First production ready, simple and full Zipkin implementation without dependencies.
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First production ready, simple and full Zipkin implementation without dependencies.

Compatible with both front and back-end applications and respects B3 Propagation.

Installing via Composer

$ composer require whitemerry/phpkin


Short implementation information

In this project BinaryAnnotations are Metadata and annotations are replaced by AnnotationBlock witch allow you to create Annotations for Spans faster, and cleaner. All of these methods have more parameters than used here, read PHPDocs and remember, you can change everything by implementing interfaces or extending classes.

Let's get started

First, very important step is defining your service meta-information for tracer:

$endpoint = new Endpoint(
    'My application', // Application name
    '', // Current application IP address
    '80' // Current application port (default 80)

Next, define storage for traces - currently two types are supported - SimpleHttpLogger witch automatically sends trace data to Zipkin's service and FileLogger (you can read more about this below):

$logger = new SimpleHttpLogger([
    'host' => '' // Zipkin's API host with schema (http://) and without trailing slash

Now you can initialize Tracer!

For front-end applications (Source for TraceId, SpanId and Sampled for other microservices):

$tracer = new Tracer(
    'http://localhost/login', // Trace name
    $endpoint, // Your application meta-information
    $logger // Logger used to store/send traces

For back-end applications / microservices (Consumer of existing TraceId, SpanId and Sampled)

$traceId = null;
if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_TRACEID'])) {
    $traceId = new TraceIdentifier($_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_TRACEID']);

$traceSpanId = null;
if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_SPANID'])) {
    $traceSpanId = new SpanIdentifier($_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_SPANID']);

$isSampled = null;
if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_SAMPLED'])) {
    $isSampled = (bool) $_SERVER['HTTP_X_B3_SAMPLED'];

$tracer = new Tracer(

All these lines must be initialized as soon as possible, in frameworks bootstrap.php is good place.

There are more parameters with descriptions in PHPDocs! For example, if you are front-end application you can use PercentageSampler, tool for toggling tracing logs (You don't need to log everything).

As last step just trigger trace method from $tracer, for example in shutdown event of your framework, or at the end of index.php


Now as you can see, you have new entries in the Zipkin's UI! :)

Adding spans to trace

As you already now, in Zipkin, you can store and visualize communication between 2 services (for example databases, microservices). So, you need to create Span (Zipkin's block of information about request):

// Before request - read current timestamp in zipkin format
$requestStartTimestamp = zipkin_timestamp();
$spanIdentifier = new SpanIdentifier();

Request logic
Remember, you need to add B3 headers to your request:
X-B3-TraceId = TracerInfo::getTraceId();
X-B3-SpanId = $spanIdentifier;
X-B3-Sampled = TracerInfo::isSampled();

$endpoint = new Endpoint(
    'Accounts microservice', // Name of service you're connecting with
    '', // This service Ip
    '8000' // And port

$annotationBlock = new AnnotationBlock(

$span = new Span(
    'Authorize user',

And add to tracer


Calling tracer statically

You can get access to tracer statically, in every place of your project, just init TracerProxy:

$tracer = new Tracer(...); // Your tracer instance

Now you have access to methods like:


Where do i have information about this trace?

All meta information are in static class TracerInfo

TracerInfo::getTraceId(); // TraceId - X-B3-TraceId
TracerInfo::getTraceSpanId(); // ParentId - X-B3-ParentId
TracerInfo::isSampled(); // Sampled - X-B3-Sampled

Making requests to other service

Take a look at our examples. You need to set B3 header by your own in yours rest/api/guzzle client.

Differences between loggers

SimpleHttpLogger - Allows you to try zipkin right away, by uploading logs at the end of user request to webiste. However, it will delay the response back to the user.

FileLogger - Allows you to setup asynchronous reporting to zipkin. While this is a synchronous write to disk, in practice latency impact to callers is minimal, but you need to write upload to zipkin tool by your own.

For more info read this ticket!

Are logs automatically uploaded to Zipkin?

For SimpleHttpLogger, short answer, yes

For FileLogger, bit logner answer, you need to upload logs from zipkin.log to Zipkin by your own, for example by cron working in background making POST's to the Zipkin (API)

Unit tests

Code Coverage (Generated by PHPUnit):

  • Lines: 70.35% (140 / 199)
  • Functions and Methods: 52.08% (25 / 48)
  • Classes and Traits: 58.33% (7 / 12)


  • AsyncHttpLogger (Based on CURL)
  • Upload to zipkin cron for FileLogger

Inspired by Tolerance