PuTTY Bug Reporting
Bug reports and feature requests should go to the address
I get a lot of mail about PuTTY, and I don't have much time to
answer it. To make my life easier, I would like people to do these
- Check the list of known bugs and see if I already
know about the problem. If I do, don't bother telling me, unless
you have extra information that might help me fix it.
- Check the change log and see if I have already
fixed the problem in the latest version. Also, download the latest
development version and see if the problem still happens with that.
Tell me what version of PuTTY you are running. Use the
"About PuTTY" option from the System menu. Please do not
tell me "I'm running the latest version", because e-mail can get
delayed and I may not know precisely which version you mean. Tell me
the actual version number, or the date you downloaded the source
snapshot if you're building from source.
Tell me what version of what OS you are running PuTTY on.
Tell me whether you are connecting using Telnet or SSH (or raw mode).
Try to give me as much information as you can to help me see the
problem for myself. People send me reports like "When I use PuTTY,
the font is not right". Now when I use PuTTY, the font
is right. So they must be doing something differently from
me, like using a different font, a different OS, selecting the font
at the wrong time, or something, and I need to know what. Give me
lots of details. Details are good.
Read your comments back to yourself and ask if they make sense. Try
not to use pronouns like "it" without making it very clear what they
refer to ("I typed this and it hangs"? What hangs? PuTTY, or the
other end of the connection?). Be repetitive: I'd much rather get a
report that says "the screen displayed by the Foo application" ten
times and is clear, than one that says "it" nine of those times and
- Try not to assume I know what you wanted to happen. "I Ctrl-C
out of more to my shell and what is on the screen is
not right" doesn't help me, because I don't know what was
on the screen, or what the user expected to see. If you
think something is not right, tell me exactly what it is, and
exactly what you think it should be.
If you think you can, try fixing the problem yourself. One good way
to help describe a bug is to send me a change to my code and say
"When I put this in, it starts working again". Always tell me which
version of PuTTY you made the change to (and again, don't just tell
me "the latest version" - tell me on what date it was the
Try reading my essay on
to Report Bugs Effectively.
If your bug report is particularly unclear, I may ask you to go
away, read this essay, and then report the bug again.
If you request an extra feature in PuTTY, do bear in mind that I
have a real job and an active social life and I do have
better things to do with my time than write code for PuTTY. Try to
do some of the work for me.
- Check the feature wish list and see
if I already have your feature on the list. If I do, you don't need to request
If you can program, try writing the feature yourself and send me the
patch or the modified source code - but do remember to tell
me which version of PuTTY you started with, or I will not be able to
merge your changes in easily.
If you can't program, at least try to do the design. Specify exactly
what you want to see, and think about difficult cases (because if
you do, I don't have to). You'd like PuTTY to put its icon in the
System tray rather than the Taskbar? Then tell me how you expect a
user to tell the difference between two PuTTYs, if there is more
than one at a time. You'd like printer support? Then tell me whether
you'd like to see the "which printer?" dialog at startup time, or
the first time you try to print, or every time you try to
print, or what.
I have very little patience for people
who demand that I spend several days making them happy; I have a lot
of time for people who spend several of their days making
themselves happy and then share the result. The free software
movement is entirely built on the idea that if you want it done, you
do it rather than complaining at other people.