Bugzilla is a Web-based general-purpose bugtracker tool originally developed and used by the Mozilla project, and licensed under the Mozilla Public License. Released as open source software by Netscape Communications in 1998, it has been adopted by a variety of organizations for use as a defect tracker for both free software and proprietary products.
Bugzilla was originally written by Terry Weissman in 1998 for the nascent Mozilla.org project, as an open source application to replace the in-house system then in use at Netscape Communications for tracking defects in the Netscape Communicator suite. Originally written in Tcl, Terry decided to port Bugzilla to Perl before its release as part of Netscape's early open source code drops, with the hopes that more people would be able to contribute to it as Perl seemed to be a more popular language at the time.
Bugzilla 2.0 was the result of that port to Perl, and the first version released to the public via anonymous CVS. In April 2000, Weissman handed off control of the Bugzilla project to Tara Hernandez. Under Tara's leadership, some of the regular contributors were coerced into taking more responsibility, and Bugzilla development became more community-driven. In July 2001, facing distraction from her other responsibilities in Netscape, Tara handed off control to Dave Miller, who is still in charge .
Bugzilla's system requirements include:
Currently supported database systems are MySQL and PostgreSQL. Bugzilla is usually installed on Linux and runs using the Apache HTTP Server, but Microsoft Internet Information Services or any web server that supports CGI can be used. Bugzilla's installation process is command line driven and runs through a series of stages where system requirements and software capabilities are checked.
While the potential exists in the code to turn Bugzilla into a technical support ticket system, task management tool, or project management tool, Bugzilla's developers have chosen to focus on the task of designing a system to track software defects. Mandated design requirements include:
By design, Bugzilla is programmed to return the string "zarro boogs found" instead of "0 bugs found" when a search for bugs returns no results.
"Zarro Boogs" is a facetious metastatement about the state of software in development. Bug tracking systems like Bugzilla readily describe how many bugs are outstanding. The response "zarro boogs" is intended as a buggy statement itself (a misspelling of "zero bugs"), implying that even when no bugs have been identified, software is still likely to contain bugs that haven't been identified yet.