2.5. Finding Bugs

Bugzilla has a number of different search options.


Bugzilla queries are case-insensitive and accent-insensitive when used with either MySQL or Oracle databases. When using Bugzilla with PostgreSQL, however, some queries are case sensitive. This is due to the way PostgreSQL handles case and accent sensitivity.

2.5.1. Quicksearch

Quicksearch is a single-text-box query tool. You’ll find it in Bugzilla’s header or footer.

Quicksearch uses metacharacters to indicate what is to be searched. For example, typing


into Quicksearch would search for “foo” or “bar” in the summary and status whiteboard of a bug; adding


would search only in that product.

You can also use it to go directly to a bug by entering its number or its alias.

2.5.4. Custom Search

Highly advanced querying is done using the Custom Search feature of the Advanced Search page.

The search criteria here further restrict the set of results returned by a query, over and above those defined in the fields at the top of the page. It is thereby possible to search for bugs based on elaborate combinations of criteria.

The simplest custom searches have only one term. These searches permit the selected field to be compared using a selectable operator to a specified value. Much of this could be reproduced using the standard fields. However, you can then combine terms using “Match ANY” or “Match ALL”, using parentheses for combining and priority, in order to construct searches of almost arbitrary complexity.

There are three fields in each row (known as a “term”) of a custom search:

  • Field: the name of the field being searched
  • Operator: the comparison operator
  • Value: the value to which the field is being compared

The list of available fields contains all the fields defined for a bug, including any custom fields, and then also some pseudofields like Assignee Real Name, Days Since Bug Changed, Time Since Assignee Touched and other things it may be useful to search on.

There are a wide range of operators available, not all of which may make sense for a particular field. There are various string-matching operations (including regular expressions), numerical comparisons (which also work for dates), and also the ability to search for change information—when a field changed, what it changed from or to, and who did it. There are special operators for is empty and is not empty, because Bugzilla can’t tell the difference between a value field left blank on purpose and one left blank by accident.

You can have an arbitrary number of rows, and the dropdown box above them defines how they relate—Match ALL of the following separately, Match ANY of the following separately, or Match ALL of the following against the same field. The difference between the first and the third can be illustrated with a comment search. If you have a search:

Comment   contains the string   "Fred"
Comment   contains the string   "Barney"

then under the first regime (match separately) the search would return bugs where “Fred” appeared in one comment and “Barney” in the same or any other comment, whereas under the second (match against the same field), both strings would need to occur in exactly the same comment. Advanced Features

If you click Show Advanced Features, then more capabilities appear. You can negate any row with a checkbox (see below) and also group lines of the search with parentheses to determine how different search terms relate. Within each bracketed set, you get the choice of combining them using ALL (i.e. AND) or ANY (i.e. OR). Negation

At first glance, negation seems redundant. Rather than searching for:

NOT ( summary   contains the string   "foo" )

one could search for:

summary   does not contain the string   "foo"

However, the search:

CC   does not contain the string   "@mozilla.org"

would find every bug where anyone on the CC list did not contain “@mozilla.org” while:

NOT ( CC   contains the string   "@mozilla.org" )

would find every bug where there was nobody on the CC list who did contain the string. Similarly, the use of negation also permits complex expressions to be built using terms OR’d together and then negated. Negation permits queries such as:

NOT ( ( product   equals   "Update" )
      ( component   equals   "Documentation" )

to find bugs that are neither in the Update product or in the Documentation component or:

NOT ( ( commenter   equals   "%assignee%" )
      (component   equals   "Documentation" )

to find non-documentation bugs on which the assignee has never commented. Pronoun Substitution

Sometimes, a query needs to compare a user-related field (such as Reporter) with a role-specific user (such as the user running the query or the user to whom each bug is assigned). For example, you may want to find all bugs that are assigned to the person who reported them.

When the Custom Search operator is either equals or notequals, the value can be “%reporter%”, “%assignee%”, “%qacontact%”, or “%user%”. These are known as “pronouns”. The user pronoun refers to the user who is executing the query or, in the case of whining reports, the user who will be the recipient of the report. The reporter, assignee, and qacontact pronouns refer to the corresponding fields in the bug.

This feature also lets you search by a user’s group memberships. If the operator is either equals, notequals or anyexact, you can search for whether a user belongs (or not) to the specified group. The group name must be entered using “%group.foo%” syntax, where “foo” is the group name. So if you are looking for bugs reported by any user being in the “editbugs” group, then you can use:

reporter   equals   "%group.editbugs%"

2.5.5. Bug Lists

The result of a search is a list of matching bugs.

The format of the list is configurable. For example, it can be sorted by clicking the column headings. Other useful features can be accessed using the links at the bottom of the list:

Long Format:
this gives you a large page with a non-editable summary of the fields of each bug.
XML (icon):
get the buglist in an XML format.
CSV (icon):
get the buglist as comma-separated values, for import into e.g. a spreadsheet.
Feed (icon):
get the buglist as an Atom feed. Copy this link into your favorite feed reader. If you are using Firefox, you can also save the list as a live bookmark by clicking the live bookmark icon in the status bar. To limit the number of bugs in the feed, add a limit=n parameter to the URL.
iCalendar (icon):
Get the buglist as an iCalendar file. Each bug is represented as a to-do item in the imported calendar.
Change Columns:
change the bug attributes which appear in the list.
Change Several Bugs At Once:
If your account is sufficiently empowered, and more than one bug appears in the bug list, this link is displayed and lets you easily make the same change to all the bugs in the list - for example, changing their assignee.
Send Mail to Bug Assignees:
If more than one bug appear in the bug list and there are at least two distinct bug assignees, this links is displayed which lets you easily send a mail to the assignees of all bugs on the list.
Edit Search:
If you didn’t get exactly the results you were looking for, you can return to the Query page through this link and make small revisions to the query you just made so you get more accurate results.
Remember Search As:
You can give a search a name and remember it; a link will appear in your page footer giving you quick access to run it again later.

This documentation undoubtedly has bugs; if you find some, please file them here.