Reporting Bugs in Subversion

This document tells how and where to report bugs. (It is not a list of all outstanding bugs — you can get that here instead.)

How To Report A Bug

First, make sure it's a bug. If Subversion does not behave the way you expect, look in the documentation and mailing list archives for evidence that it should behave the way you expect. Of course, if it's a common-sense thing, like Subversion just destroyed your data and caused smoke to pour out of your monitor, then you can trust your judgement. But if you're not sure, go ahead and ask on the users mailing list first,, or ask in IRC,, channel #svn.

You should also search in the bug tracker to see if anyone has already reported this bug.

Once you've established that it's a bug, and that we don't know about it already, the most important thing you can do is come up with a simple description and reproduction recipe. For example, if the bug, as you initially found it, involves five files over ten commits, try to make it happen with just one file and one commit. The simpler the reproduction recipe, the more likely a developer is to successfully reproduce the bug and fix it.

When you write up the reproduction recipe, don't just write a prose description of what you did to make the bug happen. Instead, give a literal transcript of the exact series of commands you ran, and their output. Use cut-and-paste to do this. If there are files involved, be sure to include the names of the files, and even their content if you think it might be relevant. The very best thing is to package your reproduction recipe as a script, that helps us a lot. (Here's an example of such a script, written for Unix-like systems and the Bourne shell; we'd welcome the contribution of a similar template script for Windows or other systems.)

Quick sanity check: you *are* running the most recent version of Subversion, right? :-) Possibly the bug has already been fixed; you should test your reproduction recipe against the most recent Subversion development tree.

In addition to the reproduction recipe, we'll also need a complete description of the environment in which you reproduced the bug. That means:

Once you have all this, you're ready to write the report. Start out with a clear description of what the bug is. That is, say how you expected Subversion to behave, and contrast that with how it actually behaved. While the bug may seem obvious to you, it may not be so obvious to someone else, so it's best to avoid a guessing game. Follow that with the environment description, and the reproduction recipe. If you also want to include speculation as to the cause, and even a patch to fix the bug, that's great — see hacking.html#patches for instructions on sending patches.

Post all of this information to, or if you have already been there and been asked to file an issue, then go to the Issue Tracker and follow the instructions there.

Thanks. We know it's a lot of work to file an effective bug report, but a good report can save hours of a developer's time, and make the bug much more likely to get fixed.

Where To Report A Bug