OpenTelemetry Distro

In order to make using OpenTelemetry and auto-instrumentation as quick as possible without sacrificing flexibility, OpenTelemetry distros provide a mechanism to automatically configure some of the more common options for users. By harnessing their power, users of OpenTelemetry can configure the components as they need. The opentelemetry-distro package provides some defaults to users looking to get started, it configures:

  • the SDK TracerProvider
  • a BatchSpanProcessor
  • the OTLP SpanExporter to send data to an OpenTelemetry Collector

The package also provides a starting point for anyone interested in producing an alternative distro. The interfaces implemented by the package are loaded by the auto-instrumentation via the opentelemetry_distro and opentelemetry_configurator entry points to configure the application before any other code is executed.

In order to automatically export data from OpenTelemetry to the OpenTelemetry collector, installing the package will set up all the required entry points.

pip install opentelemetry-distro[otlp] opentelemetry-instrumentation

Start the Collector locally to see data being exported. Write the following file:

# /tmp/otel-collector-config.yaml
  # NOTE: Prior to v0.86.0 use `logging` instead of `debug`.
    verbosity: detailed
      receivers: [otlp]
      exporters: [debug]
      processors: [batch]

Then start the Docker container:

docker run -p 4317:4317 \
    -v /tmp/otel-collector-config.yaml:/etc/otel-collector-config.yaml \
    otel/opentelemetry-collector:latest \

The following code will create a span with no configuration.

from opentelemetry import trace

with trace.get_tracer("my.tracer").start_as_current_span("foo"):
    with trace.get_tracer("my.tracer").start_as_current_span("bar"):

Lastly, run the with the auto-instrumentation:

opentelemetry-instrument python

The resulting span will appear in the output from the collector and look similar to this:

Resource labels:
     -> telemetry.sdk.language: STRING(python)
     -> STRING(opentelemetry)
     -> telemetry.sdk.version: STRING(1.1.0)
     -> STRING(unknown_service)
InstrumentationLibrarySpans #0
InstrumentationLibrary __main__
Span #0
    Trace ID       : db3c99e5bfc50ef8be1773c3765e8845
    Parent ID      : 0677126a4d110cb8
    ID             : 3163b3022808ed1b
    Name           : bar
    Kind           : SPAN_KIND_INTERNAL
    Start time     : 2021-05-06 22:54:51.23063 +0000 UTC
    End time       : 2021-05-06 22:54:51.230684 +0000 UTC
    Status code    : STATUS_CODE_UNSET
    Status message :
Span #1
    Trace ID       : db3c99e5bfc50ef8be1773c3765e8845
    Parent ID      :
    ID             : 0677126a4d110cb8
    Name           : foo
    Kind           : SPAN_KIND_INTERNAL
    Start time     : 2021-05-06 22:54:51.230549 +0000 UTC
    End time       : 2021-05-06 22:54:51.230706 +0000 UTC
    Status code    : STATUS_CODE_UNSET
    Status message :