Telemetry (And Why That's A Good Thing)

Citra has some issues, and by its nature as an open source project, they are visible to everyone and fixable by anyone. Unfortunately though, most contributions are made by a small minority of developers. These developers have found it difficult to prioritize their efforts, since the majority of issue reports are written scattered across Discord, Reddit, forums, IRC, and too many other places to count.

Because of this, the Citra team has put together a framework to report data about how Citra is used to our server, and use that data to discover what are the most popular games and hardware configurations, where emulated games crash in Citra most often, and more. We had considered including this in last month’s progress report, but we decided that it would be best to publish this on its own, so it gets the attention it deserves. We’re very aware that privacy is important to many of our users, and so from the earliest planning stage we knew we must be as transparent and open about this as possible.

The telemetry framework will collect information such as:

  • Information about the version of Citra you are using
  • Performance data for the games you play
  • Your Citra configuration settings
  • Information about your computer hardware (e.g. GPU, CPU, and OS type)
  • Emulation errors and crash information

Not everyone is comfortable sharing information about their system, so we’ve made it easy to opt-out:

Alt, E, C

First, head to the Citra "Emulation" → "Configure..." menu.

Right arrow, Right arrow, Right arrow, Right arrow, Right arrow, Right arrow, Right arrow

Then, head into the "Web" tab.

Tab, Tab, Tab, Tab, Tab, Space

And finally, untick the box titled "Share anonymous usage data with the Citra team".

You may have also noticed the field titled “Telemetry ID” in the screenshots, this is an identifier generated randomly on install which is used instead of your IP address. This makes data collection entirely anonymous, unless you choose to log in. You can also reset your telemetry ID if you’d like by clicking “Regenerate”. The new ID will also be completely random, and so it would be treated as a wholly new identity.

Telemetry is an extremely useful developer tool, as they allow the developer to be more aware of the users’ needs and priorities accurately, rather than guessing. But it is only as useful as the data obtained, which is why we urge users to not opt-out, so the data can be as accurate and correct as possible. Just as innacurate measurements can damage a device during calibration, innacurate statistical data will only cause damage to Citra.

Written by anodium on Saturday August 26, 2017