Fix Bugs, Get Paidby Daniel Foré

Since Luna’s release, appreciative users have thrown us some hard-earned cash. We’ve carefully considered the best ways to re-invest that money into elementary and to give people a direct path to fund development of what’s important to them. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of those solutions: bounties.

The Rundown

As elementary grows, so does the demand on our bug trackers. At the moment, there are over 2,700 open bug reports. Some of these are simple fixes, while others are very difficult and require highly skilled individuals to spend a lot of time on them. Even then, some of these fixes are so elusive that the volunteer developers in our community may not realistically have the time or skill to address them. We need to introduce a solution that not only provides compensation for our existing developers, but attracts new, skilled developers and renews focus on difficult, old, and sometimes un-engaging work.

Until we can secure some large and consistent revenue streams, elementary simply can’t afford to hire a team of developers. But we do have a way to kickstart professional development: Bountysource. As of this writing, over $2,100 is up for grabs, and it keeps growing. That’s a lot of beer money.

Posting a Bounty

While elementary frequently posts bounties for bugs we find particularly important, anyone with some cash can help out. These bounties are available for anyone to claim, both existing developers in our community and new developers we haven’t met yet. The process is pretty straightforward:

  1. First, sign up at
  2. Locate a bug at Launchpad that you’d like to see fixed. How about this one?
  3. Go back to BountySource and paste the link to the launchpad page in the searchbox. (the link in this case is “”)
  4. On the right side of the page, pledge an amount that you would pay to see the issue fixed. It can be as little or as much as you’d like. The more people pledge money for a fix, the more likely someone will tackle the issue.

Claiming a Bounty

Now that the bounty has been posted, a developer can come along and try to tackle the issue.

  1. Under the bounty’s “overview” tab, click the little blue link to “view original issue”. This will take you back to launchpad where you can find relevant source code.
  2. In the case of our example bug above, a whole new piece of software needs to be created. But you can still see examples of similar pieces of software by selecting the “code” tab at the top of the page. For most issues, you’ll simply be making fixes to an existing code base
  3. Fix the issue and push your code to Launchpad. Make sure to link your branch to the original bug report and change it's status to "In Progress". We’re working on a streamlined guide to fixing bugs, but for now trust your instincts and feel free to drop into our developer chat if you get stuck!
  4. Go back to the Bountysource page and click the big green “get started” button. Fill out the form, being sure to include the link to your solution.
  5. Now we wait! It may take a while for someone to review your solution, so be patient. But as soon as it gets marked as fixed, you can claim the prize on Bountysource and get paid via PayPal, Google Wallet, or a physical check.


This is a pretty new process, but we're excited about the traction it's already gaining. As always, feel free to drop a comment below if you have feedback. If you have questions specific to Bountysource and their process, drop into #bountysource on Freenode IRC, email [email protected], or tweet @bountysource on Twitter.

Cassidy James and Cody Garver contributed to this update.

Published March 4th, 2014


Emiliano Sena 9 months ago

Very cool idea, I’ll try to help! C’ya.

runej 11 months ago


yzlyd 11 months ago


Jacques Mey 9 months ago


AnakLaut 11 months ago

I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear what I clearly just heard

runej 12 months ago

So, if I donate via bounty source, the total amount of elementary donation doesn’t go up. Why? It’s still $4790 in total… Also bountysource really should not only state in the reply screen after donation what was donated to. It should also be in the receipt from Google Wallet, but there it only says “You have bought from bounty source”. That’s not really very informative, it should say exactly which bug or project was donated to, not just bountysource.

rasez 12 months ago

I think you should come bountysouece status in home page

JoseToalha 12 months ago

José Toalhaaa…

skwok13 1 year ago

Can we post feature requests as well?

smalltimer 1 year ago

Some unsolicited advice for the development team. Do not let any sort of comparisons with other OSes influence you! All the people keep saying. This is faster than x and y. My advice would be to just keep concentrating on your own design choices and optimisation. That is how new things come about. By complete disregard for any sort of comparison and norm.

Sadly, I can’t help you folks out since I am more of a statistics and colour science guy. In case you want some help with colour management, do get in touch =)


browsemine 1 year ago

One Question: Why don’t you guys include LibreOffice into your installation media? For me, any linux operating system should include a Office suite. Is it because you want the installation media to fit on a CD?

Fabian Thoma 1 year ago

There’s two reasons we don’t ship with libre office. First it takes up a lot of space, that secondly we don’t think an Application of that Quality currently deserves on our default installation.
So we decided not to ship an Office Suite and let the User decide what he needs and wants to use.

Airon 1 year ago

I agree with Fabian Thomas. I love if i can choose my applycations :)

smalltimer 1 year ago

This is what I like about ElementaryOS. It ships with almost no bloatware. This makes it quite fast, right off the bat. And then the user can develop their system as they wish.

kallisti5 1 year ago

Here’s an idea.  Don’t make an installation CD anymore for the moment.  I’ve been installing the elementary desktop on-top of fresh Ubuntu installations via sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily and it’s been working great.

I’m always bummed out to see Unity, but know that it will only last a few minutes :-D

Cassidy James 1 year ago

That’s a recipe for disaster, especially as Isis development speeds forward. Unstable things are being pushed out to the daily PPA and could very likely render your entire install unusable at any update. While we understand Ubuntu users want to use our desktop, it’s not released for a reason: it’s not ready. When we release Isis, you could theoretically add the stable PPA without many issues, but for now I’d steer clear.

kallisti5 1 year ago

You missed the point of my comment.  Make a stable apt repo.  Make the elementary desktop an add-on repository for ubuntu (or Debian even), and just have users install the upstream OS and install the elementary / pantheon desktop environment on top of it.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/stable
sudo apt-get install elementary-desktop

Cameron Norman 1 year ago

You can do that already, except that it only works for certain versions of Ubuntu (I think only 12.04) and only partly for Debian (you can get some apps up, but otherwise not much). Making it available for every version of ubuntu and debian would require a lot of extra work with only a little gain.
Why make a CD then? Very simply, having available ISOs lowers the barrier to entry and simplifies the process. It is a nice, clean touch, and a great intro to elementary.

Fabian Thoma 1 year ago

There’s also a lot of under the hood tweaking of the ubuntu base that goes into elementary OS, so adding a PPA simply does not resemble the same fast experience. We make a full Operating System because we want normal people to use it, not just the nerd that heard of Ubuntu and is now sick of it’s interface.

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