Bug Reporting 101
Check the Release Notes
(located in the Second Life directory on your computer) or the Beta Release Notes page.
E.g., "Why can't I set my land to sell for L$0 to anyone?!" These aren't bugs, they're features! Check this page next to be sure you're dealing with a bug, and not something we intentionally changed.
Check your driver versions.
A lot of weird things can happen when your video drivers are out of date. Second Life officially supports NVIDIA and ATI chipsets. Intel Extreme Graphics is not officially supported, but may work. You can find your current OpenGL driver version in Help > About Second Life. Look for 'OpenGL Version'. Its a good idea to update your drivers whenever we update Second Life. Omega Drivers http://www.omegadrivers.net/ is a great place to find drivers for video cards. You can also check the NVIDIA official site http://www.nvidia.com or the ATI official site http://www.ati.com. If you have a laptop or other integrated video chipset you may need to consult the vendor's website for drivers, If your vendor doesnt provide upto date drivers then you should try the Omega Drivers.
Use common sense with possible exploits.
We takes possible exploits very seriously. Instead of telling everyone about a possible exploit in the forums or inworld, hunt down an officer of Bug Hunters and tell them about the bug. Exploits are bugs that could be used to get an advantage over others, unauthorized access to scripts, unauthorized copying, transferring or modifying of objects that you didn't create (also called 'permissions' bugs) and other bugs that could potentially cause a comprimise of the grid or a resident's privacy. Please also report the bug using the instructions on the Security issues page in addition to hunting down a Linden so we have it documented internally.
See Security issues for more information about reporting exploits to Linden Lab.
Search before you post
It's generally a good idea to search the Public Issue Tracker for an issue before you file a bug of your own, It's possible someone has filed the issue before and you may have some reproducable steps that can help us narrow down an issue and having them all in the same place is very usefull for us as well as other users with similar issues.
For more information see the issue tracker page to learn how to search.
Write the steps thoughtfully.
"I crash when I upload something" is not a good reproducible issue. List the steps that you take one by one, such as ...
- Click File > Upload Image ($L10)...
- Choose a .TXT file instead of a .JPG file
- Click the Open button
Using http://jira.secondlife.com, you can Upload Screenshots or even take video clips and add them to the report (Max 10Mb per file). We encourage you to use the new system instead of the in-world reporter as it allows information you report to be seen by other Residents. Additionally, it encourages the Community at large to comment on issues to provide Linden Lab with more detailed information to use in solving the problem!, also an Open Source developer may see your issue and provide a fix. You may find some extra details in your secondlife.log file that may be useful, but be careful not to reveal any confidential information as it will be seen by other Residents.
For more information see the issue tracker page to learn how to file a Bug.
Ask a friend to try your repro.
If your friend can follow the steps chances are we can too!
This is just as important (if not more so) than filing bugs. We need to know whether each bug that's been filed is a problem for one person, or a problem for many. Try reproducing some of the bugs that have been filed, and see if they are problems for you. If you can't figure out how to reproduce the problem, make a comment on the bug, asking the person to describe their problem in more detail, if you can reproduce the bug you can decide if the bug report needs more detail, better steps or to include photos and different locations etc.
Attend a bug triage
From time-to-time, Linden Lab will hold bug triages to sort through what can be a daunting list of bugs. Please show up, and help us figure out what is really important for developers to spend their time on. See Bug triage for more.