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Introduction of sentry application monitoring and error tracking
We are planning to introduce the use of the Sentry platform into KiCad.
Sentry https://sentry.io/ is open source platform to capture application
events, crash dumps, and other random analytics.
Both their hosted platform (https://github.com/getsentry/sentry) is open
source and the integrated SDK to handle crash handling in C++ is also open
source on github under MIT license (
Sentry has given KiCad a sponsored account to use their SaaS platform as
the KiCad team does not have the manpower to maintain a self-hosted
The plan going forward is:
- The primary use in KiCad will be to capture crash reports, but in the
future it could also let us gather things like performance metrics of
algorithms across the wider user base.
- The implementation will be and will remain entirely *opt-in *with a one
time prompt on startup, and the ability to turn it off in preferences. This
is to maintain privacy regulation compliance and just good manners.
- No PII is captured, we have no need or desire for it. Only a random GUID
generated for your install is used to connect crash reports. This GUID can
be reset at any time by the user.
- To aid in avoiding PII capture, all sentry reports go to a "sentry-relay"
server run on KiCad owned infrastructure,
this relay serves as a proxy to communicate to the main sentry.io platform,
this aids in hiding originating IP addresses but we have also turned off
the storage of IP addresses in sentry
- Additionally, the cmake variable KICAD_USE_SENTRY is being added where a
value of false will disable the inclusion of the sentry sdk entirely. The
current default will be off as only Windows support is tested.
- Sentry will only store at most 1 *raw *crash dump (though we can turn it
off entirely) for analysis. Sentry will parse out only the relevant crash
details such as call stack, and stack frame and discard the rest of the
- This will be deployed for Windows nightly builds first
- Data in sentry is retained for at max 90 days before it is deleted
This solves a many years long desire of the KiCad team to capture crash
dumps without user involvement and sentry offers us a very easy solution to
do it and help make KiCad better for everyone.