OpenTelemetry Ruby distro for Uptrace

uptrace-rubyopen in new window configures opentelemetry-rubyopen in new window to export spans and metrics to Uptrace using OpenTelemetry protocol (OTLP).



Add to Gemfile:

gem 'uptrace'

Or install the gem manually:

gem install uptrace


You configure Uptrace client using a DSN (Data Source Name, e.g. https://<token><project_id>) from the project settings page.

require 'uptrace'

# Copy your project DSN here or use UPTRACE_DSN env var.
Uptrace.configure_opentelemetry(dsn: '') do |c|
  # c is OpenTelemetry::SDK::Configurator
  c.service_name = 'myservice'
  c.service_version = '1.0.0'

You can also use environment variables to configure the client:

Env varDescription
UPTRACE_DSNA data source that is used to connect to For example, https://<key><project_id>.
OTEL_RESOURCE_ATTRIBUTESKey-value pairs to be used as resource attributes. For example,,service.version=1.0.0.
OTEL_PROPAGATORSPropagators to be used as a comma separated list. The default is tracecontext,baggage.

OpenTelemetry API

All the code below is also available as a runnable otel-apiopen in new window example.

Creating a tracer

To start creating spans, you need a tracer. You create a tracer by specifying a tracer name (AKA instrumentation library name):

require 'opentelemetry'

tracer = OpenTelemetry.tracer_provider.tracer('my_app_or_gem', '0.1.0')

You can have as many tracers as you want, but usually you need only one tracer for each app/library. Use tracer names to identify the library that produces the spans.

Creating a span

Once you have a tracer, creating spans is easy:

# Create a span with name "operation-name" and kind="server".
tracer.in_span('operation-name', kind: OpenTelemetry::Trace::SpanKind::SERVER) do |span|

Internally that does the following:

# Create a span.
span = tracer.start_span('operation-name', kind: OpenTelemetry::Trace::SpanKind::SERVER)

# Activate the span in the current context.
OpenTelemetry::Trace.with_span(span) do |span|

# Finish the span when the operation is completed.

Adding span attributes

To record contextual information, you can annotate spans with attributes that carry information specific to the operation. For example, an HTTP endpoint may have such attributes as http.method = GET and http.route = /projects/:id.

# To avoid expensive computations, check that span is recording
# before setting any attributes.
if span.recording?
  span.set_attribute('http.method", 'GET')
  span.set_attribute('http.route", '/projects/:id')

You can name attributes as you want, but for common operations you should use semantic attributesopen in new window convention. It defines a list of common attribute keys with their meaning and possible values.

Adding span events

You can annotate spans with events that have start time and arbitrary number of attributes. The main difference between events and spans is that events don't have end time (and therefore no duration).

Events usually represent exceptions, errors, logs, and messages (such as in RPC). But you can record custom events as well.

  name: 'log',
  attributes: {
    'log.severity' => 'error',
    'log.message' => 'User not found',
    '' => '123'

Recording exceptions

OpenTelemetry provides a shortcut to record an exception.

rescue Exception => e
  # Record the exception and update the span status.
  span.status =
    description: e.to_s

Trace Context and the active span

OpenTelemetry stores the current active span in a context and saves the context in a thread-local storage. You can nest contexts inside each other and OpenTelemetry will automatically activate the parent span context when you end the span.

tracer.in_span sets the active span for you, but you can also activate the span manually:

OpenTelemetry::Trace.with_span(main) do |span|

To get the current span:

span = OpenTelemetry::Trace.current_span

What is next?

By now, you should be able to use OpenTelemetry API to instrument your app. To help with that, we've created examplesopen in new window that show how to use OpenTelemetry instrumentationsopen in new window for popular frameworks and libraries.