PowerVR Graphics SDK tools explained: A quickstart guide for running PVRTrace on Android

Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on digg
Share on email

This blog post intends to be a replacement for the “PVRTrace.Quick Start Guide for Android Rooted” document included in the latest PowerVR Graphics SDK v3.2. My article aims to better reflect the current content of this SDK and get you up to speed with PVRTrace on Android in just a few minutes.

Prerequisites:

Notice that a device with a PowerVR GPU is not needed in order to trace the graphics API calls. On the other hand, we don’t usually test our tools on non-PowerVR devices.

If your target device cannot be rooted just check this older blog post of mine on PVRTrace and rootless recording on Android.

(Recommended) Further reading

Step 1: Installing PVRHub

PVRHub is the Android application used to install the PVRTrace recording libraries in our device. It can be installed using ADB.

adb install /path/to/PowerVR_SDK/PVRHub/Android_armeabi_armeabi-v7a_x86_mips/PVRHub.apk

Step 2: Installing the PVRTrace recording libraries in the device

The installation can be done both manually (adb push) or by using PVRHub. The manual installation is out of the scope of this blog post, you can find the detailed instructions in the PVRTrace User Manual.

PVRTrace on Android - step 1

Simply click the “Install” (A) button.

Step 3: Tracing an application

Click on “Trace an application…” (B)

PVRTrace on Android - step 2

and choose the app of your choice (C).

PVRTrace on Android - step 3

The logcat output should display something like:

I/ActivityManager(247): Displayed com.powervr.OGLES2Water/.OGLES2Water: +337ms
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): The current working directory is /
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Config file found: /data/data/com.powervr.PVRHub/pvrtrace.cfg
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Config File HostEs1LibPath:
/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv1_CM_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Config File HostEs2LibPath:
/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv2_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Config File HostEs3LibPath:
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Processes excluded from recording: com.powervr.PVRHub
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Processes included for recording: com.powervr.OGLES2Water;
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recorder enabled for current process: com.powervr.OGLES2Water
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Opening trace file to record:
/data/data/com.powervr.PVRHub/recordings/com.powervr.OGLES2Water.pvrt
D/libEGL(3818): loaded /vendor/lib/egl/libEGL_PVRTRACE.so
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Loading host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libEGL_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so'
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libEGL_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so' loaded
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Loading host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv1_CM_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so'
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv1_CM_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so' loaded
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Loading host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv2_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so'
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Host library
'/system/vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv2_POWERVR_SGX540_120.so' loaded
D/libEGL(3818): loaded /vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv1_CM_PVRTRACE.so
D/libEGL(3818): loaded /vendor/lib/egl/libGLESv2_PVRTRACE.so
I/com.powervr.OGLES2Water(3818): PVRShell: EGL 1.4 initialized
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 1
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 2
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 3
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 4
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 5
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 6
I/PVRTrace(I)(3818): Recording... Current frame: 7

Congratulations, you are now tracing all API calls! Let your app run for as many frames as you consider necessary.

PVRTrace on Android - step 4

Step 4: Getting the trace back from the device

Due to a known bug, PVRHub does not change the recorded trace file permissions so in order to pull it you’ll need to manually change the permissions:

adb shell "su -c chmod 7777 /data/data/com.powervr.PVRHub/recordings/com.powervr.OGLES2Water.pvrt"

Then you can pull it back:

adb pull /data/data/com.powervr.PVRHub/recordings/com.powervr.OGLES2Water.pvrt

You can change the name and location of the recording from the “Options” menu. Notice that writing to the SD card requires the permission:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE"/>

Conclusion

Now you are all set up and ready to analyse the trace using the PVRTrace GUI. As you’ve seen, it only takes a couple of minutes. We are preparing similar quickstart tutorials for other tools so if you have any questions or requests, please use the comment section to let us know. Make sure you follow us on Twitter (@PowerVRInsider) and come back to our blog for more articles from the PowerVR Developer Technology team.

 

Guillem Vinals Gangolells

Guillem Vinals Gangolells

I'm a Developer Technologies Engineer for the PowerVR division in Imagination Technologies, company in which I've been working since early 2011. My main task consists in the design of developer tools as well as in the integration of the PowerVR graphics in the Android ecosystem. Leaving the technical part aside, I also travel to some international events in order to collect feedback, give technical talks and meet with other companies

4 thoughts on “PowerVR Graphics SDK tools explained: A quickstart guide for running PVRTrace on Android”

  1. Hi there,
    Step 2 killed my Phone. (Now it stays freezed on Splash-Screen)
    What happened? I just pressed “Install” in the PvrHub-App.
    If it helps:
    -> I had an Wiko Bloom Mobile Phone with Android Kitkat (4.4.2)

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    Using latest PowerVR SDK (v3.3) while I try to manually install PVRHub package I get the following error:
    Parsing error – Problem parsing package
    Device details:
    YP-G1
    Android 2.3.5
    PowerVR SGX 540
    EGL Version 1.4 build 1.6.16.4131

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. I will notify our Developer Relations team of your question. However, the easiest and fastest way to get your questions about the PowerVR SDK answered is to use our forums
      https://forums.imgtec.com/
      Regards,
      Alex.

      Reply

Please leave a comment below

Comment policy: We love comments and appreciate the time that readers spend to share ideas and give feedback. However, all comments are manually moderated and those deemed to be spam or solely promotional will be deleted. We respect your privacy and will not publish your personal details.

Blog Contact

If you have any enquiries regarding any of our blog posts, please contact:

United Kingdom

benny.har-even@imgtec.com
Tel: +44 (0)1923 260 511

Search by Tag

Search by Author

Related blog articles

ParticleSystem screenshot 1

Improving Particle Systems on PowerVR

This article is part of our ongoing series about the PowerVR Performance Recommendations. Today we’ll be focusing on what particle systems are and how they can affect performance, so if you’re interested, why not take a look?

Read More »

Connect

Sign up to receive the latest news and product updates from Imagination straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.