What is OpenTelemetry, what does it provide and what does it support?

The concepts section helps you learn more about the data sources and components of the OpenTelemetry project in order to obtain a deeper understanding of how OpenTelemetry works.

Observability Primer

Learn some core concepts before you dig into OpenTelemetry.

What is OpenTelemetry?

Background information on OpenTelemetry.


Learn about the categories of telemetry supported by OpenTelemetry


The main components that make up OpenTelemetry

Semantic Conventions

Common names for different kinds of operations and data.


How OpenTelemetry facilitates automatic and manual instrumentation of applications.

Instrumenting libraries

Learn how to add native instrumentation to your library.

Data Collection

The OpenTelemetry project facilitates the collection of telemetry data via the OpenTelemetry Collector.


Learn about sampling, and the different sampling options available in OpenTelemetry.

SDK Configuration


A distribution, not to be confused with a fork, is customized version of an OpenTelemetry component.


Terminology you may or may not be familiar with used by the OpenTelemetry project.