The OpenTelemetry SDK provides a working implementation of the API, and can be set up and configured in a number of ways.

Manual setup

Setting up an SDK manually gives you the most control over the SDK’s configuration:

$exporter = new InMemoryExporter();
$meterProvider = new NoopMeterProvider();
$tracerProvider =  new TracerProvider(
    new BatchSpanProcessor(
        2048, //max queue size
        5000, //export timeout
        1024, //max batch size
        true, //auto flush

SDK Builder

The SDK builder provides a convenient interface to configure parts of the SDK. However, it doesn’t support all of the features that manual setup does.


$spanExporter = new InMemoryExporter(); //mock exporter for demonstration purposes

$meterProvider = MeterProvider::builder()
        new ExportingReader(new MetricExporter((new StreamTransportFactory())->create(STDOUT, 'application/x-ndjson'), /*Temporality::CUMULATIVE*/))

$tracerProvider = TracerProvider::builder()
        (new BatchSpanProcessorBuilder($spanExporter))

$loggerProvider = LoggerProvider::builder()
        new SimpleLogsProcessor(
            (new ConsoleExporterFactory())->create()
    ->setResource(ResourceInfo::create(Attributes::create(['foo' => 'bar'])))



If all configuration comes from environment variables (or php.ini), you can use SDK autoloading to automatically configure and globally register an SDK. The only requirement for this is that you set OTEL_PHP_AUTOLOAD_ENABLED=true, and provide any required/non-standard configuration as set out in sdk-configuration.

For example:

OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_ENDPOINT=http://collector:4317 \
php example.php
require 'vendor/autoload.php'; //sdk autoloading happens as part of composer initialization

$tracer = OpenTelemetry\API\Common\Instrumentation\Globals::tracerProvider()->getTracer('name', 'version', 'schema.url', [/*attributes*/]);
$meter = OpenTelemetry\API\Common\Instrumentation\Globals::meterProvider()->getMeter('name', 'version', 'schema.url', [/*attributes*/]);

SDK autoloading happens as part of the composer autoloader.


The PHP SDK supports most of the available configurations. Our conformance to the specification is listed in the spec compliance matrix.

There are also a number of PHP-specific configurations:

NameDefault valueValuesExampleDescription
OTEL_PHP_TRACES_PROCESSORbatchbatch, simplesimpleSpan processor selection
OTEL_PHP_DETECTORSallenv, host, os, process, process_runtime, sdk, sdk_provided, containerenv,os,processResource detector selection
OTEL_PHP_AUTOLOAD_ENABLEDfalsetrue, falsetrueEnable/disable SDK autoloading
OTEL_PHP_LOG_DESTINATIONdefaulterror_log, stderr, stdout, psr3, nonestderrWhere internal errors and warnings will be sent
OTEL_PHP_INTERNAL_METRICS_ENABLEDfalsetrue, falsetrueWhether the SDK should emit metrics about its internal state (eg batch processors)
OTEL_PHP_DISABLED_INSTRUMENTATIONS[]Instrumentation name(s)psr15,psr18Disable one or more installed auto-instrumentations

Configurations can be provided as environment variables, or via php.ini (or a file included by php.ini)

Last modified September 25, 2023: Update (#3307) (246087e6)