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Diagnose download issues

Download used to use NetLog for logging purpose, as it is considered part of the network operation. With network servicification, NetLog will no longer be accessible outside the network process. As a result, download is switching to TraceEvent for logging.

Netlog format (this is deprecated)

For a DownloadItem, its netlog looks like this:

21571799: DOWNLOAD

gzip-1.3.9.tar

Start Time: 2017-11-06 11:36:31.319

t=81821 [st=  0] +DOWNLOAD_ITEM_ACTIVE  [dt=539]
                 --> danger_type = "NOT_DANGEROUS"
                 --> file_name = "gzip-1.3.9.tar"
                 --> final_url = "http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.3.9.tar"
                 --> has_user_gesture = true
                 --> id = "3640"
                 --> original_url = "http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/gzip-1.3.9.tar"
                 --> start_offset = "0"
                 --> type = "NEW_DOWNLOAD"
t=81821 [st=  0] DOWNLOAD_URL_REQUEST
                  --> source_dependency = 21571791 (URL_REQUEST)
t=81822 [st=  1] DOWNLOAD_FILE_CREATED
                  --> source_dependency = 21571800 (DOWNLOAD_FILE)
t=81825 [st=  4] DOWNLOAD_ITEM_UPDATED
                   --> bytes_so_far = "0"
t=81833 [st= 12]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_SAFETY_STATE_UPDATED
                   --> danger_type = "MAYBE_DANGEROUS_CONTENT"
t=81865 [st= 44]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_RENAMED
                   --> new_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/Unconfirmed 246585.crdownload"
                   --> old_filename = ""
t=82304 [st=483]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_UPDATED
                   --> bytes_so_far = "1648640"
t=82305 [st=484]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_UPDATED
                   --> bytes_so_far = "1648640"
t=82360 [st=539]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_RENAMED
                   --> new_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/gzip-1.3.9.tar"
                   --> old_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/Unconfirmed 246585.crdownload"
t=82360 [st=539]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_COMPLETING
                   --> bytes_so_far = "1648640"
                   --> final_hash = "A08ABC68B607A70450930E698A90A0C30C81CE45A656CC47D2B89CA87C059DF6"
t=82360 [st=539]    DOWNLOAD_ITEM_FINISHED
                   --> auto_opened = "no"


For a DownloadFile,  it looks like:

21571800: DOWNLOAD_FILE

Start Time: 2017-11-06 11:36:31.320

t=81822 [st=  0] +DOWNLOAD_FILE_ACTIVE  [dt=538]
                --> source_dependency = 21571799 (DOWNLOAD)
t=81822 [st=  0] +DOWNLOAD_FILE_OPENED  [dt=43]
                   --> file_name = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/.local/share/.com.google.Chrome.pzFBTU"
                   --> start_offset = "0"
t=81822 [st=  0] DOWNLOAD_STREAM_DRAINED
                     --> num_buffers = 0
                     --> stream_size = 0
t=81865 [st= 43]   -DOWNLOAD_FILE_OPENED
t=81865 [st= 43]    DOWNLOAD_FILE_RENAMED  [dt=0]
                   --> new_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/Unconfirmed 246585.crdownload"
                   --> old_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/.local/share/.com.google.Chrome.pzFBTU"
t=81865 [st= 43]   +DOWNLOAD_FILE_OPENED  [dt=493]
                   --> file_name = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/Unconfirmed 246585.crdownload"
                   --> start_offset = "0"
t=81883 [st= 61]      DOWNLOAD_FILE_WRITTEN [dt=0]
                     --> bytes = "2262"

…...
t=82304 [st=482]      DOWNLOAD_FILE_WRITTEN [dt=0]
                     --> bytes = "2582"
t=82358 [st=536]   -DOWNLOAD_FILE_OPENED
t=82358 [st=536]    DOWNLOAD_STREAM_DRAINED
                   --> num_buffers = 2
                   --> stream_size = 10898
t=82359 [st=537]    DOWNLOAD_FILE_RENAMED  [dt=0]
                   --> new_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/gzip-1.3.9.tar"
                   --> old_filename = "/usr/local/google/home/qinmin/Downloads/Unconfirmed 246585.crdownload"
t=82359 [st=537]    DOWNLOAD_FILE_ANNOTATED  [dt=0]
t=82360 [st=538]    DOWNLOAD_FILE_DETACHED
t=82360 [st=538] -DOWNLOAD_FILE_ACTIVE

Collect trace event

To start tracing, open Chrome and type in chrome://tracing in the URL bar, Click on the record button and click on the “Edit Categories” button, check the “download” category and uncheck all other categories, then hit the record button.

Migrating to Trace Event

With trace event, we still want to group most of the file operations and download events under the same download. Otherwise, it will be hard to analyze the trace if multiple downloads are on going.  The downloadId is passed from DownloadItem to DownloadFile, so it could be used to group all the nestable events.


Because DownloadFile and DownloadItem live on different thread, DownloadFile’s trace may outlive DownloadFile’s although the former is created later. As a result, we will still keep the DownloadFile and DownloadItem events into separate nestable groups.


Trace event is thread based, so instant events will not be grouped to into any nestable events. A possible solution is to make any instant events a nestable async events, but that doesn’t seems very necessary.

The trace event will contain all the information captured by the previous NetLog, and will be shown in the following format:

As see in the graph, most of the download file events are grouped under DownloadFileActive group. Instant events doesn’t belong to any group, and could take place on different threads.


Events under DownloadFileActive include DownloadFileOpen and DownloadFileWrite.


Events under CrBrowserMain include most of the DownloadItem event, such as DownloadStarted, DownloadItemUpdated, DownloadItemInterrupted, DownloadItemCancelled, DownloadItemRenamed, DownloadItemSafetyStateUpdated, DownloadItemCompleting, DownloadItemFinished and DownloadFileCreated event.


There could be multiple TaskScheduler threads for the write to happen. So events like DownloadStreamDrained, DownloadFileRename, DownloadFileAnnotate, DownloadFileDetached.

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