running talos locally

We had a meeting about not regressing Talos last week.  One of the concerns brought up at the meeting was that reproducing Talos regressions was hard: dissimilar machines, not knowing where Talos is, inability to run Talos locally, etc. etc.

Joel Maher noted that Talos has its very own wiki page, complete with checkout instructions and information about running the tests.  In the interest of looking like a functioning member of the performance team (“benchmarks?  what are those?”), I decided to verify those instructions.  The monospace commands below were run on a Linux/x86-64 box.

  1. Checkout the repository: hg clone http://hg.mozilla.com/build/talos && cd talos
  2. Run the INSTALL.py script: ./INSTALL.py
  3. Run activation script for virtualenv: . bin/activate  This step will modify your shell prompt to include a (talos) string at the beginning; it also modifies PATH to include the location of talos scripts.
  4. Create a test configuration: PerfConfigurator --develop --executablePath /path/to/firefox --activeTests ts --results_url file:///${HOME}/ts.txt --output ts_desktop.yaml Note that providing a path to a firefox you just compiled (~/src/build-mc/dist/bin/firefox in my case) works just fine.
  5. Run tests with your configuration: talos -n ts_desktop.yaml Unfortunately, you have to shutdown any Firefox instances you have running or the test harness will complain. I filed bug 787980 for fixing this.
  6. Sit back and relax while you watch the test harness print progress messages on your terminal.  You may see messages about logs being posted to http://datazilla.mozilla.org/talos; the --develop flag ought to prevent that from happening,   It’s not clear to me whether the bug is in the wrong messages or that --develop doesn’t actually inhibit uploading.

And that’s it!  You’ve now run the Talos startup tests.  I haven’t tried running the pageload tests (yet!) because doing them properly requires downloading quite a number of webpages and arranging things just so.

1 comment

  1. You can run all tests except tp5, tspaint_places_generated*, and mobile_tp4 with what is in the default talos checkout.

    Tests like tsvg, tdhtml, ta11y and the js tests (dromaeo_css, v8_7, kraken, sunspider091) all use the pageloader extension and will run just fine.

    Thanks for the post. If we can only make the reproduction of numbers and fixing regressions easier :)