Triage codelab

Contributors: cphoenix@

This codelab explains the Triage utility.

  • What it's for
  • How to run it, including command line options
  • How to add and test detection rules

What is Triage?

Triage allows you to scan bug dump files (, for predefined conditions.

The Triage system makes it easy to configure new conditions, increasing the usefulness of Triage for everyone.

The current version of Triage is a host-side command line tool, invoked with fx triage.

What you'll need

  • Familiarity with {"format": "JSON"}
  • Access to a Fuchsia source tree you can execute build commands in.

Find the "inspect.json" file

This codelab includes an inspect.json file with values to make the exercises work predictably.

Run triage

  • To run Triage:
fx triage

This command downloads a fresh file using the fx bugreport command. This command runs the default rules from //src/diagnostics/config/triage/*.triage.

  • To analyze a specific inspect.json file:
$ fx triage --inspect my/foo/inspect.json
  • To use a specific configuration file or all *.triage files in the specific directory:
fx triage --config my/directory --config my/file.triage
  • This codelab uses this command:
fx triage --config . --inspect inspect.json

Running this command in the codelab directory with the unmodified codelab files prints a line indicating that Triage is working properly:

Warning: 'always_triggered' in 'rules' detected 'Triage is running': 'always_true' was true

Add selectors for the Inspect values

The inspect.json file in the codelab directory indicates a couple of problems with the system. You're going to configure the triage system to detect those problems.

This step configures Triage to extract values from the data in the inspect.json file.

The rules.triage file contains a key-value section called "metrics". The key name will be used in the body of other config entries. The key's value is a selector structure.

The selector structure has the key Selector. Its value is a colon-separated string that tells where in the Inspect data to find the number you need.

"disk_used": {"Selector": "global_dat/storage:root.stats:used_bytes"}

Inspect data published by a component is organized as a tree of nodes with values (properties) at the leaves. The inspect.json file is an array of these trees, each with a path that identifies the source component.

The portion of the selector string before the first colon should match (be a substring of) exactly one of the path strings in the inspect.json file.

The portion between the two colons is a .-separated list of node names.

The portion after the second colon is the property name.

The above selector string indicates a component whose path includes the string global_dat/storage. It also indicates the used_bytes property from the stats subnode of the root node of that component's Inspect Tree.

  1. Copy the above "disk_used" selector metric, and add it to the "metrics" section of the rules.triage file.

  2. Write and add another selector named "disk_total" to select the "total_bytes" property at the same node in the Inspect data.

Add a computation

In addition to selecting values from the "inspect.json" file, you need to do some logic, and probably some arithmetic, to see whether those values indicate a condition worth flagging.

Copy and add the following metric to calculate how full the disk is:

"disk_percentage": {"Eval": "disk_used / disk_total"}
  • This is ordinary + - * / arithmetic, with ordinary order of operations.
  • You can use parentheses.
  • You can use the names of metrics as variables.

Add a comparison

Copy and add the following metric to calculate whether the disk is 98% full.

"disk98": {"Eval": "disk_percentage > 0.98"}
  • This metric has a comparison, so its result type is Boolean. It will be usable to trigger actions.
  • Available comparisons are > >= < <= == !=
  • You can combine computations and comparisons into a single rule (just one comparison per rule, please).

Add an action

In the "actions" part of the config file, add an action which prints a warning when the disk is 98% full. Use the following line:

"disk_full": {"trigger": "disk98", "print": "Disk is over 98% full"}
  • The "trigger" is the name of a Boolean-type (comparison) metric.
  • Currently, print is the only available action.

Try it out

The following command will run Triage against the local config file.

fx triage --config . --inspect inspect.json

You will get several lines of error indications. What happened?

There was a typo in the selector rules. If you read past all the backslashes (the next version of Triage will be friendlier), you'll see that Triage could not find values needed to evaluate a rule. In fact, the correct selector is "global_data" not "global_dat." Fix it in your selector rules and try again.

fx triage --config . --inspect inspect.json

Now what happened? Nothing, right? So, how do you know whether there was no problem in the inspect.json file, or a bug in your rule?

Test your rule

You can (and should!) add tests for your actions. For each test, write a snippet of inspect.json content and specify whether it should or should not trigger your rule.

To test the rule you've added, add the following to the "tests" section of the rules.triage file:

"is_full": {"yes": ["disk_full"], "no": [],
    "inspect": [
        {"path": "global_data/storage",
        "contents": {"root": {"stats": {"total_bytes": 100, "used_bytes": 99}}}}

You can also test conditions in which actions should not trigger:

"not_full": {"yes": [], "no": ["disk_full"],
    "inspect": [
        {"path": "global_data/storage",
        "contents": {"root": {"stats": {"total_bytes": 100, "used_bytes": 97}}}}

To run the test, just run Triage. It automatically self-tests each time it's run.

fx triage --config . --inspect inspect.json

Whoops! That should signal an error:

Test is_full failed: trigger disk98 of action disk_full returned Bool(false), expected true

Fix your rule

Triage's arithmetic engine preserves the type of the operands, so 99/100 is 0. You can convert to floating point by adding 0.0. Modify your disk_percentage rule:

"disk_percentage": {"Eval": "(disk_used + 0.0) / disk_total"}

Run Triage again. The error should disappear, replaced by a warning that your inspect.json file does in fact indicate a full disk.

Warning: 'disk_full' in 'rules' detected 'Disk is 98% full': 'disk98' was true

Use multiple configuration files

You can add any number of Triage configuration files, and even use metrics defined in one file in another file. This has lots of applications:

  • One file for disk-related metrics, and another for network-related metrics
  • A file for product-specific numbers
  • Files for particular engineers or teams

Add a file "product.triage" containing the following:

    "metrics": {
        "max_widgets": {"Eval": "4"}
    "actions": {},
    "tests": {}

Add the following metrics to the rules.triage file:

"actual_widgets": {"Selector": "widget_maker.cmx:root:total_widgets"}

That will extract how many widgets were active in the device.

"too_many_widgets": {"Eval": "actual_widgets > product::max_widgets"}

That compares the actual widgets with the theoretical maximum for the product.

Finally, add an action:

"widget_overflow": {"trigger": "too_many_widgets", "print": "Too many widgets!"}

Unfortunately, this device tried to use 6 widgets, so this warning should trigger when "fx triage" is run.

In a production environment, several "product.triage" files could be maintained in different directories, and Triage could be directed to use any of them with the "--config" command line argument. (Future versions of Triage may be able to select the correct product file automatically.)

Further Reading

See Triage (fx triage) for the latest features and options - Triage will keep improving!