How do the Toolkit logs work and how do I know which one to look at?

  1. What are the logs for?
  2. When should I ask for logs?
  3. Where are the logs stored?
  4. Why are there multiple log files?
  5. How do I know which one to ask the client for?
  6. What is debug mode?
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Useful links

What are the logs for?

When using Shotgun integrations, toolkit logs certain information to the user’s local cache. This information can be very helpful in debugging issues, as it will include statements about the steps the software has gone through as well as any error that might have occurred.
Sometimes in certain situations, the logs may not contain the error or give a good indication of whats going wrong.

When should I ask for logs?

Logs can be useful to get when the you’re encountering

  • An error.
  • A process not behaving as expected.
  • Performance related issues.

Where are the logs stored?

You can use this support page to find them. They are stored in different locations depending on your OS. They can even be stored in different locations if you have chosen to redirect them through the use of environment variables.

Why are there multiple log files?

Toolkit splits out its log files into separate files per engine (What is an engine?). The logs also rotate, so you may well see multiple logs with the same name and number at the end. If there is no number that is the most recent, and then starting at 1 and going upwards the logs get older.

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How do I know which one to investigate?

The exact log you are after will depend on where/in what engine the issue is being caused.

  • tk-desktop.log is used for any issues relating to desktop itself or apps/software launched from desktop.
  • tk-shotgun.log is used for any issue relating to apps/software launched from the Toolkit action menu items on the Shotgun site.
  • tk-shell.log if it relates to an operation run from the tank command in the command line, this can include things like tank updates or launching software from the tank command.
  • The rest of the logs take their engine names from the software they are designed to run in, like tk-maya.log or tk-nuke.log and should be used if there is an issue running an app in this engine or if there is an issue with the engine itself.

There are times when multiple logs might be useful, for example if you are having issues with an action menu item in Shotgun, it might be that an expected menu item is not appearing, in which case both tk-desktop.log and tk-shotgun.log might contain clues.

Or perhaps launching the software through the action menu item is not resulting in the software starting or the Shotgun integration starting once the software is launched. In this situation, the tk-shotgun.log might have clues because its a launch problem (ie before the software engine even started), or the tk-nuke (for example) log might have clues because the issue was in the engine its self once it had attempted to start.

What is debug mode?

Debug mode is where we can tell toolkit to log extra information about the operations that are being performed. Typically you won’t have debug enabled by default, so when investigating logs it’s best to first enable debug logging and then reproduce the issue, and then investigate the logs.

Instructions on how to enable debugging can be found in this topic link.

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