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“Logcats” – those Android logs you see when you execute “adb logcat” – are an essential part of debugging Firefox for Android. For a long time, we have included logcats in our Android test logs on tbpl: After a test run, we run logcat on the device, collect the output and dump it to the test log. Sometimes those logcats are very useful; other times, they are too little, too late. A typical problem is that a failure occurs early in a test run, but does not cause the test to fail immediately; by the time the test ends, the fixed-size logcat buffer has filled up and overwritten the earlier, important messages. How frustrating!

Beginning today, Android 4.0 and Android 4.2 x86 test jobs offer “complete logcats”: logcat is run for the duration of the test job, the output is collected continuously, and dumped to a file. At the end of the test job, the file is uploaded to an aws server, and a link is displayed in tbpl. Here’s a sample of a tbpl summary:

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Notice the (blobuploader) line? Open that link (yes, it’s long and awkward — there’s a bug for that!) and you have a complete logcat showing what was happening on the device for the duration of the test job.

We have not changed the “old” logcat features in test logs: We still run logcat at the end of most jobs and dump the output to the test log. That might be more convenient in some cases.

Are you wondering what “blobuploader” means? Curious about how the aws upload works? That’s the “blobber” project at work. See http://atlee.ca/posts/blobber-is-live.html and https://air.mozilla.org/intern-presentation-tabara/.

Unfortunately, the Android 2.2 (Tegra) test jobs use an older infrastructure which makes it difficult to implement blobber and complete logcats. There are no logcats-via-blobber for Android 2.2 — it’s only available for Android 4.0 and the newer Android emulator tests.

Happy test debugging!

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