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Share Errors and Cluster State with Snapshots

What Is a Snapshot?

A snapshot is a link that you can send to someone that will allow them to interactively explore your current Tilt state. This is useful for async debugging and adding context to bug reports. They look like pretty much just like Tilt, but frozen in time.

In a snapshot you can drill into specific services, peruse logs, and see alerts and Kubernetes events. Pretty much anything you can do in normal Tilt, you can do in a snapshot! You don’t have to be running Tilt to access a snapshot; just click the link, and you can see exactly what that user’s Tilt UI looked like at that moment in time. Try exploring this example:

Live snapshot example

Snapshots in Your Org

Snapshots and Tilt Teams are two great tastes that taste great together! When running a Tiltfile associated with a team (via the set_team functions), any snapshots you create are private, and are only accessible by members of that team. You can use snapshots with confidence that any sensitive information in your logs is safe from prying eyes.

Snapshots are a great tool for debugging remotely and asynchronously–two necessities in the current age of work-from-home. Snapshots eliminate the need for Slack back-and-forth when diagnosing a problem; instead of guessing what error message to copy and paste, a developer can just send their entire Tilt state. Likewise, the frozen-in-time nature of Snapshots makes async debugging a breeze: if a dev encounters strange behavior and the right person to ask isn’t online, it’s easy to take a snapshot, send over the link, and go back to writing code.

Creating and Sharing Snapshots

Inside Tilt, click the Create a snapshot button at the top. If you haven’t yet connected Tilt to Tilt Cloud, you’ll be prompted to do so (using your GitHub account to sign in). Click GET LINK to create the snapshot. Click OPEN and Tilt will open the snapshot in Tilt Cloud in a new browser tab. Copy the URL of the snapshot and share at will.

snapshot creation flow

Visit cloud.tilt.dev/snapshots for a list of all snapshots you have created.

Private Snapshots (aka Team Snapshots)

If your Tilt state contains sensitive or proprietary information, or you just want to protect it from outside eyes, don’t worry: if your Tiltfile is associated with a Tilt Cloud team, any snapshots created will be viewable only be members of that team.

You can only access a private snapshot if you are a member of the team associated with that snapshot.

To create private snapshots, ensure your project is associated with a Tilt Cloud team using set_team in your Tiltfile. Make sure you are either a Member or Owner of the team. Then follow the instructions above. The resulting snapshot will only be viewable by Tilt Cloud users who are Members or Owners of the associated team.

Important: If on tilt up, Tiltfile execution errors before the line where set_team is called, Tilt won’t know about your team, and any snapshots you create will be public. To avoid this, make sure your set_team call is the first line in your Tiltfile, so that Tilt is guaranteed to detect your team before encountering any execution errors.

To view all snapshots associated with your team: click the Create a snapshot button in Tilt, and in the modal, click View snapshots from your team.


Q: What data do you store for each snapshot?

For each snapshot we store the entirety of your Tilt’s state, including all logs and build history. In addition we store two pieces of metadata: the time that the snapshot was taken and the user, if any, that created it.

Q: I’m worried about app devs accidentally posting snapshots with secrets or private data. How can I disable snapshots?

If you call set_team in your Tiltfile, then any snapshot created from that Tiltfile will only be viewable by Tilt Cloud users associated with that team. However, if you don’t use Tilt Cloud Teams, or for an extra layer of security, add the disable_snapshots directive to your Tiltfile.

Q: If I delete a snapshot is any data retained?

No. If you delete a snapshot all associated data is removed from the data store. There is no soft delete.

Q: What data do you store when I create a Tilt Cloud account?

Our database table for users looks like this:

 id |      name      | provider | provider_user_id | provider_user_name
  2 | Mary Miranda   | github   | 1234567          | mmiranda

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