ExploreTracing in Explore

Tracing in Explore

Explore allows you to visualize traces from tracing data sources. This is available in Grafana v7.0+.

Supported data sources are:

For information on how to configure queries for the data sources listed above, refer to the documentation for specific data source.

  • Header title: Shows the name of the root span and trace ID.
  • Search: Highlights spans containing the searched text.
  • Metadata: Various metadata about the trace.

Shows condensed view or the trace timeline. Drag your mouse over the minimap to zoom into smaller time range. Zooming will also update the main timeline, so it is easy to see shorter spans. Hovering over the minimap, when zoomed, will show Reset Selection button which resets the zoom.


Shows list of spans within the trace. Each span row consists of these components:

  • Expand children button: Expands or collapses all the children spans of selected span.
  • Service name: Name of the service logged the span.
  • Operation name: Name of the operation that this span represents.
  • Span duration bar: Visual representation of the operation duration within the trace.

Clicking anywhere on the span row shows span details.

Span details
  • Operation name
  • Span metadata
  • Tags: Any tags associated with this span.
  • Process metadata: Metadata about the process that logged this span.
  • Logs: List of logs logged by this span and associated key values. In case of Zipkin logs section shows Zipkin annotations.
Trace to logs

Note: Available in Grafana 7.4 and later versions.

You can navigate from a span in a trace view directly to logs relevant for that span. This is available for Tempo, Jaeger and Zipkin data source at this moment. their relevant documentation for instruction how to configure this feature.

Click the document icon to open a split view in Explore with the configured data source and query relevant logs for the span.

Data API

This visualization needs a specific shape of the data to be returned from the data source in order to correctly display it.

Data source needs to return data frame and set frame.meta.preferredVisualisationType = 'trace'.

Data frame structure

Required fields:

Field name Type Description
traceID string Identifier for the entire trace. There should be only one trace in the data frame.
spanID string Identifier for the current span. SpanIDs should be unique per trace.
parentSpanID string SpanID of the parent span to create child parent relationship in the trace view. Can be undefined for root span without parent.
serviceName string Name of the service this span is part of.
serviceTags TraceKeyValuePair[] List of tags relevant for the service.
startTime number Start time of the span in millisecond epoch time.
duration number Duration of the span in milliseconds.

Optional fields:

Field name Type Description
logs TraceLog[] List of logs associated with the current span.
tags TraceKeyValuePair[] List of tags associated with the current span.
warnings string[] List of warnings associated with the current span.
stackTraces string[] List of stack traces associated with the current span.
errorIconColor string Color of the error icon in case span is tagged with error: true.

For details about the types see TraceSpanRow , TraceKeyValuePair and TraceLog