Distributed tracing for spring cloud
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Pull request Compare This branch is 1928 commits behind spring-cloud:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


Build Status

Spring Cloud Sleuth

Spring Cloud Sleuth implements a distributed tracing solution for [Spring Cloud](http://cloud.spring.io).


Spring Cloud Sleuth borrows Dapper’s terminology.

Span: The basic unit of work. For example, sending an RPC is a new span, as is sending a response to an RPC. Span’s are identified by a unique 64-bit ID for the span and another 64-bit ID for the trace the span is a part of. Spans also have other data, such as descriptions, key-value annotations, the ID of the span that caused them, and process ID’s (normally IP address).

Spans are started and stopped, and they keep track of their timing information. Once you create a span, you must stop it at some point in the future.

Trace: A set of spans forming a tree-like structure. For example, if you are running a distributed big-data store, a trace might be formed by a put request.


  • Adds trace and span ids to the Slf4J MDC, so you can extract all the logs from a given trace or span in a log aggregator. Example configuration:

        console: '%d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSS} [trace=%X{X-Trace-Id:-},span=%X{X-Span-Id:-}] [%15.15t] %-40.40logger{39}: %m%n'

    (notice the %X entries from the MDC).

  • Optionally log span data in JSON format for harvesting in a log aggregator (set spring.sleuth.log.json.enabled=true).

  • Provides an abstraction over common distributed tracing data models: traces, spans (forming a DAG), annotations, key-value annotations. Loosely based on HTrace, but Zipkin (Dapper) compatible.

  • Instruments common ingress and egress points from Spring applications (servlet filter, rest template, scheduled actions, message channels, zuul filters, feign client).

  • If spring-cloud-sleuth-zipkin then the app will generate and collect Zipkin-compatible traces (using Brave). By default it sends them via Thrift to a Zipkin collector service on localhost (port 9410). Configure the location of the service using spring.zipkin.[host,port].

Running the samples

  1. Optionally run Zipkin, e.g. via docker compose (there’s a docker-compose.yml in Spring Cloud Sleuth, or in Docker Zipkin

  2. Run the zipkin sample application (and set sample.zipkin.enabled=false if you have no collector running)

  3. Hit http://localhost:3380, http://localhost:3380/call, http://localhost:3380/async for some interesting sample traces (the app callas back to itself).

  4. Goto http://localhost:8082 for zipkin web (8080 if running locally from source, the host is the docker host, so if you are using boot2docker it will be different)

The docker images for zipkin are old and don’t work very well (the UI in particular). Zipkin is in a state of flux, but it should settle down soon when there is an actual release. Best results actually come from building from source and running the jar files (the query and collector services need command line arguments, so check the zipkin README for updates).
You can see the zipkin spans without the UI (in logs) if you run the sample with sample.zipkin.enabled=false.

There are a few samples with slightly different features:

  • spring-cloud-sleuth-sample: vanilla (no zipkin) web app that calls back to itself on various endpoints ("/", "/call", "/async")

  • spring-cloud-sleuth-sample-zipkin: same as vanilla sample but with zipkin

  • spring-cloud-sleuth-sample-messaging: a Spring Integration application with two HTTP endpoints ("/" and "/xform")

  • spring-cloud-sleuth-sample-ribbon: two endpoints ("/" and "/call") that make calls to the "zipkin" sample via Ribbon. Also has `@EnableZUulProxy" so if the other samples are running they are proxied at "/messaging", "/zipkin", "/vanilla" (see "/routes" for a list).

The Ribbon sample makes an interesting demo or playground for learning about zipkin. In the screenshot below you can see a trace with 3 spans - it starts in the "testSleuthRibbon" app and crosses to "testSleuthMessaging" for the next 2 spans.

Eample Zipkin Screenshot

The fact that the first trace in says "testSleuthMessaging" seems to be a bug in the UI (it has some annotations from that service, but it originates in the "testSleuthRibbon" service).


Basic Compile and Test

To build the source you will need to install JDK 1.7.

Spring Cloud uses Maven for most build-related activities, and you should be able to get off the ground quite quickly by cloning the project you are interested in and typing

$ ./mvnw install
You can also install Maven (>=3.3.3) yourself and run the mvn command in place of ./mvnw in the examples below. If you do that you also might need to add -P spring if your local Maven settings do not contain repository declarations for spring pre-release artifacts.
Be aware that you might need to increase the amount of memory available to Maven by setting a MAVEN_OPTS environment variable with a value like -Xmx512m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m. We try to cover this in the .mvn configuration, so if you find you have to do it to make a build succeed, please raise a ticket to get the settings added to source control.

For hints on how to build the project look in .travis.yml if there is one. There should be a "script" and maybe "install" command. Also look at the "services" section to see if any services need to be running locally (e.g. mongo or rabbit). Ignore the git-related bits that you might find in "before_install" since they’re related to setting git credentials and you already have those.

