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Reporting Problems

Problems? Problems? Impossible!

Well, maybe not... We'd like to hear what you've uncovered but it's in your best interests to do some initial research.

First, you need to verify that your potential problem hasn't already been reported by reading the Cygwin FAQ and the mailing list archives. If your issue is still unresolved, feel free to write to the cygwin list with your problem.

Before you start asking questions please take a moment to read and understand some very good general advice on how to ask smart questions. Once you've followed that link and read the advice, please demonstrate that you've actually gained some smartness by not sending your Cygwin question to the authors at the link. That would be a really stupid thing to do.

For Cygwin advice please come back here.

It is not always easy to figure out when you have a user problem and when you've found a valid Cygwin bug. If you have tracked things down as far as verifying to yourself that you've found a bug, please consider investigating it yourself and sending us patches if you figure out a solution. Bug reports without solutions are also ok, of course, although if you really want a bug fixed you can exercise the power implicit in free software and provide the patch yourself.

Otherwise, if you can't determine if you've discovered a bug or just are having problems that require help, send a detailed description (with a test case if possible) to the appropriate mailing list after reading all of problem reporting guidelines on this page. Due to the mailing list volume, we don't always reply to individual reports sent to the list but we do keep track of them.

Shouldn't I just send email to straight to a Cygwin developer or package maintainer?

Isn't personal email more efficient than using a mailing list?   or
I don't want to bother the list with my problem.  or
I'm not really sure if this is a real problem and want to find out before I bother the list.

Using the correct Cygwin mailing list is absolutely the proper way to report problems or make observations. The mailing lists were created for this express purpose. Reporting problems to a public forum means that the workload is shared and, since your report will be read by many people, it may get more attention than one person would be able to provide.

So, there is generally no need to "Cc" a package maintainer with your observations. All maintainers should be reading the appropriate mailing list so Ccing them will result in sending them two copies of your email.

This is particularly true if you notice that someone has specifically set the Reply-To of a message to go only to the cygwin mailing list. Some contributors even take this a step further and actually set their return address to the mailing list in an attempt to make it very obvious that Cygwin-related email should go to the mailing list.

Nevertheless, some people still seem to insist on either Cc'ing Cygwin contributors or sending private email. This is inconsiderate. Please do not do this unless specifically requested.

Reporting guidelines