Debugging Made Easy with Nitric Start Command

Debugging Made Easy with Nitric Start Command banner
David MooreDavid Moore

David Moore

6 min read

Welcome back, developers! In today's blog post, we'll be diving into the exciting topic of debugging made easy with the Nitric Start command. Whether you're into cloud development, local debugging, or simply want to enhance your developer experience, Nitric has got you covered. So grab your favorite debugging hat and let's get started!

If you prefer a video format, you can watch the full tutorial on YouTube.

Create a new project

To begin, make sure you have the Nitric CLI installed on your machine. Once that's done, open up your terminal window and let's create a new project using the nitric new command.

nitric new

Choose a template

After executing the command, you'll be prompted to enter a name for your project. In this tutorial, we'll refer to our project as my-nitric-app. Nitric offers different templates, and in this case, we'll choose TypeScript as our favorite language.

? What is the name of the project? my-nitric-app
? Choose a template:  [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
> official/TypeScript - Starter
  official/JavaScript - Starter
  official/Python - Starter
  official/C# - Starter (experimental)

After downloading the template, open the project directory in your preferred code editor, such as VS Code.

# Will open the directory in VS Code
code my-nitric-app

Nitric provides ready-to-use VS Code launch files for debugging in both TypeScript and JavaScript templates. These launch files bring consistency, collaboration, simplified onboarding, and version control to your debugging process. They ensure that everyone on the project can quickly and efficiently set up and debug the local cloud environment in a standardized way.

screenshot of the vscode launch file

Every Nitric template includes a convenient dev script that seamlessly runs both nitric start and your application locally. In the TypeScript and JavaScript templates, the script is defined in the package.json file.

Install dependencies

Let's install the projects dependencies using your preferred package manager:

# for yarn users
yarn install

# for npm users
npm install

Inspect the code

Now that we have the project set up, let's take a look at the code. We have a hello.ts file that contains a main API with a GET route for /hello/{name}. This route takes a name path parameter and simply sends it back within a string in the response body.

import { api } from "@nitric/sdk";

// main API
const helloApi = api('main');

// GET route for /hello/{name}
helloApi.get("/hello/:name", async (ctx) => {
    const { name } = ctx.req.params;

    ctx.res.body = `Hello ${name}`;

    return ctx;

Start debugging

It's time to fire up and run our application. Head over to the run and debug tab in VS Code and click the "Start Debugging" button. In the terminal, you'll see some helpful information from the Nitric CLI, including the API endpoint and the dev dashboard URL.

screenshot of the running vscode debug

To set a breakpoint, we'll choose a line where we want to pause the execution. For example, let's put a breakpoint on line 8. Next, open up the Nitric local dashboard at http://localhost:49152, which provides a user-friendly interface for managing your local environment. Read more about the Local Dashboard in our docs.

Local Dashboard

In the Nitric dashboard, navigate to the API Explorer page. On the left, you'll find an API tree with the main API folder and the GET request route for /hello/{name}. On the right-hand side, you can see the path parameters and query parameters for the selected route.

To hit our breakpoint, let's try sending a request. However, before we do that, we need to fill in the required name path parameter. Once filled, click "Send." The breakpoint will be hit, and you can go back to VS Code and hover over the name parameter to verify that it's coming through correctly.

screenshot of sending request in dashboard

Additionally, you can explore the response body and headers in the local dashboard.

screenshot of viewing request response in dashboard


The Nitric local dashboard provides full traceability, allowing you to track and log requests and responses. It helps you identify issues, troubleshoot problems, and ensure your APIs are working as expected. You can inspect HTTP headers, request history, and response bodies to gain insights into your application's behavior.

screenshot of viewing history list in dashboard

Add more features

Now that we've seen the debugging process in action, let's add a couple more features to our application and test out the debugging on those as well. We'll add a scheduled task called "Weekly Cleanup" and a storage bucket with bucket notifications.

import { api, bucket, schedule } from "@nitric/sdk";

// main API
const helloApi = api('main');

const myBucket = bucket('my-bucket');

// bucket notification that runs on any file uploaded
myBucket.on('write', '*', (ctx) => {

// schedule that runs every 7 days
schedule('weekly cleanup').every('7 days', (ctx) => {
    return ctx;

// GET route for /hello/{name}
helloApi.get("/hello/:name", async (ctx) => {
    const { name } = ctx.req.params;

    ctx.res.body = `Hello ${name}`;

    return ctx;

Once we save the changes and refresh the dashboard, we can see the updated schedules and storage configurations. By triggering the scheduled task or uploading a file to the bucket, we can observe the breakpoints being hit and inspect the associated request details.

Triggering the scheduled task.

screenshot of triggering schedule in dashboard

Triggering the bucket notification after uploading a file to the bucket.

screenshot of triggering bucket notification in dashboard


Nitric empowers developers by streamlining the debugging process and supercharging the overall developer experience. Whether you're a cloud engineer, seasoned developer, or simply curious about the magic behind the scenes, Nitric provides the tools to make debugging easy and efficient.

We hope you found this crash course on debugging with the Nitric Start command enjoyable and helpful! To dive deeper into Nitric and explore more guides and content, make sure to check out our getting started section in the documentation and come chat with us in Discord. Happy exploring!

Happy coding and happy debugging!

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