigelbabu> I will be elaborating about how to report bugs in great detail while touching through the others.
  15 [17:06] <nigelbabu> Now, lets talk about Launchpad an Open ID provider.
  16 [17:06] <nigelbabu> Open ID allows you to use an existing account to sign in to multiple websites, without needing to create new passwords.
  17 [17:06] <nigelbabu> However, rather than entering that username and password at each website, you use a website you trust -- such as Launchpad -- to confirm your identity to the other sites.
  18 [17:07] <nigelbabu> Now, here is how it works :
  19 [17:07] <nigelbabu> You visit a website that supports OpenID and it asks you to log in.
  20 [17:08] <nigelbabu> Enter the Launchpad profile URL - (lernid guys, apologies, you'll see page not found)
  21 [17:08] <nigelbabu> If you're not already logged into Launchpad, it'll ask you to enter your username and password.
  22 [17:08] <nigelbabu> Once you're successfully logged into Launchpad, it'll return you to the site you want to use.
  23 [17:08] <nigelbabu> Simple! This means that you only need to remember your Launchpad profile URL, username and password in order to use websites that support OpenID.
  24 [17:08] <nigelbabu> You can use Launchpad to log into any of the growing number of sites that support OpenID.
  25 [17:09] <nigelbabu> So where can you use it?  Blogs on blogger, wordpress (using an openID plugin), LiveJournal, and many more.
  26 [17:09] <nigelbabu> For the full list, please refer to
  27 [17:09] <nigelbabu> Okay, so any questions so far about OpenID with Launchpad?
  28 [17:10] <pleia2> < oskude> QUESTION - is there a "fear" to get scammed for your OpenID ?
  29 [17:11] <nigelbabu> oskude, could you explain more?  I dont understand your question
  30 [17:11] <pleia2> < oskude> or how im sure that a site really uses OpenID ? and not try to scam my ID ?
  31 [17:11] <nigelbabu> well, when you try to signup for open ID, it will take you to your provider's side, i.e. launchpad
  32 [17:12] <nigelbabu> make sure that the browser location shows and you should be fine
  33 [17:12] <pleia2> < Brot1> QUESTION: why is launchpad only a OpenID-provider and not except OpenID accounts from other providers?
  34 [17:13] <nigelbabu> well, that functionality is not yet written.
  35 [17:13] <nigelbabu> remember launchpad is in active development and features get added all the time
  36 [17:14] <nigelbabu> Let's move onto Launchpad Answers.
  37 [17:14] <nigelbabu> Please hold your questions till the end of this one
  38 [17:14] <nigelbabu> starcraftman covered this briefly and I'll take you through it in more detail.
  39 [17:15] <nigelbabu> While mailing lists, web forums, and IRC are great places to find help with free software they do have a couple of shortcomings:
  40 [17:15] <nigelbabu> oops, sorry lernid guys
  41 [17:15] <nigelbabu> (a) There's no way to track the progress of a question and knowledge about the software is spread across different places.
  42 [17:16] <nigelbabu> so the solution to that is launchpad answers.
  43 [17:16] <nigelbabu> Launchpad Answers is unique in that it works like a bug tracker.
  44 [17:16] <nigelbabu> It notifies volunteer support contacts of new questions, builds a searchable knowledge base of good answers, and allows people to ask questions and offer support in different languages.
  45 [17:16] <nigelbabu> Using Launchpad Answers is easy, first off, visit the Answers page at
  46 [17:17] <nigelbabu> Click on the "Ask a Question" link in the right top of the page.  Next, type good summary to your question.
  47 [17:17] <nigelbabu> of course I would assume that you are signed in.  If you're not, just listen in.  You can try it out later.
  48 [17:17] <nigelbabu> Just make sure that the question is entered clearly.
  49 [17:18] <nigelbabu> starcraftman covered asking questions properly on forums and it applies here too
  50 [17:18] <nigelbabu> "Please help me!" or "I need help" is not a good summary ;) .
  51 [17:18] <nigelbabu> A good summary would be "How to replace a hard drive without losing the boot loader" or something in that tone
  52 [17:18] <nigelbabu> Click on next, and Launchpad will now search for existing questions that look similar.
  53 [17:18] <nigelbabu> If it finds any, it will show you them.  If Launchpad doesn't find any similar questions, or those it finds are unhelpful to you, you can write a more detailed description of your problem and submit your question.
  54 [17:19] <nigelbabu> Once you've added your question, Launchpad emails anyone who's volunteered to be an answer contact for your language.
  55 [17:19] <nigelbabu> They can then ask you for more information or offer an answer. Launchpad will then email you whenever your question changes, such as when someone suggests an answer.
  56 [17:20] <nigelbabu> Thats about for LP answers.  Questions?
  57 [17:21] <nigelbabu> Question - will Lauchpad collect information on our system? like hardware info?
  58 [17:22] <nigelbabu> well, launchpad as such does not collect information.  Its apport which collects it and automatically adds to a bug report.  But that works only for bugs anyway.
