What is Antenna?

Antenna is the name of the collector for the Mozilla crash ingestion pipeline. The processor, scheduled task runner, and webapp portions of the crash ingestion pipeline are in Socorro.

For more information about the crash ingestion pipeline and what the collector does, see the Socorro Overview.


Antenna is the collector of the crash ingestion pipeline. It handles incoming crash reports posted by crash reporter clients, generates a crash id which is returned to the client, saves the information, and publishes a crash ids for processing.


Antenna is built with the following requirements:

  1. Return a crash id to the client quickly

    Antenna should return a crash id and close the HTTP connection as quickly as possible. This means we need to save to AWS S3 as a separate step.

  2. Try hard not to drop crashes

    Antenna tries hard not to drop crashes and lose data. It tries to get the crash to AWS S3 as quickly as possible so that it’s sitting on as few crash reports as possible.

  3. Minimal dependencies

    Every dependency we add is another software cycle we have to track causing us to have to update our code when they change.

  4. Make setting it up straight-forward

    Antenna should be straight-forward to set up. Minimal configuration options. Good defaults. Good documentation.

  5. Easy to test

    Antenna should be built in such a way that it’s easy to write tests for. Tests that are easy to read and easy to write are easy to verify and this will make it likely that the software is higher quality.

High-level architecture

Antenna is the collector of the crash ingestion pipeline.


Data flow

This is the rough data flow:

  1. Crash reporter client submits a crash report via HTTP POST with a multipart/form-data encoded payload.

    See Specification: Submitting Crash Reports for details on format.

  2. Antenna’s BreakpadSubmitterResource handles the HTTP POST request.

    If the payload is compressed, Antenna uncompresses it.

    Antenna extracts the payload.

    Antenna throttles the crash report using a ruleset defined in the throttler.

    If the throttler rejects the crash, collection ends here.

    If the throttler accepts the crash, Antenna generates a crash id.

  3. Then BreakpadSubmitterResource passes the data to the crashmover to save and publish.

    If crashstorage is S3CrashStorage, then the crashmover saves the crash report data to AWS S3.

    If the save is successful, then the crashmover publishes the crash report id to the AWS SQS standard queue for processing.

    At this point, the HTTP POST has been handled, the crash id is sent to the crash reporter client and the HTTP connection ends.


Collector-added fields

Antenna adds several fields to the raw crash capturing information about collection:


Holds additional properties of the crash report including how it was structured and whether there were any problems with it.


Notes covering what happened during collection. This includes which fields were removed from the raw crash.


Map of dump name (e.g. upload_file_minidump) to md5 checksum for that dump.


Specifies how the crash annotations were in the crash report. multipart means the crash annotations were encoded in multipart/form-data fields and json means the crash annotations were in a JSON-encoded value in a field named extra.


1 if the payload was compressed and 0 if it wasn’t.


The timestamp for when this crash report was collected in UTC in YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS.SSSSSS format.


The crash id generated for this crash report.


The raw crash schema version. Currently, this is 2.

Logs to stdout

In a production environment, Antenna logs to stdout in mozlog format.

You can see crashes being accepted and saved:

{"Timestamp": 1493998643710555648, "Type": "antenna.breakpad_resource", "Logger": "antenna", "Hostname": "ebf44d051438", "EnvVersion": "2.0", "Severity": 6, "Pid": 15, "Fields": {"host_id": "ebf44d051438", "message": "8e01b4e0-f38f-4b16-bc5a-043971170505: matched by is_firefox_desktop; returned DEFER"}}
{"Timestamp": 1493998645733482752, "Type": "antenna.breakpad_resource", "Logger": "antenna", "Hostname": "ebf44d051438", "EnvVersion": "2.0", "Severity": 6, "Pid": 15, "Fields": {"host_id": "ebf44d051438", "message": "8e01b4e0-f38f-4b16-bc5a-043971170505 saved"}}


Antenna sends data to statsd. Read the code for what’s available where and what it means.

Here are some good ones:

  • breakpad_resource.incoming_crash

    Counter. Denotes an incoming crash.

  • throttle.*

    Counters. Throttle results. Possibilities: accept, defer, reject.

  • breakpad_resource.save_crash.count

    Counter. Denotes a crash has been successfully saved.

  • breakpad_resource.save_queue_size

    Gauge. Tells you how many things are sitting in the crashmover_save_queue.


    If this number is > 0, it means that Antenna is having difficulties keeping up with incoming crashes.

  • breakpad_resource.on_post.time

    Timing. This is the time it took to handle the HTTP POST request.

  • breakpad_resource.crash_save.time

    Timing. This is the time it took to save the crash to S3.

  • breakpad_resource.crash_handling.time

    Timing. This is the total time the crash was in Antenna-land from receiving the crash to saving it to S3.


Antenna works with Sentry and will send unhandled startup errors and other unhandled errors to Sentry where you can more easily see what’s going on. You can use the hosted Sentry or run your own Sentry instance–either will work fine.

Cloud storage file hierarchy

If you use the Amazon Web Services S3 or Google Cloud Storage crashstorage component, then crashes get saved in this hierarchy in the bucket:

  • /v1/raw_crash/<DATE>/<CRASHID>

  • /v1/dump_names/<CRASHID>

And then one or more dumps in directories by dump name:


Note that upload_file_minidump gets converted to dump.

For example, a crash with id 00007bd0-2d1c-4865-af09-80bc00170413 and two dumps “upload_file_minidump” and “upload_file_minidump_flash1” gets these files saved:


    Raw crash in serialized in JSON.


    Map of dump_name to file name serialized in JSON.


    upload_file_minidump dump.


    upload_file_minidump_flash1 dump.