Zippity Update – Telemetry

I updated Zippity, our crowd sourcing data collection system, to add support for memory and CPU data telemetry. What is memory and CPU data telemetry you ask? Basically, we send data about the current Firefox Mobile memory and CPU usage patterns to Zippity. There are two ways to send the data:

  • Manually push a button: This might be a handy way to report metrics when you think Firefox Mobile is running slow on your phone.
  • Silently on idle once a day: During an idle moment, Zippity scans the metrics. This gives us data on the Firefox Mobile resting state. Hopefully we don’t see large CPU usage. Just install the Zippity add-on, and you start sending data – no additional work for you!

Why send this data you ask? We care a lot of the performance of Firefox Mobile, and we want to better understand how Firefox Mobile is running on your phone. We run a lot of tests at Mozilla, but these tests sometimes don’t compare well to the real world. For example, I have no performance issues running Firefox Mobile on my Nexus One, but we get lots of feedback from users that the performance is too slow on their phones. We need to run tests and collect data from Firefox Mobile running on your phone.

What kind of data is sent you ask? Firefox Mobile has a built-in memory reporting system and Zippity will enumerate that system to get detailed memory usage data. We also use the Linux /proc system to get information about the CPU usage. We only check the Firefox main and child processes. We don’t log any information about other processes. Thanks to Brad Lassey and Taras Glek for helping me get the data collected. Here is an example of the JSON formatted data sent to Zippity:

    "product": "Fennec 6.0a1",
    "os": "Android",
    "buildid": "20110416004121",
    "type": "metrics",
    "date": 1303152081000,
    "testkey": "telemetry-v1",
    "appid": "{a23983c0-fd0e-11dc-95ff-0800200c9a66}",
    "device": "Nexus One",
    "userkey": "",
    "osversion": "REL (10)",
    "data": {
        "reason": "manual",
        "malloc/allocated": 32377108,
        "malloc/mapped": 34603008,
        "malloc/committed": 34603008,
        "malloc/dirty": 77824,
        "js/gc-heap": 5242880,
        "js/string-data": 514630,
        "js/mjit-code": 88500,
        "storage/sqlite/pagecache": 4536536,
        "storage/sqlite/other": 1050816,
        "storage/permissions.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 29,
        "storage/permissions.sqlite/Cache_Used": 99208,
        "storage/permissions.sqlite/Schema_Used": 1272,
        "storage/permissions.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 5744,
        "storage/extensions.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 438,
        "storage/extensions.sqlite/Cache_Used": 428248,
        "storage/extensions.sqlite/Schema_Used": 6928,
        "storage/extensions.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 119024,
        "gfx/surface/image": 1088248,
        "images/chrome/used/raw": 0,
        "images/chrome/used/uncompressed": 1025124,
        "images/chrome/unused/raw": 0,
        "images/chrome/unused/uncompressed": 3648,
        "images/content/used/raw": 0,
        "images/content/used/uncompressed": 2144,
        "images/content/unused/raw": 4168,
        "images/content/unused/uncompressed": 8288,
        "layout/all": 563338,
        "storage/places.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 143,
        "storage/places.sqlite/Cache_Used": 428488,
        "storage/places.sqlite/Schema_Used": 11704,
        "storage/places.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 44152,
        "content/canvas/2d_pixel_bytes": 81120,
        "storage/cookies.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 14,
        "storage/cookies.sqlite/Cache_Used": 165000,
        "storage/cookies.sqlite/Schema_Used": 1816,
        "storage/cookies.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 0,
        "storage/formhistory.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 14,
        "storage/formhistory.sqlite/Cache_Used": 197920,
        "storage/formhistory.sqlite/Schema_Used": 1656,
        "storage/formhistory.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 0,
        "storage/addons.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 152,
        "storage/addons.sqlite/Cache_Used": 296616,
        "storage/addons.sqlite/Schema_Used": 4280,
        "storage/addons.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 29152,
        "storage/search.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 20,
        "storage/search.sqlite/Cache_Used": 99192,
        "storage/search.sqlite/Schema_Used": 1216,
        "storage/search.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 1840,
        "shmem/allocated": 0,
        "shmem/mapped": 0,
        "storage/index.sqlite/LookAside_Used": 148,
        "storage/index.sqlite/Cache_Used": 296656,
        "storage/index.sqlite/Schema_Used": 3032,
        "storage/index.sqlite/Stmt_Used": 51704,
        "uptime": 159848,
        "process": {
            "parent": {
                "user": 13,
                "system": 2,
                "rss": 77456
            "child": {
                "user": 22,
                "system": 2,
                "rss": 25132
            "cpu": 57

You can now access Metrics charts on Zippity to view the data. Trying to find ways to visualize the data isn’t easy. There is a lot of data. The charts are simple for now. The data point tooltip shows more detailed information.

Visit Zippity from your phone and install the add-on today. Thanks for using Zippity to help us collect data to make Firefox Mobile better.

3 Replies to “Zippity Update – Telemetry”

  1. Zippity is a perfect tool to monitor and debug Firefox Mobile. I think we’ll have soon a standard to do this for all mobile platform, and all browsers, perhaps Zippity?

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