  59 [17:22] <nigelbabu> for those of who you who dont know, Apport is a script that collects information about a software when you report a problem. (I'll talk about it soon!)
  60 [17:23] <pleia2> < Yos> Question When starcraftman gave his session, it sounded like asking questions on launchpad should be nearly the last resort, but you make it sound more like it should be done at even an early troubleshooting step that is, to centralize the knowledge base.  My question is, when should someone turn to launchpad to ask their question?
  61 [17:24] <nigelbabu> its personal perference really.  Some people like forums - there is a sizeable crowd there and I feel you have a better chance there.
  62 [17:24] <nigelbabu> LP answers are people like me - lazy to browse forums, just doing a quick dash of questions I understand when I get the time
  63 [17:25] <nigelbabu> both sides have volunteers and a good community.  Basically boil down to personal perference
  64 [17:25] <nigelbabu> okay, so lets move on to bug reporting now
  65 [17:26] <nigelbabu> Ubuntu as you know Launchpad for reporting bugs.
  66 [17:26] <nigelbabu>  Launchpad is a very unique bug tracker and we'll be covering how to make your bug report more complete and therefore more likely to get fixed!
  67 [17:27] <nigelbabu> Very often we see bug reports with incomplete information, which means more time is spent getting the actual information.  If you give proper information, its easy for us triagers to confirm the bug so the developers can look into it.
  68 [17:27] <nigelbabu> so, now, we'll be looking at how to ensure that you give proper information
  69 [17:28] <nigelbabu> Even though you can report bugs directly from the website, we suggest that you don't you do that.
  70 [17:28] <nigelbabu> in fact, most of the time, the appropriate information is never really attached or given when you report from the web interface
  71 [17:28] <nigelbabu> If you want to report a bug on an application that is running and responding, use the application's help menu: Help -> Report a problem.
  72 [17:29] <nigelbabu> Its a GUI that will collect the necessary information required for that software.
  73 [17:29] <nigelbabu> like this
  74 [17:30] <nigelbabu> If an application crashes, and you're using a version of Ubuntu which is actively under development, Apport will start automatically, raising an appropriate bug report for you to complete in Launchpad. This provides developers with rich debugging information that will make it easier to fix the problem.
  75 [17:30] <nigelbabu> for more information about apport, see
  76 [17:31] <nigelbabu> some times, you really can't use the menu for reporting bugs for example :
  77 [17:31] <nigelbabu> You're using the Server Edition,  The application doesn't have the appropriate menu item,
  78 [17:31] <nigelbabu>  The application won't start at all, or Your problem is not related to an application but is an infrastructure component, such as the Linux kernel or graphics subsystem
  79 [17:32] <nigelbabu> this is when you use a small command  line program called "ubuntu-bug"
  80 [17:32] <nigelbabu> supposing firefox is giving you trouble
  81 [17:33] <nigelbabu> to report a bug about firefox, you simply type "ubuntu-bug firefox" in the Alt + F2 dialog (
  82 [17:33] <nigelbabu> the format is ubuntu-bug <package-name>
  83 [17:34] <nigelbabu> so, it is very critical you have the package right
  84 [17:34] <nigelbabu> if you have a problem with epiphany browser, you would report it against "epiphany-browser" and not "epiphany" - epiphany is a game
  85 [17:35] <nigelbabu> to know more about finding the right package, please see
  86 [17:35] <nigelbabu> To file a bug against a program that is currently running, go to System > Administration > System Monitor, and find the ID of the process:
  87 [17:36] <nigelbabu> for example
  88 [17:36] <nigelbabu> Then type the process ID instead of the package name into the "Run Application" window.
  89 [17:36] <nigelbabu>
  90 [17:37] <nigelbabu> In the event that you have a bug with your internet connection or want to file a bug for another system you can still do this using apport.
  91 [17:37] <nigelbabu> Using the command apport-cli -f -p <package name> on the target system will collect information and provide you with an option to "K: Keep report file for sending later or copying to somewhere else".
  92 [17:37] <nigelbabu> The report is then saved on the target system, in your /tmp directory which is cleared out on reboot, with a .apport extension.
  93 [17:37] <nigelbabu> After copying it to a different system you can file that report using ubuntu-bug  <location of apport file>.
  94 [17:38] <nigelbabu> A special note, all translation issues should be filed against the Ubuntu Translations project (ubuntu-translations). From there the bugs will be triaged and assigned to the right person and package.
  95 [17:38] <nigelbabu> Wrong translations or spelling mistakes in applications, Errors in spellcheckers or language support, etc all come under translations bug
  96 [17:39] <nigelbabu> If for some reason you cannot file a bug through the Apport tool you can file one via Launchpad. When doing so please ensure that you have determined which package it should be filed against.
  97 [17:39] <nigelbabu> ensure that you read the "Finding the right package" link I gave earlier.  Well, here it is again :
  98 [17:40] <nigelbabu> To report a bug when you don't know the package name - please use this as the last instance.  If you need help with filing a bug, do drop by at #ubuntu-bugs.  We'd be happy to help
  99 [17:41] <nigelbabu> If you have already reported a bug directly via Launchpad, but want to add additional debugging information via Apport to the bug, you can do this by running the command "apport-collect BUGNUMBER" via "Run Application" or terminal window.
