How-To Tutorial: How To Use Mantis Bug Tracker Effectively

Posted in: Bug reports, Quality assurance testing by: Simon on:

Mantis Bug Tracker logo

UPDATE 04/23/2015: Although Mantis Bug Tracker is a great tool, we now use our own bug tracker and test case manager, Lean Testing. All Crowdsourced Testing projects now use Lean Testing, and we have gotten great reviews from the hundreds of companies who use it as well.


This is a tutorial on how to use Mantis Bug Tracker, the free open-source bug tracking software.mantis bug tracker


How to view specific projects in Mantis Bug Tracker

1. Log in with your username and password. If you’ve forgotten your credentials, you can reset your password using your email address from the link on the login page.

2. To see your project’s main page, you must select its name in the drop-down menu displayed in the upper right corner of the screen (refer to the screenshot below.) Once the page loads, click on the tab “See issues” to see all the previous entry bugs for this project.

Mantis Bug Tracker





Reporting a bug in Mantis Bug Tracker

1. To report a new issue, click on “Report Issue” in the main menu bar (shown below.)

Mantis Bug Tracker

2. A form will open titled “Enter Report Details”. You must fill in every field that it contains. The following steps describe how to do this:

3. First, you must always select “All projects – general” in the *Category drop-down menu.

4. Select the reproducibility from the second dropdown. Keep in mind that as much as you can, you should find the bug’s circumstances before logging it. Ideally, you should be able to reproduce it 100% of the time. But sometimes it is impossible. In these rare cases, you can use “sometimes” if the bug occurs sporadically or “random” if you really are unable to reproduce it.

5. Select a severity for the bug (use your common sense):

  • “minor” if the bug is important but not detrimental to the proper functioning of a feature
  • “major” if the bug is important and compromises the user’s experience
  • “critical” if the bug completely prevents the user from continuing what he was doing, or if the bug crashes or freezes the site/app/game

Next Steps:

6. Select a priority for the bug (again, use your common sense):

  • “low” if the bug has very little impact on the user’s experience (usually goes hand in hand with text/minor bugs)
  • “normal” if it needs fixing soon but it is not urgent (usually with a more important minor bug)
  • “high” if it needs fixing relatively soon (usually with a major bug, or something that is very obvious to users)
  • “urgent” if it is a top priority and should be quickly (usually with crashes/freezes/important majors)
  • “immediate” if it needs fixing right now (because it prevents the tester from testing because it is a client’s request, etc…)

7. Fill in the 3 forms under “Select Profile”. These are:

Select a Platform: the device you used for your tests (i.e. PC / Mac / iPhone / Samsung Galaxy S3, etc.)

Select an Operating System: the operating system of the device (i.e. Windows / iOS / Android, etc.)

Select an OS version: the version number of the operating system (i.e 7 / 6.0 / 4.2.3, etc.)

Mantis Bug Tracker

Next Steps:

8. Leave the “Assign to” drop-down blank unless told otherwise. On some projects, you may be asked to assign your bugs directly to the developer or to the project manager.

9. In the summary field, enter a title for your bug. The title should begin with the name of the section of the app/website/game in which the bug happens between brackets [], followed by a brief description of the bug. Here is an example of a good summary: [Homepage] The video at the center of the page does not start

10. The description text box should have 4 core components:

a. A clear and concise description of the issue. Try to write it in an active voice.  Here is a good example: “When the user navigates to the Home page and clicks the “Play” button on the video at the center of the page, the video does not load and it gets stuck in an infinite loading loop.”

Keep in mind that everything in the description field needs to be written in the 3rd person. Always refer to “The user”, never “I”.

b. A section titled “Actual result” describing what is currently happening when the bug occurs. Here is an example: Actual result – The video at the center of the page does not load.

c. A section titled “Expected result” describing what should happen if there was no bug Here is an example: Expected result – When the user clicks the “Play” button, the video should load every time.

d. In the last component of the description textbox, you should indicate the name of the screenshot you’ve attached to the bug description. You must always include a screenshot (or video) for every single issue that you create. You should mention your screenshot in the following fashion: The text: “Please refer to the attached screenshot “x_y_z.jpg” for additional details.”

And finally:

11. The “Steps to reproduce” section should contain the steps that a developer or other tester unfamiliar with the project should follow to reproduce the issue. Here is an example:

  1. Navigate to website
  2. Click on the image in the header to access the home page
  3. Click the “Play” button on the video
  4. Observe that the video gets stuck in an infinite loading loop

In the “Steps to reproduce” section, the content needs to be written in the 2nd person. Always refer to the user as “You.”

12. The “Additional information” field must be used to inform the developer of what device/browser and on what device/browser version the bug was found. Here is an example: Tested on Nexus 7, Android 4.2.3 and Firefox 15 for Mac.

13. Use “Upload File” to upload your screenshot or video. If you can, try to edit the screenshot to highlight the issue in red or another obvious color. Most of all, screenshots must be very obvious! They are often what developers will look at first. Please note that there is a file size limit of 2mb for attachments.

14. View status should be left public and the ‘report stay’ checkbox should be left unchecked unless you have another issue to enter immediately.

That’s it! It’s that simple.

For more information about Mantis Bug Tracker, please refer to MantisBT’s official Wiki, located here.



Simon is the founder of Crowdsourced Testing. After 10 years in interactive software development, he set his sights on building a world-class crowdsourcing platform to facilitate the software testing process for developers.