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Commonly used debugging tools

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There are some relatively simple but commonly used debugging tools that might answer questions of for example why your installation of FlightGear will not run properly or at all, why an aircraft might have problems or why flying in a certain area always cause FlightGear crashes.

The more useful of those tool are the console window (also known as the "black box" or confusingly the "command line"), the fgfs.log file and the property browser.

There are of course times when these will not do, and sometimes one would have to compile FlightGear from source and add some additional debugging features to find some bugs.

Debug level setting

Before we go any further we should mention the debug level setting (also known as log level). When FlightGear runs it will output information on various things. As a default only things that are expected to cause troubles are output, but by setting a higher debug level more information will be shown. At the highest debug level one can expect FlightGear to run slow due to all the debug output.

Debug levels

There are five debug levels:

Bulk
Will output very frequent messages. Using this setting might slow down FlightGear a lot, but might show problems not otherwise found.
Debug
Will output less frequent debug messages.
Info
Will output informatory messages.
Warn
Will output messages about possibly impeding problems.
Alert
Will output messages about very possibly impeding problems. This is the default level.

Setting the debug level

FGRun

In FGRun go to the last page click Advanced... then, in the list to the left, click "Debug" and then chose the desired debug level in the list.

Command line

Add -log-level debug level to your command line.

The console window

Before FlightGear 2.6 this was always opened in a separate window when starting FlightGear through the FGRun wizard, but these days it is normally hidden and can be shown by ticking a checkbox, "Show command line".

fgfs.log

The startup log file contains nearly the same information that is output on the console.

Finding fgfs.log

Mac
~/Library/Application Support/FlightGear/fgfs.log
Windows
C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\flightgear.org\fgfs.log

The property browser

1rightarrow.png See Property browser for the main article about this subject.

The property browser is a tool useful for many purposes. It might for example tell if a property is tied and can not be written to.

Related content

External links