OpenTelemetry NodeJS Instrumentation


  • Node.js version 12 or newer
  • An app to add OpenTelemetry to

To install OpenTelemetry, we recommend LightStep's handy OTel-Launcher, which simplifies the process.

npm install lightstep-opentelemetry-launcher-node --save

We shall use OTLP HTTP exporter to send data to SigNoz

Once you've downloaded the launcher, you can run OpenTelemetry using the following basic configuration.

const { lightstep, opentelemetry } = require('lightstep-opentelemetry-launcher-node');
const sdk = lightstep.configureOpenTelemetry();
sdk.start().then(() => {
// All of your application code and any imports that should leverage
// OpenTelemetry automatic instrumentation must go here.

Run Command#

OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_SPAN_ENDPOINT="http://<IP of SigNoz Backend>:55681/v1/trace" LS_SERVICE_NAME=<service name> npm start

Troubleshooting your installation#

Set an environment variable to run the OpenTelemetry launcher in debug mode, where it logs details about the configuration and emitted spans:

export OTEL_LOG_LEVEL=debug

The output may be very verbose with some benign errors. Early in the console output, look for logs about the configuration and check that your access token is correct. Next, look for lines like the ones below, which are emitted when spans are emitted to SigNoz.

"traceId": "985b66d592a1299f7d12ebca56ca1fe3",
"parentId": "8d62a70aa335a227",
"name": "bar",
"id": "17ada85c3d55376a",
"kind": 0,
"timestamp": 1685674607399000,
"duration": 299,
"attributes": {},
"status": { "code": 0 },
"events": []
"traceId": "985b66d592a1299f7d12ebca56ca1fe3",
"name": "foo",
"id": "8d62a70aa335a227",
"kind": 0,
"timestamp": 1585130342183948,
"duration": 315,
"attributes": {
"name": "value"
"status": { "code": 0 },
"events": [
"name": "event in foo",
"time": [1585130342, 184213041]

Running short applications (Lambda/Serverless/etc) If your application exits quickly after startup, you may need to explicitly shutdown the tracer to ensure that all spans are flushed: