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Debug the desktop app

Debug the main process 

The simplest way to debug the main process is to simply insert logging statements wherever needed and have the application output logs of whatever is necessary.

For already built applications (or bugs that only appear in the packaged version of the application), you can view the Logs by going to Help > Show Logs in the 3-dot menu, which will open a file manager window showing the location of the log file.

If you’d like to make use of better debugging tools, you can use the Chrome Dev Tools or the debugger in VSCode by following the steps here: https://www.electronjs.org/docs/latest/tutorial/debugging-main-process

Debug the renderer process 

The renderer processes are controller by Chrome instances, so each of them will have their own Developer Tools instance.

You can access these instances by going to the View > Developer Tools menu (under the 3-dot menu on Windows/Linux, and in the top bar on macOS) and selecting:

  • Developer Tools for Application Wrapper for anything involving the top bar.
  • Developer Tools for Current Tab for anything involving the Mattermost view or the preload script.
  • Developer Tools for Call Widget if you are using Mattermost Calls and the calls widget is currently open.

There are other BrowserViews that are governed seperately from the main application wrapper, including:

  • Dropdown Menu
    • You can open this one by adding a line in the main/teamDropdownView.ts file. In the constructor, at the end, add:
      this.view.webContents.openDevTools({mode: 'detach'});
  • Modals
    • You can open these by setting an environment variable when running the Desktop App called MM_DEBUG_MODALS.
      // macOS/Linux
      export MM_DEBUG_MODALS=1
      // Windows PowerShell
      $env:MM_DEBUG_MODALS = 1
  • URL View
    • You can open this one by adding a line in the main/viewManager.ts file. In the function showURLView, at the end, add:
      urlView.webContents.openDevTools({mode: 'detach'});

Debug the Mattermost Server/webapp 

Some issues are only reproducible on the Desktop App, though the code that is causing the issue may not live in the Desktop App.

Here are some ways of determining whether this is true:

  • Does the issue reproduce on the browser? Specifically Chrome?
  • Does the issue surround a piece of code on the server/webapp that only applies to the Desktop App? You can check this by seeing if there is a call to isDesktopApp in the webapp.

If you have determined that the issue doesn’t apply to the Desktop App code base directly, you can file a ticket in the appropriate repository, such as the server and web app repository.

If you are having trouble determining where the issue lies, feel free to post in the Developers: Desktop App on Mattermost Community, or you can file a ticket in the server and web app repository and it will be triaged and transferred to the appropriate location.

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