.NET Aspire Dashboard: Local OpenTelemetry UI packaged for Nix

.NET Aspire has been creating a lot of buzz in the .NET development world in the last few months.

One of the lesser-known facts about Aspire is that its dashboard contains a fully-featured OLTP collector which can be used outside of the .NET world and with any language/application that supports OpenTelemetry. It allows you to spin up a lightweight in-memory OpenTelemetry collector which supports logs, traces and metrics with a nice web-ui for visualization. It is the most lightweight tool I know of for this purpose and does not require setting up complex chains of services and databases simply to visualize this kind of data in local development environments.

To me this is a perfect tool to have in nix devShells for any application utilizing OpenTelemetry. I could not find it in nixpkgs so I just quickly hacked up a flake for it which allows you to either spin up the dashboard from anywhere or include it in your own flake for use in a development shell.

When running and collecting data, the dashboard looks something like this:

You can read the technical details in the readme of the project: GitHub - starcraft66/nix-dotnet-aspire-dashboard: A nix flake exposing the standalone .NET Aspire Dashboard

Happy local telemetry visualization!