apport/breakpad and fedora

Colin Walters walters at
Mon Jun 23 17:22:38 UTC 2008


There was some good discussion at FUDCon about apport and friends.  I'd
really like to see us have a sane story on this by F10 - currently Bugzilla
has a lot of unannotated backtraces and it's a big waste of
developer/triager time.

So the goal is that when a program crashes, we get a full annotated
backtrace to the eyes of the developer.  There's some discussion on the
current Fedora wiki page:

Here's my executive summary:

Apport: Based on kernel core dump piping, can handle any program crash.
Submits data to launchpad which has tracing server which uses debuginfo to
create full stack trace.  Fedora would need to make custom server on top of
the lowlevel tools.

Breakpad: Used by Firefox and various Google applications.  Based on a
shared library linked into processes which catches SIGSEGV and submits a
report via HTTP.
One nice thing is that Mozilla has a lot of investment in a free software
scalable processing server called "Socorro":

GNOME is using breakpad/socorro and has a server up:
They were prototyping it using Fedora, and I believe bug-buddy which is
linked into all GTK+ programs uses breakpad and sends to by

Some data points from the discussion:

* Apparently Apport submits an entire core dump which is (IMO) a non-starter
for Fedora; there are things like passwords in memory that we just can't
send by default.

* Mozilla is unhappy that we're turning off their breakpad integration on
Fedora, which means they don't have visibility into crashes on systems.

* Possibly replace breakpad library linking by using utrace+system service

* Create debuginfo DAV server and pull debuginfo data dynamically (what are
the download requirements?  does this replace gdb's "debuginfo-install"

My 2¢ - Link in breakpad, create running
Socorro.  Investigate either submitting reports to Mozilla as well for
Firefox or create a system where our Socorro pushes reports to theirs.
Longer term investigate utrace system service instead of having apps link to
breakpad (this gets us non-desktop system crashes without having to
universally LD_PRELOAD or whatever).
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