An iOS library for recording crash events.
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This crash manager doesn't handle all possible crash situations. There are some kinds of crashes (such as stack overflow or corrupted object pointers) that can cause the crash manager to fail and not record the crash.

A more robust solution is available here

Crash Manager

An iOS library for recording crash events.


Copyright 2010 by Karl Stenerud.

Crash Manager is released under the Apache License v2.0


Crash Manager, when added to your project, will intercept any crashes as they occur, and record a stack trace to help diagnose the problem later.

This is useful for tracking down intermittent bugs that only seem to happen in the wild.

Yes, Apple does provide functionality for getting crash reports from users, but it doesn't always seem to work, and you can't make it automatically go to a backend server where the developers can be immediately alerted.


You can either copy from the "Libraries" group in the demo project via XCode, or from the "libs" folder via Finder.

  1. Copy everything from "CrashManager" into your project.

  2. If you also want to use the mailer functionality, copy everything from "Mailer" into your project.


Starting CrashManager

To start managing crashes, put the following in your app delegate's application:didFinishLoading method:

[[CrashManager sharedInstance] manageCrashes];

You can also register your delegate to receive crash events:

[[CrashManager sharedInstance] setCrashDelegate:self selector:@selector(notifyException:stackTrace:)];

Your crash event delegate method would look something like this:

- (void) notifyException:(NSException*) exception stackTrace:(NSArray*) stackTrace

Crashing With CrashManager

When your app crashes, CrashManager will write a crash report to the location specified by [CrashManager sharedInstance].errorReportPath. If unset, this defaults to "error_report.txt" in your Documents directory.

Once the error report is written, it will attempt to call the crash delegate, if a delegate has been set.

Once the crash delegate returns, the crash-in-progress will run to completion and your app will terminate.

Dealing With Crash Reports

CrashManager includes convenience methods for checking for, and fetching a crash report.

Use [CrashManager sharedInstance].errorReportPresent to test if an error report exists.

Use [CrashManager sharedInstance].errorReport to fetch the report itself (Note: Accessing this property causes the report to be read from disk, so it's a good idea to save a local copy rather than hammering the filesystem).

One possible crash reporting process could be as follows:

  1. Application starts and enters UIKit.
  2. In your first view controller, check for the existence of a crash report.
  3. If a crash report exists, send a copy of it to your backend server, or email it.
  4. Delete the crash report using [[CrashManager sharedInstance] deleteErrorReport].

Important Notes


When a signal is raised in iOS, the topmost entry on the stack gets clobbered. As a result, you'll only see up to the method that called the method that crashed.

The following signals are caught by CrashManager:

  • Abort
  • Broken Pipe
  • Bus Error
  • Floating Point Exception
  • Illegal Instruction
  • Segmentation Fault


The dreaded EXC_BAD_ACCESS is triggered when your program attempts to access memory that doesn't belong to it (or no longer belongs to it). This most commonly occurs when you try to access an object that's already been deallocated.

When the system detects a bad access, it shuts down stdout, which means that anything you try to output using NSLog will not show up on the console.