000036157 - How to capture a web browser console log for troubleshooting purposes

Document created by RSA Customer Support Employee on Mar 23, 2018Last modified by RSA Customer Support Employee on Mar 27, 2018
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Article Number000036157
Applies ToRSA Product Set: All RSA Products
Platform: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox
IssueWhen troubleshooting an issue observed via a web browser, RSA Support may request you to capture and send us a browser console log.  Developer tools built into most modern web browsers include all that you need to do that, in a few simple steps.

The general method for capturing a browser console log in most web browsers:
  1. Navigate to the web browser tab where you will reproduce the issue.
  2. From the web browser's tools menu, open the developer tools menu item.
  3. Choose the console log option.
  4. Where available, choose the preserve or persist log option. This ensures that logging is saved across page reloads.
  5. Reproduce the issue.
  6. Save the log to send to RSA Customer Support.
The specific method to capture a browser console log is dependent on the web browser and browser version that you are using.  Instructions for two popular current web browsers are provided below.  Please contact RSA Customer Support know if you need instructions for a different type of browser.
ResolutionFollow the instructions below, based on your web browser type and version.  If you don't have exactly the version listed below, it may still be possible to use these instructions.

Google Chrome (v64)



  1. Open a new browser tab in Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the three dot menu in the upper right corner of the Chrome window (it has a tooltip labeled Customize and control Google Chrome):  Three dot Chrome menu
  3. Select More Tools > Developer Tools:

Chrome Developer Tools menu


  1. A new frame will open up in your Chrome tab, showing some markup language, and a menu at the top that looks like this:

Chrome Developer Tools menu


  1. Click on Console in the menu, to start the browser console for this tab.
  2. Click on the blue cog icon Chrome Blue Cog on the right of the browser console.  Some checkboxes will be displayed in the browser console as shown below:

Chrome Dev Tools Console Cog
 


If some apparent errors are displayed in the browser console window, such as in the example above, they can safely be ignored.


  1. Make sure that the options to both Preserve Log and Show Timestamps are checked.  Any displayed messages will now show timestamps, as shown below.

Chrome Console Options


  1. You are now ready to test. Reproduce the issue in the same Chrome tab where the browser console is running.  While you are testing, output will be logged by Chrome to the browser console.
  2. When the test is complete, right-click any of the messages in browser console window, and choose Save as... from the displayed menu.

Chrome Dev Tools Save As


  1. When prompted, specify a location to save the browser console log file.  Note the filename and location so you can send the file to RSA Support.
 

Mozilla Firefox (v58)



  1. Open a new browser tab in Firefox.
  2. Click to open the three bar menu in the upper right corner of the Firefox window (it has a tooltip labeled Open menu):  Firefox three bar menu
  3. Select  Web Developer > Web Console from the Firefox menu.   The browser console will be displayed:

Firefox web console


  1. Click the cog icon on the right of the browser console (it has a tooltip labeled Toolbox options):  Firefox cog
  2. Scroll down to the Web Console section in the center of the browser console and tick the checkbox option for Enable timestamps.

Firefox enable timestamps


  1. Click the Console item on the browser console menu to return to the console view, then tick the Persist Logs checkbox on the far right of the menu.

Firefox persist logs


The console menu should now look like this:


Configured Firefox browser console


  1. You are now ready to test.  Reproduce the issue in the same Firefox tab where the browser console is running.  While you are testing, output will be logged by Firefox to the browser console.
  2. When the test is complete, right-click any of the messages in browser console window, and choose Select All from the displayed menu.  This will highlight all the messages in the window.

Firefox select all


  1. Keeping all the messages highlighted, right click them and select Copy Message to copy all the messages to the Clipboard:

Firefox copy messages


  1. Paste the messages into a file using a text editor such as Notepad (Windows) or TextWrangler (macOS).
  2. Save the file and note the folder and filename to send to RSA Customer Support.
Once the browser console log file has been captured, it should be uploaded to RSA Customer Support.
Notes
  • A browser console log may be requested by RSA Engineering to help diagnose problems shown by a web browser.
  • By default, the browser console is cleared each time you navigate to a new page or reload the current page.  Normally Engineering will require the "persist" or "preserve" log option (depending on browser) to be checked to override that behavior (as advised in the instructions above)  Consequently Chrome or Firefox are preferred because they have that option.  Some versions of Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer may not have this option.
  • A browser console only captures data from the current tab.  If a web page opens a new tab or window, the data in the new tab or window will not be captured.
  • A browser console log will typically be requested by Engineering in conjunction with a browser network trace.  A FiddlerCap capture is preferable to the browser's network trace option, as it will capture data from multiple tabs.  The instructions for FiddlerCap are browser-agnostic.  The end user can uninstall FiddlerCap at any time.

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