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# Running dd-agent Locally

TL;DR: Running Datadog (dd-agent) during local development can help confirm metrics and traces are sent as expected and can help debug when things go wrong. To run dd-agent locally just clone the dhermes/local-dd-agent1 repository and make run.

Being able to quickly iterate with a local dd-agent helped to quickly locate bugfixes brightcove/hot-shots#189.

### Motivation

During local development, we often just turn off code that sends metrics and traces to datadog. We just trust that our application metrics and traces will work as expected when deployed to environments (e.g. Kubernetes) where dd-agent is running.

This is especially challenging when things go wrong. For example, sometimes a task will exit before flushing all metrics out to dd-agent and debugging an application in Kubernetes is a much larger challenge than debugging it on a development machine.

I was recently debugging a critical production issue caused by a bug in the connection error recovery2 code in hot-shots. (At Blend we use hot-shots, a popular open source library, as a base for connecting to Datadog in all3 Node.js applications.) By running dd-agent locally, I was able to reproduce the bug and with a tight feedback loop track down three more problems with the implementation. This led to a fix as well so we can properly recover from connection errors.

### Running dd-agent

To run the dd-agent locally, clone local-dd-agent and build the Docker container for the dd-agent application

git clone [email protected]:dhermes/local-dd-agent.git
cd local-dd-agent/
make build


then run the container via

make run
# OR:


The start logs4 should resemble:

Triggering some requests to a sample application, we'd see example logs to the agent like:

#### Common Testing Actions

After running an application (e.g. on port 10034) it will be useful to send a "bare" request

curl http://localhost:10034


as well as a request that's part of a trace that has been opened in an upstream application

curl \
http://localhost:10034


To compare to the "no dd-agent" experience, it's helpful to utilize an environment variable (e.g. DATADOG_DISABLE) to easily disable the metrics collector from emitting anything (i.e. make sure nothing gets sent out on port 8125 to the local-dd-agent UDP metrics listener).

Similar, having an environment variable (e.g. DATADOG_TRACE_DEBUG_MODE) can be quite helpful to put tracing in debug mode (e.g. to debug if the trace server on port 8126 can't be reached or APM responses are invalid):

DATADOG_TRACE_DEBUG_MODE=true npm start

# {"message":"Server listening on port 10034","level":"info","dd":{"trace_id":"4552692657769386461","span_id":"4552692657769386461","service":"dd-sanity-check","env":"dev"},"_timestamp":"2020-09-28T14:29:49.959Z"}
# Encoding trace: [{"trace_id":"3f2e69d9dddf91dd","span_id":"3f2e69d9dddf91dd","parent_id":"0000000000000000","name":"serverInit","resource":"serverInit","error":0,"meta":{"service":"dd-sanity-check","env":"dev","version":"","language":"javascript"},"metrics":{"_sample_rate":1,"_dd.agent_psr":1,"_sampling_priority_v1":1},"start":1601303389949310200,"duration":12327637,"service":"dd-sanity-check"}]
# Added encoded trace to buffer: 91 8b a8 74 72 61 63 65 5f 69 64 cf 3f 2e 69 d9 dd df 91 dd a7 73 70 61 6e 5f 69 64 cf 3f 2e 69 d9 dd df 91 dd a5 73 74 61 72 74 d3 16 38 f8 f2 f7 8e b5 00 a8 64 75 72 61 74 69 6f 6e d3 00 00 00 00 00 bc 1a d5 a5 65 72 72 6f 72 00 a9 70 61 72 65 6e 74 5f 69 64 cf 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 a4 6e 61 6d 65 aa 73 65 72 76 65 72 49 6e 69 74 a8 72 65 73 6f 75 72 63 65 aa 73 65 72 76 65 72 49 6e 69 74 a7 73 65 72 76 69 63 65 af 64 64 2d 73 61 6e 69 74 79 2d 63 68 65 63 6b a4 6d 65 74 61 84 a7 73 65 72 76 69 63 65 af 64 64 2d 73 61 6e 69 74 79 2d 63 68 65 63 6b a3 65 6e 76 a3 64 65 76 a7 76 65 72 73 69 6f 6e a0 a8 6c 61 6e 67 75 61 67 65 aa 6a 61 76 61 73 63 72 69 70 74 a7 6d 65 74 72 69 63 73 83 ac 5f 73 61 6d 70 6c 65 5f 72 61 74 65 cb 3f f0 00 00 00 00 00 00 ad 5f 64 64 2e 61 67 65 6e 74 5f 70 73 72 cb 3f f0 00 00 00 00 00 00 b5 5f 73 61 6d 70 6c 69 6e 67 5f 70 72 69 6f 72 69 74 79 5f 76 31 cb 3f f0 00 00 00 00 00 00
# Response from the agent: {}


### Caveats

The code in local-dd-agent is completely handwritten and is a best effort to map to Datadog features. There are known features not yet implemented (e.g. parsing of _e{} / Event metric datagrams) and likely unknown bugs or missing features (e.g. future API versions for APM).

If it doesn't work as expected, please let me know and I'll be happy to help fix bugs, advise on how to extend and do anything else to resolve.

1. As of b5b577154c7bf2c80020a0d87aa3c111e7cead8c
2. In particular, this was for errors caused by a failed connection to a Unix Domain Socket (UDS) usually available at /var/run/datadog/dsd.socket.
3. Maybe not all? But most.
4. The container runs a UDP listener on port 8125 for metrics, a TCP listener on port 8126 for traces, a UDS listener at /var/run/datadog/dsd.socket in the container and a UDS listener at \$(pwd)/var-run-datadog/dsd.socket on the host (i.e. the machine that invoked docker run).