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Version: Anvil (1.9.0)

Using the Desktop App

With the Codezero Desktop app you can run commands like Teleport, Intercept, and Mount from your system tray, launch a visual dashboard for the state of your sessions, and view the activity of other collaborators in your cluster.

In this tutorial we are going to install the Codezero Desktop app and use it to run some Development Profiles containing commands for Teleport and Intercept.


In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to install and run the Codezero Desktop app
  • How to add a cluster configuration to the Desktop app
  • How to create a Development Profile using the CLI
  • How to run a Development Profile from the Desktop app
  • How to view running sessions and command activity


It is assumed you have the standard prerequisites:

  1. A Kubernetes cluster
  2. The Codezero CLI installed
  3. The sample project cloned locally

If you are missing any of these, you can learn about getting a Kubernetes cluster, clone the Sample Kubernetes Project on GitHub, and follow this guide for installing the Codezero CLI and Desktop app.

For this tutorial you will also need to be using macOS or Linux, have NodeJS 16+, and have yarn installed.

Developing Edge Services Tutorial

If you haven't already, go through the Developing Edge Services tutorial, which will show you how to run a teleport command using the Codezero CLI to debug a locally running service. Close the teleport at the end because we are going to run it again in this tutorial, but this time using the Desktop app.


Launch the Desktop app

Install the Desktop app and launch it. You should see a Codezero icon appear in your system tray (on a Mac this is the row of icons at the top right of your desktop screen).

If the Desktop Dashboard hasn't already appeared in a window, you can click on the Codezero tray icon and select "Dashboard" to open it. In the tray menu is also a "Getting Started" link that opens a window describing the key onboarding steps, but we will go through these steps ourselves in this tutorial.

Add your Configuration

Click on the tray icon again and select Configurations -> + Add Configuration. Select your cluster's kubeconfig file. If your kubeconfig is not selectable in the file chooser dialog try changing the dialog option to "show all files".

Add a Workspace

A Workspace is a folder on your machine where you keep all your Development Profiles. Reminder that a Development Profile is a simple manifest file that defines a specific set of reproducible Codezero commands. This allows developers to easily get several commands running for the tasks at hand without having to remember all the command line parameters for the command line tool.

Click on the tray icon again and select Workspaces -> + Add Workspace. Select the root of the Sample Project repo.

Run a Development Profile

Run the Sample Project's front-end service locally by going to the root of the repo in your terminal and running yarn start-frontend. Like in the previous tutorial, if you go to http://localhost:3030/ in a browser you should see that the Socket and Core sections show errors.

The Sample Project comes with an example Development Profile called "teleport", which opens a basic teleport session to the sample-project namespace and exports the sample-project-core deployment's environment variables to the file ./

Let's run it now. Click the tray icon and select Development Profiles -> teleport. Go back to the Dashboard window and watch as your Teleport session is started.


Let's revisit localhost now, but we want to go to http://localhost:3030?teleport=1 this time, and refresh the page. We should see the connections all working.

If you're curious what's happening under the hood, have a look at index.js in the frontend folder, and you will see code that uses this URL parameter to tell the frontend service to talk to http://sample-project-core now instead of http://localhost:3030 because we are teleported.

Launch your favorite IDE and make changes to the code in packages/frontend in the Sample Project. You can make changes to the front-end code and see that you are able to test against the in-cluster sockets and core services.

When you are done, click the 'Close' button to stop your Teleport session.

Create a New Development Profile

In your terminal, in the Sample Project root, stop the frontend service (CTRL-C) and run:

czctl intercept service sample-project-core -n sample-project -p 3000 --save-profile intercept.yaml

This will create a new Development Profile containing a single Intercept command targeting the sample-project-core service in our cluster. Since we are going to be routing traffic from the cluster to our local machine, we need to get the core service running locally. In your terminal, run:

yarn start-core

You should see the output Core API cluster listening on http://localhost:3000.


When running yarn start-core, if you see an error related to "port already in use", check that you aren't debugging some other service on port 9229. The 'start-core' script is configured to start up in inspect mode.

Back in the Desktop app, click on the tray icon and run the new 'intercept' profile under the Development Profiles menu option.


If for some reason you don't see the new profile, make sure the intercept profile that was created ends in *.yaml, or try switching workspaces and coming back.

Once the Intercept is running, you will see an entry for it on the Dashboard, and an ngrok URL. Click on the URL to open the link in a browser. There's no web UI here, but add /api to the end of your URL and you should see a JSON output.


ngrok might try to redirect you to an https link, so make sure your URL is http only when hitting the api.

Open up sample-project/packages/core/index.js and make a change to the where variable (any string will do). Restart your locally running core service (yarn start-core) and go back and refresh your ngrok URL ending with /api. You should see your change for the "where" key, as you are now hitting a public internet address that tunnels back to your local machine and returns whatever is output by your locally running service. Codezero has set up a publicly accessible endpoint that proxies traffic to the service running on your local machine.

View Activity

From the Desktop app dashboard, click on the Activity tab to see all the commands that you have run so far. Try running the intercept Development Profile again to purposefully generate an error. Click on the command with the error to see what caused it.

Wrapping Up

When you have finished your work, the last thing you will want to do is close your sessions. From the Sessions tab of Desktop app's dashboard, click on the "Close My Sessions" button.


This concludes the Desktop app tutorial. As a final task, see if you can figure out how to change your profile picture. Having a profile picture can be helpful when you start getting into the collaborative aspects of the Desktop app and want to see who else on your development team is running sessions.