 100 [17:41] <nigelbabu> now moving on to the report itself
 101 [17:42] <nigelbabu> When a developer fixes a bug, they will test that the bug occurs, make a small change to the program, then see if the bug has gone away. Depending on the bug, they might need to run the same test dozens or hundreds of times. When you submit a bug report, it's important to specify three things:
 102 [17:42] <nigelbabu> (1) What you expected to happen (2) What actually happened (3) The minimal series of steps necessary to make it happen, where step 1 is "start the program"
 103 [17:42] <nigelbabu> Fill in the description field with as much information as you can, including the release of Ubuntu you are using and steps for someone else to recreate the bug. It is better to have too much information in the description than not enough.
 104 [17:42] <nigelbabu> Only describe a single problem per bug report so that each can be followed up on in detail. If you experience several issues file separate reports.
 105 [17:43] <nigelbabu> Add supporting attachments to explain or help others reproduce your bug. This might include a screenshot or video capture of the problem or a sample document that triggers the fault. To add an attachment to the bug use the Include an attachment section of the bug form. Additional attachments, if necessary, can be added after the bug is reported via Add a comment/attachment at the bottom of the page.
 106 [17:43] <nigelbabu> For anything hardware related, give precise details about your hardware. Attaching the output of "lspci -vvnn" and "dmesg", after a fresh boot, will help a lot.
 107 [17:43] <nigelbabu> A bug report can be under different status, initially, it is in the "New" status
 108 [17:44] <nigelbabu> this is the latest bug for ubuntu filed.
 109 [17:44] <nigelbabu> notice the status is "New"
 110 [17:45] <nigelbabu> It will be changed to Confirmed if someone else can reproduce the same problem and confirm that the issue is actually a bug.
 111 [17:45] <nigelbabu> Please do not confirm your own bug, that would defeat the purpose of having "Confirmed" status
 112 [17:46] <nigelbabu> If a bug triager has asked you for more information, he/she will set the status to incomplete.  Once you submit the information, do not hesitate to change the status back to "New"
 113 [17:47] <nigelbabu> If you look at the bug report I showed, you'll see a green text "This bug affects 1 person. Does this bug affect you?"
 114 [17:48] <nigelbabu> Please dont click that button if your bug is a hardware bug.  The same issue can be caused by several different hardware and each need to be different bugs.
 115 [17:48] <nigelbabu> Clicking on me too! is not going to solve your problem.
 116 [17:49] <nigelbabu> If your issue is software bug, like the bug I just showed (which i suspect could be some trouble with the mirrors), you *could* click for me too and leave comments
 117 [17:50] <nigelbabu> moving on to What is NOT a bug!
 118 [17:50] <nigelbabu> Support requests - they are not bugs.  Please use #ubuntu IRC channel, forums, LP answers, and other community support means
 119 [17:51] <nigelbabu> Feature and policy discussions (including suggestions to change defaults) should be discussed on the ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list.
 120 [17:51] <nigelbabu> exception to the above are small feature requests to a particular software (like support webchat in pidgin - its there now!)
 121 [17:52] <nigelbabu> Development ideas should be posted to or discussed on the ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list.
 122 [17:52] <nigelbabu> Already filed -  if its a software bug and already filed, then better subscribe to the one already filed and add any additonal information if any
 123 [17:52] <nigelbabu> Okay, thats it for the class.  hggdh and I are available for questions :)
 124 [17:53] <nigelbabu> QUESTION - Are Launchpad bugs connected to bzr ? as in, can i close a bug from bzr command line while submitting (pushing) a commit ?
 125 [17:54] <hggdh> no
 126 [17:54] <hggdh> here's why: pushing a commit will *not* resolve the bug. Only when the commit is actually deployed this will happen
 127 [17:54] <hggdh> and you get that done by adding (LP: xxxxx) on the changelog
 128 [17:55] <nigelbabu> QUESTION -  I'm not sure I understand: does Apport report to launchpad ? If not, how do we get feedback on the reported bug ?
 129 [17:56] <nigelbabu> yes.  Apport brings you to the LP page.
 130 [17:56] <nigelbabu> here, you need to add more details about the bug like the summary and description
 131 [17:56] <hggdh> and the submitter is automagically subscribed to any updates on the bug
 132 [17:57] <nigelbabu> A few more minutes to take some quick questions.  Any more?
 133 [17:59] <cjohnston> Thank you very much nigelbabu and hggdh!
 134 [17:59] <nigelbabu> Okay.  That's about it then.  Thank you hggdh for you help :)
 135 [17:59] <nigelbabu> I guess I forgot to introduce hggdh.  He is a member of bug control and mentor to a lot of new Bug Squad members :)
 136 [17:59]  * hggdh bows
 137 [17:59] <cjohnston> Again.. Please take our Ubuntu User Days survey today!

UserDays/01232010/UsingLaunchpad (last edited 2010-01-24 00:25:43 by lyz)