Zipkin instrumentation for Node.js and browsers
JavaScript Thrift
Latest commit ea60591 Jan 11, 2017 @tonypizzicato tonypizzicato committed with adriancole Prepublish script for es5 (#64)
See #16

Build Status


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.


npm install zipkin --save


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)

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-bootstrap and npm run lerna-publish.

To setup the development environment, run:

npm install
npm run lerna-bootstrap

Running tests: npm test

Note that the memcached integration test requires you to have a local memcached instance 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: npm run lint


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.