Handling program crashes in Fedora
As of about Fedora 6, packages no longer include the "debuginfo" data necessary for local crash handlers to get a useful stack trace. See: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging/Debuginfo and http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/StackTraces
What we want is a system that gets information about the crash to developers in a form with complete stack trace data.
The plan has two parts:
- Create a program to catch crashing programs and write out a crash report / stack trace
- Doable using the kernel's core pattern, and inotify
- This should be able to produce Breakpad reports, among other output formats
- Check using rpm & yum metadata whether the crashed program actually comes from Fedora code & repositories
- Notify the user when a program crashes, and allow them to
- Save the crash data and create a report
- Ignore further crashes of that program
- Ignore all further crashes
- Have a command line interface/preference for all of this
- Get a Socorro server running in Fedora's infrastructure
- Point the default breakpad configuration to it (easy)
- Run a separate kerneloops server?
- Do symbol resolution on the client or the server?
- How to do symbol resolution? FUSE? littlebottom?
- Tie it to smolt profiles?
- Why not use breakpad?
- We don't want LD_PRELOAD everywhere.
- Name: [none currently]
- Targeted release:
- Last modified: Template:Void9 June 2008
- Percent complete: 0%
Usage cases / rationale
By providing an automated mechanism for tracking application crashes, we will be able to:
- see bugs earlier, and fix them earlier
- see what bugs are hit most
- get usage and crash data from people who are unable or unwilling to interact with bugzilla
Benefit to Fedora
Better crash data, which leads to more crash fixes, which leads to a higher-quality distribution.
- Requires running a new server in the Fedora infrastructure.
- Requires a new crash handling agent
- Requires packaging the Socorro server
Cause a program to crash and get a report submitted to Socorro. Test that socorro correctly retraces it and gets enough information for a developer to identify the problem.
- Need to package the socorro server
A program crashes. We display a dialog or notification that the program has crashed and save a useful stack trace to a well-known location.
- Don't enable the agent
- Don't ship the agent
- Reinvestigate other options such as Apport.
Some simple documentation on how to enable and disable the crash reporting, and how to make it happen automatically.
We will want to explain to developers of Free programs how to find crash dumps.