Debug Confluent Cloud using kcat

You can use the kafkacat Utility to debug Confluent Cloud deployments. kcat is a command line utility to test and debug Apache Kafka® deployments. It is a generic non-JVM producer and consumer for Kafka. Per the kcat documentation, you can think of it as a “netcat for Kafka”.

Follow these instructions to use kcat with Confluent Cloud.

  1. Install kcat using these instructions.

  2. Export the Confluent Cloud bootstrap server and credentials using environment variables.

    export CCLOUD_BOOTSTRAP_SERVER=<bootstrap_server>
    export CCLOUD_API_KEY=<ccloud_api_key>
    export CCLOUD_API_SECRET=<ccloud_api_secret>
  3. Use the environment variables and the two required api.version.request option to connect to Confluent Cloud:

    kafkacat -b ${CCLOUD_BOOTSTRAP_SERVER} -L -X security.protocol=SASL_SSL -X sasl.mechanisms=PLAIN \
     -X sasl.username=${CCLOUD_API_KEY} -X sasl.password=${CCLOUD_API_SECRET} \
     -X api.version.request=true

    The api.version.request option is required because Confluent Cloud runs Kafka version 0.10+. For more information about kcat and Apache Kafka broker version compatibility, see this document.


    If you get an error like Failed to verify broker certificate: unable to get local issuer certificate, check your kafkacat version. In kafkacat versions prior to 0.11.0, it did not fall back to the system-installed certs. For more information, see the kafkacat issue.

To learn more about specific kcat options, run kafkacat -h. A useful flag is -v, which prints useful information when debugging.

For more information, see the kafkacat Utility.