Chapter 23. Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT)

23.1. Introduction to ABRT

The Automatic Bug Reporting Tool, commonly abbreviated as ABRT, is a set of tools that is designed to help users detect and report application crashes. Its main purpose is to ease the process of reporting issues and finding solutions. In this context, the solution can be a Bugzilla ticket, a knowledge-base article, or a suggestion to update a package to a version containing a fix.
ABRT consists of the abrtd daemon and a number of system services and utilities for processing, analyzing, and reporting detected problems. The daemon runs silently in the background most of the time and springs into action when an application crashes or a kernel oops is detected. The daemon then collects the relevant problem data, such as a core file if there is one, the crashing application's command line parameters, and other data of forensic utility.
ABRT currently supports the detection of crashes in applications written in the C, C++, Java, Python, and Ruby programming languages, as well as X.Org crashes, kernel oopses, and kernel panics. See Section 23.4, “Detecting Software Problems” for more detailed information on the types of failures and crashes supported, and the way the various types of crashes are detected.
The identified problems can be reported to a remote issue tracker, and the reporting can be configured to happen automatically whenever an issue is detected. Problem data can also be stored locally or on a dedicated system and reviewed, reported, and deleted manually by the user. The reporting tools can send problem data to a Bugzilla database or the Red Hat Technical Support (RHTSupport) website. The tools can also upload it using FTP or SCP, send it as an email, or write it to a file.
The ABRT component that handles existing problem data (as opposed to, for example, the creation of new problem data) is a part of a separate project, libreport. The libreport library provides a generic mechanism for analyzing and reporting problems, and it is used by applications other than ABRT as well. However, ABRT and libreport operation and configuration are closely integrated. They are, therefore, discussed as one in this document.