Using instrumentation libraries

When you develop an app, you might use third-party libraries and frameworks to accelerate your work. If you then instrument your app using OpenTelemetry, you might want to avoid spending additional time to manually add traces, logs, and metrics to the third-party libraries and frameworks you use.

Many libraries and frameworks already support OpenTelemetry or are supported through OpenTelemetry instrumentation, so that they can generate telemetry you can export to an observability back end.

If you are instrumenting an app or service that use third-party libraries or frameworks, follow these instructions to learn how to use natively instrumented libraries and instrumentation libraries for your dependencies.

Use natively instrumented libraries

If a library comes with OpenTelemetry support by default, you can get traces, metrics, and logs emitted from that library by adding and setting up the OpenTelemetry SDK with your app.

The library might require some additional configuration for the instrumentation. Go to the documentation for that library to learn more.

Use instrumentation libraries

If a library does not come with OpenTelemetry out of the box, you can use instrumentation libraries to generate telemetry data for a library or framework.

For example, the instrumentation library for net/http automatically creates spans and metrics based on the HTTP requests.


Each instrumentation library is a package. In general, this means you need to go get the appropriate package. For example, to get the instrumentation libraries maintained in the Contrib repository run the following:

go get{import-path}/otel{package-name}

Then configure it in your code based on what the library requires to be activated.

Getting Started provides an example showing how to set up instrumentation for a net/http server.

Available packages

A full list of instrumentation libraries available can be found in the OpenTelemetry registry.

Next steps

Instrumentation libraries can do things like generate telemetry data for inbound and outbound HTTP requests, but they don’t instrument your actual application.

Enrich your telemetry data by integrating custom instrumentation into your code. This supplements the standard library telemetry, and can offer deeper insights into your running application.