How to file a good Android Sync bug

So you’ve seen some behavior that looks like a bug — perhaps a crash, perhaps data being corrupted, perhaps some performance impact or a sync never finishing.

The first thing we need is a log from the device. There’s no about:sync-log any more, so you’ll need to fetch the logs from the device via USB or using an Android application.

If you have an Android SDK and a USB cable, you can run

adb logcat -v time

and capture logs during the event that reproduces the bug. There will be a lot of output.

If you don’t have an Android development environment set up, you can install aLogRec and email the ADB log to yourself. This reportedly won’t work with recent Android versions, so I encourage you to try installing the tools first.

Once you have the log in a file, you can attach it to a new Android Sync bug in Bugzilla. Please take the time to write:

  • An accurate summary of your issue. “Sync adds bookmarks from desktop Bookmarks Toolbar, but local changes do not appear on desktop” is way more useful than “Sync doesn’t work”.
  • A description that explains what you see, what you expect to see, and any other pertinent information. Let us know which other devices you have connected to your Sync account: “Firefox 23 on Mac, Firefox 24 on Windows 7”.
  • Steps to reproduce. If you can start with a clean profile everywhere, and take a reproducible sequence of actions to cause a bug to manifest, we will be really grateful, and the bug is much more likely to be fixed than one we have to guess at.
  • A description of your device and the version of Firefox you’re using. Something like “Samsung Galaxy S3, Android 4.1.4, Nightly build from 2013-08-24” is enough. You can find out your Android version in the Settings application.