Defold is well tested and should very rarely crash under normal circumstances. It is however impossible to guarantee that it will never crash, especially if your game uses native extensions. If you run into problems with crashes or native code that doesn’t behave as expected there are a number of different ways forward:
The most common way is to run the code via a
debugger. It let’s you step through the code, set
breakpoints and it will stop the execution if you get a crash.
There are several debuggers for each platform.
Each tool can debug certain platforms:
The simplest way to debug your native code is to use print debugging. Use the functions in the dmLog namespace to watch variables or indicate the flow of execution. Using any of the log functions will print to the Console view in the editor and to the game log.
The Defold engine saves a
_crash file if it does a hard crash. The crash file will contain information about the system as well as the crash. The game log output will write where the crash file is located (it varies depending on operating system, device and application).
You can use the crash module to read this file in the subsequent session. It is recommended that you read the file, gather the information, print it to the console and send it to an analytics services that supports collection of crash logs.
On Windows a
_crash.dmp file is also generated. This file is useful when debugging a crash.
If a crash happens on a mobile device you can chose to download the crash file to your own computer and parse it locally.
$ adb shell "run-as com.defold.example sh -c 'cat /data/data/com.defold.example/files/_crash'" > ./_crash
In iTunes, you can view/download an apps container.
Xcode -> Devices window, you can also select the crash logs
If you get a callstack from either a
_crash file or a log file, you can symbolicate it. This means translating each address in the callstack into a filename and line number, which in turn helps when finding out the root cause.
It is important that you match the correct engine with the callstack, otherwise it’s very likely to send you debugging the incorrect things! Use the flag
--with-symbols when bundling with bob or check the “Generate debug symbols” checkbox from the bundle dialog in the editor:
build/arm64-ioscontains the debug symbols for iOS builds.
build/x86_64-darwincontains the debug symbols for macOS builds.
projecttitle.apk.symbols/lib/bundle output folder contains the debug symbols for the target architectures.
build/x86_64-win32contains the debug symbols for Windows builds.
build/wasm-webcontains the debug symbols for HTML5 builds.
It is very important that your save the debug symbols somewhere for each public release you make of your game and that you know which release the debug symbols belong to. You will not be able to debug any native crashes if you do not have the debug symbols! Also, you should keep an unstripped version of the engine. This allows for the best symbolication of the callstack.
You can upload the debug symbols to Google Play so that any crashes logged in Google Play will show symbolicated call stacks. Zip the contents of the
projecttitle.apk.symbols/lib/ bundle output folder. The folder includes one or more sub folders with architecture names such as
Get the engine from your build folder
Unzip to a folder:
$ unzip dmengine.apk -d dmengine_1_2_105
Find the callstack address
E.g. in the non symbolicated callstack it could look like this
#00 pc 00257224 libmy_game_name.so
Where 00257224 is the address
Resolve the address
$ arm-linux-androideabi-addr2line -C -f -e dmengine_12_105/lib/armeabi-v7a/libdmengine.so _address
If you are using Native Extensions, the server can provide the symbols (.dSYM) for you (pass
--with-symbols to bob.jar)
If you’re not using Native Extensions, download the vanilla symbols:
$ wget http://d.defold.com/archive/
Symbolicate using load address
For some reason, simply putting the address from the callstack doesn’t work (i.e. load address 0x0)
$ atos -arch arm64 -o Contents/Resources/DWARF/dmengine 0x1492c4
# Neither does specifying the load address directly
$ atos -arch arm64 -o MyApp.dSYM/Contents/Resources/DWARF/MyApp -l0x100000000 0x1492c4
Adding the load address to the address works:
$ atos -arch arm64 -o MyApp.dSYM/Contents/Resources/DWARF/MyApp 0x1001492c4 dmCrash::OnCrash(int) (in MyApp) (backtrace_execinfo.cpp:27)