How to enable debug logging in xbmc

I am a huge fan of XBMC (XBMC Media Center) - the complete open source media center solution for Windows, OSX and Linux. In this post I will explain how to enable debug logging in XBMC and show your how to provide this information in a useful way.

When new (and existing) users post on the XBMC forums asking for help, they seldom provide enough useful information for other users to help them and get frustrated through the lack of support.

There are a number of sticky posts, in most of the sub forums detailing exactly what needs to be provided, however they still fail to provide this information, or don’t read them in full and in turn don’t know how to provide this information.

When asking for help in the forums, you will get better and quicker support if you supply the following pieces of information (you might not think they are relevant, but they will be and without them it makes it 100 times more difficult to help you!).

Information you should provide:

  1. A clear and details description of your problem. This may sound obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people don’t fully explain what their problem is or exactly what they are trying to achieve. Treat us as we are stupid – explain everything you are trying to achieve, its better to provide too much detail rather than too little. In summary, we are not mind readers – and will quickly move on if you don’t give us enough information or if we have to ask multiple times.
  2. The version of XBMC you are running (you can find this in the System Info section in XBMC). Don’t randomly guess which version you are using, or say the latest, or svn – we want the actual version number.
  3. The operating system you are running on and the version – Windows 7, Ubuntu 8.04, etc..
  4. The architecture your are running on  - 32bit or 64bit.
  5. How you installed XBMC – ppa, rpm, nightly build, self built svn build, etc…
  6. SVN revision if applicable (also where you got it from – nightly xbmc build, thirdparty build, self built)
  7. Details on how to replicate the problem.
  8. Full debug log – This is not optional and is the most useful piece of information. It shows exactly what is happening on your system. Again this is not optional.

For some reason people often struggle to know how to provide the debug log. Its explained in numerous places and in the wiki, but still it is often overlooked.

How to enabling debug logging in xbmc:

  1. Make sure you are using the default skin – Confluence. This makes things easier when debugging and makes reading the debug log easier.
  2. Navigate to the Settings section of XBMC.
  3. Navigate to the System section.
  4. Navifate to the Debugging section.
  5. Enable the Enable debug logging option.
  6. Restart XBMC
  7. Debug logging is now enabled :)
  8. Carry out the steps to replicate your problem and then use the XBMC Debug Log addon to upload your debug log to pastebin.com. Alternatively exit XBMC and manually upload your debug log to pastebin.com or similar.
  9. Post the link to your debug log.

How to install the XBMC Debug Log Add-on:

  1. Make sure you are using the default skin – Confluence. This makes things easier when debugging and makes reading the debug log easier.
  2. Navigate to the Settings section of XBMC.
  3. Navigate to the Add-ons section.
  4. Navigate to the Get Add-ons option.
  5. Navigate to the XBMC.org Add-ons option.
  6. Navigate to the Program Add-ons option.
  7. Navigate to the  XBMC Debug Log addon.
  8. Select the Install option.
  9. The addon will now be downloaded and installed.

Video How-To:

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say – so whats a video worth? Here’s a quick video showing how to enable debug logging, install the XBMC Debug Log and uploading the the log using the addon.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSfe1HMJO0o

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