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Bugs - Simple Open Source Bug Tracking Tool

Bugs is a simple open source bug tracking tool for teams that allows you to easily create and manage defects and issues. This a multilingual tool (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian) is perfect for a small project team that want to start having a simple shared bug tracking tool and is ready to live with the small glitches of an open source bug tracking tool that is however actively maintained.

Web Site:
Version tested: Bugs version: 1.5 – release 1.3.2
System requirements:
* Tested on: Apache, IIS
* PHP 5.3+ : ready for PHP 7.0.18; not yet for 7.1
* MySQL 5+
* PDO Extension for PHP (MySQL)
* MCrypt Extension for PHP : soon MCrypt will be removed from Bugs project
Javascript Enabled - Bugs also uses heavy Javascript to make it easier to use
License & Pricing: open source


Installing Bugs is pretty simple. After creating your database, you will go through two simple setup screens to define the database connection, the email settings, the time zone and create an administrator.


Bugs propose a simple user management system. Besides the administrator, three roles are defined:
* Managers can update issues in all projects, even if they aren't assigned
* Developers can update issues in the projects they are assigned to
* Users can only can read the issues in the projects they are assigned to

After creating the users, you can easily create projects and assign users to them. It is now time to create and manage your bugs.

(click on figure to enlarge)

Bugs Management

There is no predefined workflow in Bugs, your issues are just open or closed. You can however define yourself the intermediate status of defects using tags. There are eight existing tags that allow you to qualify every bug that you create and follow their life cycle. You can create additional tag and assign a specific color to them. Unfortunately, you cannot edit tags after you have created them, so you should think twice before creating a new one.

You can easily create an issue on a single screen, change its status, assign it to a user with some priority. File attachment is also allowed. An issue can be assigned to only one person. A prompt system help you filling the form by proposing possible values. A second screen helps you provide more information about your issue like the percentage of work done on it. You have to be assigned to this feature and add a comment to change its status. This screen provides a history of comments and tags management. The file attachment works only when you are using PHP 7 for me, which seems also due to the reliance of the flash system in previous version, something now disabled in most recent browser versions,.

The global dashboard provides a view of the five last activities. Unfortunately, you cannot scroll down to see previous actions. The project dashboard allows to see all the open or closed bugs, but not at the same time, with the percentage of work done on them, the day since they were created and the number of comments. You can filter the view using the tags. Bugs lacks however something like a search function that could help you to manage a large volume of bugs without starting to create tag for every aspect you would like to track.


Bugs is a pretty simple open source bug tracking system that is easy and quick to install and mostly intuitive to operate. I liked the fact that the infrastructure if easy to create and that the default workflow proposed adequate for minimal bug management. The help available (a wiki on GitHub) is minimal, but the owner seems pretty active to answer any issue that you can have. I would not recommend it at the enterprise level, but for a small project that want to start having a simple shared bug tracking software (and is ready to live with the small glitches of an open source tool), Bugs would be easy to adopt with the default value proposed.

Related Bug Tracking and Software Testing Resources

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This article was originally published in December 2017

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