JavaScript Thrift
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jcchavezs Merge pull request #255 from openzipkin/upgrades_lerna
Upgrades lerna to avoid npm deprecations due to prepublish.
Latest commit fbc0075 Aug 10, 2018


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This is a library for instrumenting Node.js applications. It uses a lot of new JavaScript features and syntax, so Node.js version 6 or newer is required.

If you'd like to try this out right away, try our example app which shows how tracing services looks.


npm install zipkin --save

Basic Setup:

const {
  jsonEncoder: {JSON_V2}
} = require('zipkin');
const CLSContext = require('zipkin-context-cls');
const {HttpLogger} = require('zipkin-transport-http');

// Setup the tracer to use http and implicit trace context
const tracer = new Tracer({
  ctxImpl: new CLSContext('zipkin'),
  recorder: new BatchRecorder({
    logger: new HttpLogger({
      endpoint: 'http://localhost:9411/api/v2/spans',
      jsonEncoder: JSON_V2
  localServiceName: 'service-a' // name of this application

// now use tracer to construct instrumentation! For example, fetch
const wrapFetch = require('zipkin-instrumentation-fetch');

const remoteServiceName = 'youtube';
const zipkinFetch = wrapFetch(fetch, {tracer, remoteServiceName});


Various Node.js libraries have been instrumented with Zipkin support. Every instrumentation has an npm package called zipkin-instrumentation-*.

At the time of writing, zipkin-js instruments these libraries:

  • cujojs/rest (zipkin-instrumentation-cujojs-rest)
  • express (zipkin-instrumentation-express)
  • fetch (zipkin-instrumentation-fetch)
  • hapi (zipkin-instrumentation-hapi)
  • memcached (zipkin-instrumentation-memcached)
  • redis (zipkin-instrumentation-redis)
  • restify (zipkin-instrumentation-restify)
  • postgres (zipkin-instrumentation-postgres)

Every module has a file that describes how to use it.


You can choose between multiple transports; they are npm packages called zipkin-transport-*.

Currently, the following transports are available:

Every package has its own which describes how to use it.

Clock precision

Zipkin timestamps are microsecond, not millisecond granularity. When running in node.js, process.hrtime is used to achieve this.

In browsers, microsecond precision requires installing a shim like browser-process-hrtime:

// use higher-precision time than milliseconds
process.hrtime = require('browser-process-hrtime');


The code base is a monorepo. We use Lerna for managing inter-module dependencies, which makes it easier to develop coordinated changes between the modules. Instead of running lerna directly, the commands are wrapped with npm; npm run lerna-publish.

To setup the development environment, run:


Running tests: yarn test

Note that the memcached, redis and postgres integration tests requires you to have local instances running. The Kafka integration test will start an embedded Kafka server for the test, which requires you to have Java installed on your machine.

Running code style linting: yarn lint

AppVeyor is currently broken and ignored. PR welcome from those with Windows boxes.


If you are a user waiting for a merged feature to get released, nag us on the related pull request or gitter.

The actual publish process is easy: Log in to npm with the "OpenZipkin" user. Then, run npm run lerna-publish.