The projects that require middleware generally include a docker-compose.yml, so consider using Docker Compose to run the middeware servers in Docker containers. See the README in the scripts demo repository for specific instructions about the common cases of mongo, rabbit and redis.

migration to the Maven wrapper (./mvnw) is underway. If you find a project that doesn’t have it yet, raise an issue to get it added, and build with the command from .travis.yml (usually mvn install -s .settings.xml).


The spring-cloud-build module has a "docs" profile, and if you switch that on it will try to build asciidoc sources from src/main/asciidoc. As part of that process it will look for a README.adoc and process it by loading all the includes, but not parsing or rendering it, just copying it to ${main.basedir} (defaults to ${basedir}, i.e. the root of the project). If there are any changes in the README it will then show up after a Maven build as a modified file in the correct place. Just commit it and push the change.

Working with the code

If you don’t have an IDE preference we would recommend that you use Spring Tools Suite or Eclipse when working with the code. We use the m2eclipe eclipse plugin for maven support. Other IDEs and tools should also work without issue.

Importing into eclipse with m2eclipse

We recommend the m2eclipe eclipse plugin when working with eclipse. If you don’t already have m2eclipse installed it is available from the "eclipse marketplace".

Unfortunately m2e does not yet support Maven 3.3, so once the projects are imported into Eclipse you will also need to tell m2eclipse to use the .settings.xml file for the projects. If you do not do this you may see errors many different errors related to the POMs in the projects. Open your Eclipse preferences, expand the Maven preferences, and select User Settings. In the User Settings field click Browse and navigate to the Spring Cloud project you imported selecting the .settings.xml file in that project. Click Apply and then OK to save the preference changes.

Alternatively you can copy the repository settings from .settings.xml into your own ~/.m2/settings.xml.

Importing into eclipse without m2eclipse

If you prefer not to use m2eclipse you can generate eclipse project metadata using the following command:

$ ./mvnw eclipse:eclipse

The generated eclipse projects can be imported by selecting import existing projects from the file menu.

Adding Project Lombok Agent

Spring Cloud uses Project Lombok to generate getters and setters etc. Compiling from the command line this shouldn’t cause any problems, but in an IDE you need to add an agent to the JVM. Full instructions can be found in the Lombok website. The sign that you need to do this is a lot of compiler errors to do with missing methods and fields, e.g.

The method getInitialStatus() is undefined for the type EurekaInstanceConfigBean    EurekaDiscoveryClientConfiguration.java /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/eureka   line 120    Java Problem
The method getInitialStatus() is undefined for the type EurekaInstanceConfigBean    EurekaDiscoveryClientConfiguration.java /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/eureka   line 121    Java Problem
The method setNonSecurePort(int) is undefined for the type EurekaInstanceConfigBean EurekaDiscoveryClientConfiguration.java /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/eureka   line 112    Java Problem
The type EurekaInstanceConfigBean.IdentifyingDataCenterInfo must implement the inherited abstract method DataCenterInfo.getName()   EurekaInstanceConfigBean.java   /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/eureka   line 131    Java Problem
The method getId() is undefined for the type ProxyRouteLocator.ProxyRouteSpec   PreDecorationFilter.java    /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/zuul/filters/pre line 60 Java Problem
The method getLocation() is undefined for the type ProxyRouteLocator.ProxyRouteSpec PreDecorationFilter.java    /spring-cloud-netflix-core/src/main/java/org/springframework/cloud/netflix/zuul/filters/pre line 55 Java Problem

Importing into other IDEs

Maven is well supported by most Java IDEs. Refer to you vendor documentation.


Spring Cloud is released under the non-restrictive Apache 2.0 license, and follows a very standard Github development process, using Github tracker for issues and merging pull requests into master. If you want to contribute even something trivial please do not hesitate, but follow the guidelines below.

Sign the Contributor License Agreement

Before we accept a non-trivial patch or pull request we will need you to sign the contributor’s agreement. Signing the contributor’s agreement does not grant anyone commit rights to the main repository, but it does mean that we can accept your contributions, and you will get an author credit if we do. Active contributors might be asked to join the core team, and given the ability to merge pull requests.

Code Conventions and Housekeeping

None of these is essential for a pull request, but they will all help. They can also be added after the original pull request but before a merge.

  • Use the Spring Framework code format conventions. If you use Eclipse you can import formatter settings using the eclipse-code-formatter.xml file from the Spring Cloud Build project. If using IntelliJ, you can use the Eclipse Code Formatter Plugin to import the same file.

  • Make sure all new .java files to have a simple Javadoc class comment with at least an @author tag identifying you, and preferably at least a paragraph on what the class is for.

  • Add the ASF license header comment to all new .java files (copy from existing files in the project)

  • Add yourself as an @author to the .java files that you modify substantially (more than cosmetic changes).

  • Add some Javadocs and, if you change the namespace, some XSD doc elements.

  • A few unit tests would help a lot as well — someone has to do it.

  • If no-one else is using your branch, please rebase it against the current master (or other target branch in the main project).

  • When writing a commit message please follow these conventions, if you are fixing an existing issue please add Fixes gh-XXXX at the end of the commit message (where XXXX is the issue number).