Open source, closed process

I just tried to report a bug to Ubuntu.  Nothing major, just a missing package dependency: aptitude installed libnids-dev for me without installing libpcap-dev.  My configure script then insists that nids.h was not found, whereas it is in fact clearly visible in /usr/include/nids.h.  Turns out the test program fails because nids.h #includes pcap.h, which is not installed.  Whoops!

OK, let’s do the Right Thing for a change: don’t just ignore it, report it.  How do I report a Ubuntu bug?  Aha, it’s at launchpad.net.  Search for nids: nope, none of the 16 bugs listed is this one.  OK, time to report a new bug.

This is where the problems go from straightforward to too difficult.  To report a bug, I need to log in to launchpad.  To log in, I need to create an account (it waffles on about OpenID, but it won’t accept my wordpress OpenID as a login).  And to create an account, I need to solve a captcha.  That is, one of those nasty eyesight tests.

I can’t do it.  This one is nastier than ever.

Cycle the thing a few times, they’re all as bad.  Try the audio version, but it’s silent (this is on a ubuntu machine).  Looks like I can’t report a bug!😮

I look on freenode, find #ubuntu-devel.  Try asking there:

Just trying to report a bug (missing packaging dependency), but I can’t because I can’t even guess the launchpad captcha
any advice?
The bug is, libnids-dev requires pcap-dev as a dependency

After a few minutes silence, start to blog this.  But a few minutes more and someone replies:

first, I think you meant “libpcap-dev” instead of “pcap-dev”;
second, both these packages come unchanged from Debian, so it’s better to report this bug to bugs.debian.org

Ok, that looks like someone who knows what he’s talking about.  Try a bug report to Debian.  This fortunately turns out to be a much simpler process: their bug reporting site mentions a “reportbug” tool I can install with apt, and which appears to work nicely.

Ubuntu must be effectively in a bubble isolated from the big bad world!

Posted on August 31, 2012, in debian, free software, open source, ubuntu. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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