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Debug daprd on Kubernetes

How to debug the Dapr sidecar (daprd) on your Kubernetes cluster


Sometimes it is necessary to understand what’s going on in the Dapr sidecar (daprd), which runs as a sidecar next to your application, especially when you diagnose your Dapr application and wonder if there’s something wrong in Dapr itself. Additionally, you may be developing a new feature for Dapr on Kubernetes and want to debug your code.

his guide will cover how to use built-in Dapr debugging to debug the Dapr sidecar in your Kubernetes pods.


  • Refer to this guide to learn how to deploy Dapr to your Kubernetes cluster.
  • Follow this guide to build the Dapr debugging binaries you will be deploying in the next step.

Initialize Dapr in debug mode

If Dapr has already been installed in your Kubernetes cluster, uninstall it first:

dapr uninstall -k

We will use ‘helm’ to install Dapr debugging binaries. For more information refer to Install with Helm.

First configure a values file named values.yml with these options:

   registry:<your id>
   tag: "dev-linux-amd64"

Then step into ‘dapr’ directory from your cloned dapr/dapr repository and execute the following command:

helm install dapr charts/dapr --namespace dapr-system --values values.yml --wait

To enable debug mode for daprd, you need to put an extra annotation in your application’s deployment file. Let’s use quickstarts/hello-kubernetes as an example. Modify ‘deploy/node.yaml’ like below:

diff --git a/hello-kubernetes/deploy/node.yaml b/hello-kubernetes/deploy/node.yaml
index 23185a6..6cdb0ae 100644
--- a/hello-kubernetes/deploy/node.yaml
+++ b/hello-kubernetes/deploy/node.yaml
@@ -33,6 +33,7 @@ spec: "true" "nodeapp" "3000"
+ "true"
       - name: node

The annotation will hint Dapr injector to inject Dapr sidecar into the debug mode. You can also specify the debug port with annotation, otherwise the default port will be “40000”.

Deploy the application with the following command. For the complete guide refer to the Dapr Kubernetes Quickstart:

kubectl apply -f ./deploy/node.yaml

Figure out the target application’s pod name with the following command:

$ kubectl get pods

NAME                       READY   STATUS        RESTARTS   AGE
nodeapp-78866448f5-pqdtr   1/2     Running       0          14s

Then use kubectl’s port-forward command to expose the internal debug port to the external IDE:

$ kubectl port-forward nodeapp-78866448f5-pqdtr 40000:40000

Forwarding from -> 40000
Forwarding from [::1]:40000 -> 40000

All done. Now you can point to port 40000 and start a remote debug session to daprd from your favorite IDE.

Last modified March 18, 2022: Fix quickstart links path (bc69f26c)