Python zero-code instrumentation

Automatic instrumentation with Python uses a Python agent that can be attached to any Python application. It dynamically injects bytecode to capture telemetry from many popular libraries and frameworks.


Run the following commands to install the appropriate packages.

pip install opentelemetry-distro opentelemetry-exporter-otlp
opentelemetry-bootstrap -a install

The opentelemetry-distro package installs the API, SDK, and the opentelemetry-bootstrap and opentelemetry-instrument tools.

The opentelemetry-bootstrap -a install command reads through the list of packages installed in your active site-packages folder, and installs the corresponding instrumentation libraries for these packages, if applicable. For example, if you already installed the flask package, running opentelemetry-bootstrap -a install will install opentelemetry-instrumentation-flask for you.

NOTE: If you leave out -a install, the command will simply list out the recommended instrumentation libraries to be installed. More information can be found here.

Configuring the agent

The agent is highly configurable.

One option is to configure the agent by way of configuration properties from the CLI:

opentelemetry-instrument \
    --traces_exporter console,otlp \
    --metrics_exporter console \
    --service_name your-service-name \
    --exporter_otlp_endpoint \

Alternatively, you can use environment variables to configure the agent:

OTEL_SERVICE_NAME=your-service-name \
opentelemetry-instrument \

To see the full range of configuration options, see Agent Configuration.

Supported libraries and frameworks

A number of popular Python libraries are auto-instrumented, including Flask and Django. You can find the full list here.


Python package installation failure

The Python package installs require gcc and gcc-c++, which you may need to install if you’re running a slim version of Linux (e.g., CentOS).


yum -y install python3-devel
yum -y install gcc-c++


apt install -y python3-dev
apt install -y build-essential


apk add python3-dev
apk add build-base

gRPC Connectivity

To debug Python gRPC connectivity issues, set the following gRPC debug environment variables:

export GRPC_VERBOSITY=debug
export GRPC_TRACE=http,call_error,connectivity_state
opentelemetry-instrument python <your_app>.py