Bugzilla vs Jira

The consistent use of a bug tracking system is generally considered as one of the hallmarks of an excellent software team. Why? This is because the implementation of a bug tracking system in a software project would enable proper bug documentation, allowing your team to identify all issues neatly, in an organized manner, and solve them efficiently. Many modern bug tracking systems also have a feature which enables end users to report bugs directly to the developer team, ensuring effective evaluation. Typically, a bug tracking system is integrated with other software project management apps.

Two of the most popular bug tracking tools used by many organizations and developers right now areBugzilla and Jira. You are perhaps wondering what the differences are between these two bug tracking services. You may also want to know whether it is Bugzilla or Jira that has the best features and performance. If so, continue reading below to see the comparisons between Bugzilla and Jira!

About Bugzilla

Bugzilla is an open-source, cross-platform, web-based bugtracker and testing tool. It was first released in 1998, and it is licensed under the Mozilla Public License. It was originally created by Terry Weissman, and is now managed by Mozilla Foundation. Although it was initially designed for use by the Mozilla project, Bugzilla is a general-purpose tool that can be used to find and track bugs in almost any software project. It is written in the Perl programming language. Bugzilla has been used in various open-source and proprietary products and projects, including WebKit, Linux, FreeBSD, KDE, GNOME, Eclipse, Red Hat, Apache, and LibreOffice.

About Jira

Jira is a proprietary cross-platform bug and issue tracking tool. The name is not an acronym; the name is actually a truncated word from “Gojira” (the Japanese name for Godzilla), in reference to its main competitor, Bugzilla. It was first released in 2002, and is developed by Atlassian, Inc. which is an Austalian company. Jira is written in Java. So far, Jira is also one of the leading issue management tools. It is praised by many users because of rich and extensive features, which include bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management functions.

Bugzilla vs. Jira: License

As mentioned above, the two bugtrackers have different licenses. Bugzilla has an open-source license, which means that it is free to use. That is a very cool thing. Considering that it has been used by many great projects and products, there is no need to doubt the quality. You can choose Bugzilla is you are on a tight budget because it is free.

On the other hand, Jira has a proprietary commercial license. Actually, the company can provide free licenses to official non-profit organizations, charities, and open-source projects. However, the license is not free for governmental, academic, religious, and for-profit institutions. The full source code is available under a developer source license. Jira provides free trial that does not require you to enter any credit card information, if you are interested. The pricing options vary by the number of users needed for the tool. You can add or remove users after the purchase. Monthly and annual subscription plans are available.

Bugzilla vs. Jira: Capabilities and Features

A paid service should provide more value than the free alternative in order to attract customers. Apparently, Jira understands this very well. It offers a number of features that are not available in Bugzilla.

However, let’s see first the capabilities of Bugzilla. It is a relatively simple tool, but it is highly powerful and reliable. It tracks both bugs and changes in your code, allows easy communication between team members,submits and reviews patches, and is responsible for quality assurance.

So, what does Jira do? First of all, it is able to keep track of all actions happened in the project. It records all changes, bugs, and issues ever occurred in the project. It has built-in project management functions, allowing the tool to follow the overall schedule, observe the activities of the team, and even assigns works to specific team members.

Besides those capabilities, Jira also comes with several additional features. Compared to Bugzilla’s interface, Jira feels more intuitive and user-friendly. It has a dashboard with customizable gadgets, allowing you to adapt the environment to your needs and preferences. The drag-and-drop issue prioritization is very practical. And, Jira is able to perform real-time release tracking.

Bugzilla vs. Jira: Workflow and Performance

In general, Bugzilla is flexible and powerful, but it is not very straightforward. Bugzilla allows admins to create a global workflow by simply editing the transition matrix. Users can select the initial status of a new issue, whereas the admins can configure which transitions require comments. For access control, Bugzilla has features for granting permissions based on grouped issues and users. Nevertheless, Bugzilla is very lightweight with low server load. That is one reason why many people like and prefer Bugzilla.

Jira allows multiple workflows to be applied depending on the project and type of the issue. To grant permissions on Jira is much simpler and more convenient. However, Jira is somewhat heavy to run. It has considerable server load. Hence, you may need to make sure that the server load will not be a problem for your development environment.

Bugzilla vs. Jira: Server-Side Architecture

Of course, Bugzilla and Jira have different server-side architectures. Bugzilla’s server-side architecture includes MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Perl. Meanwhile, Jira’s server-side architecture is composed of MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Lucene, Tomcat, and J2EE.

- Free, open-source license- Proprietary license, though the company can give free license to non-profit or charity institutions
- Lightweight with low server load- Relatively heavier to run, with considerable server load
- Tracks bugs and changes, submits and reviews patches- Tracks all actions, bugs, and issues; real-time release tracking
- Limited project management features- Extensive project management features
- Server-side architecture includes MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Perl- Server-side architecture includes MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Lucene, Tomcat, and J2EE


Bugzilla is a free, open-source bugtracker. Even though it is relatively simple, it is quite powerful and reliable. Its features and capabilities are generally sufficient to create a tracking system. The server load is low. However, it indeed lacks additional features such as schedule observation and work assignment for project management purposes. Bugzilla can be your choice if you are on a tight budget, if you prefer a lightweight tool, and if real-time release tracking is not necessary. On the other hand, Jira is a proprietary tool. The tool is worth the price if you can benefit from the additional features and capabilities, such as the project management features, customizable dashboard, and real-time release tracking. However, remember that the server load is considerable.

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