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 ship with native OpenTelemetry support, you can use instrumentation libraries to generate telemetry data for a library or framework.

For example, the instrumentation library for HTTPX automatically creates spans based on HTTP requests.


You can install each instrumentation library separately using pip. For example:

pip install opentelemetry-instrumentation-{instrumented-library}

In the previous example, {instrumented-library} is the name of the instrumentation.

To install a development version, clone or fork the opentelemetry-python-contrib repository and run the following command to do an editable installation:

pip install -e ./instrumentation/opentelemetry-instrumentation-{integration}

After installation, you will need to initialize the instrumentation library. Each library typically has its own way to initialize.

Example with HTTPX instrumentation

Here’s how you can instrument HTTP requests made using the httpx library.

First, install the instrumentation library using pip:

pip install opentelemetry-instrumentation-httpx

Next, use the instrumentor to automatically trace requests from all clients:

import httpx
from opentelemetry.instrumentation.httpx import HTTPXClientInstrumentor

url = "https://some.url/get"

with httpx.Client() as client:
     response = client.get(url)

async with httpx.AsyncClient() as client:
     response = await client.get(url)

Turn off instrumentations

If needed, you can uninstrument specific clients or all clients using the uninstrument_client method. For example:

import httpx
from opentelemetry.instrumentation.httpx import HTTPXClientInstrumentor

client = httpx.Client()

# Uninstrument a specific client

# Uninstrument all clients

Available instrumentation libraries

A full list of instrumentation libraries produced by OpenTelemetry is available from the opentelemetry-python-contrib repository.

You can also find more instrumentations available in the registry.

Next steps

After you have set up instrumentation libraries, you might want to add your own instrumentation to your code, to collect custom telemetry data.

You might also want to configure an appropriate exporter to export your telemetry data to one or more telemetry backends.

You can also check the automatic instrumentation for Python.