TroubleshootingUnable to see any of my traces in Tempo

I am unable to see any of my traces in Tempo

Potential causes

  • There could be issues in ingestion of the data into Tempo, that is, spans are either not being sent correctly to Tempo or they are not getting sampled.
  • There could be issues querying for traces that have been received by Tempo.

Section 1: Diagnosing and fixing ingestion issues

Check whether the application spans are actually reaching Tempo. The following metrics help determine this

  • tempo_distributor_spans_received_total
  • tempo_ingester_traces_created_total

The value of both metrics should be greater than 0 within a few minutes of the application spinning up. You can check both metrics using -

  • The metrics page exposed from Tempo at http://<tempo-address>:<tempo-http-port>/metrics, or
  • In Prometheus, if it is being used to scrape metrics

Case 1 - tempo_distributor_spans_received_total is 0

If the value of tempo_distributor_spans_received_total is 0, possible reasons are:

  • Use of incorrect protocol/port combination while initializing the tracer in the application.
  • Tracing records not getting picked up to send to Tempo by the internal sampler.
  • Application is running inside docker and sending traces to an incorrect endpoint.

Receiver specific traffic information can also be obtained using tempo_receiver_accepted_spans which has a label for the receiver (protocol used for ingestion. Ex: jaeger-thrift).


Fixing protocol/port problems
  • Find out which communication protocol is being used by the application to emit traces. This is unique to every client SDK. For instance: Jaeger Golang Client uses Thrift Compact over UDP by default.
  • Check the list of supported protocols and their ports and ensure that the correct combination is being used. You will find the list of supported protocols and ports here:
Fixing sampling issues
  • These issues can be tricky to determine because most SDKs use a probabilistic sampler by default. This may lead to just one in a 1000 records being picked up.
  • Check the sampling configuration of the tracer being initialized in the application and make sure it has a high sampling rate.
  • Some clients also provide metrics on the number of spans reported from the application, for example jaeger_tracer_reporter_spans_total. Check the value of that metric if available and make sure it is greater than zero.
  • Another way to diagnose this problem would be to generate lots and lots of traces to see if some records make their way to Tempo.
Fixing incorrect endpoint issue
  • If the application is also running inside docker, make sure the application is sending traces to the correct endpoint (tempo:<receiver-port>).

Case 2 - tempo_ingester_traces_created_total is 0

If the value of tempo_ingester_traces_created_total is 0, the possible reason is -

  • Network issues between distributors and ingesters.

This can also be confirmed by checking the metric tempo_request_duration_seconds_count{route='/tempopb.Pusher/Push'} exposed from the ingester which indicates that it is receiving ingestion requests from the distributor.


  • Check logs of distributors for a message like msg="pusher failed to consume trace data" err="DoBatch: IngesterCount <= 0". This is likely because no ingester is joining the gossip ring, make sure the same gossip ring address is supplied to the distributors and ingesters.

Section 2: Diagnosing and fixing issues with querying traces

If you have determined that data has been ingested correctly into Tempo, then it is time to investigate possible issues with querying the data. A quick thing to check is your version of Grafana. The way Tempo is queried differs from 7.4.x to 7.5.x. Please refer to the querying documentation for help. If this is not a Grafana version issue, proceed!

Check the logs of the Tempo Query Frontend. The Query Frontend pod runs with two containers (Query Frontend & Tempo Query), so lets use the following command to view Query Frontend logs -

kubectl logs -f pod/query-frontend-xxxxx -c query-frontend

The presence of the following errors in the log may explain issues with querying traces:

  • level=info ts=XXXXXXX caller=frontend.go:63 method=GET traceID=XXXXXXXXX url= duration=5m41.729449877s status=500
  • no org id
  • could not dial 10.X.X.X:3100 connection refused
  • tenant-id not found

Possible reasons for the above errors are:

  • Tempo Querier not connected to Tempo Query Frontend. Check the value of the metric cortex_query_frontend_connected_clients exposed by the Query Frontend. It should be > 0, which indicates that Queriers are connected to the Query Frontend.
  • Grafana Tempo Datasource not configured to pass tenant-id in Authorization header (only applicable to multi-tenant deployments).
  • Not connected to Tempo Querier correctly
  • Insufficient permissions


  • Fixing connection issues
    • In case we the queriers are not connected to the Query Frontend, check the following section in Querier configuration and make sure the address of the Query Frontend is correct
          frontend_address: query-frontend-discovery.default.svc.cluster.local:9095
    • Verify the backend.yaml configuration file present on the Tempo Query container and make sure it is attempting to connect to the right port of the query frontend.
    • Verify the Grafana Tempo Datasource configuration, and make sure it has the following settings configured:
        httpHeaderName1: 'Authorization'
        httpHeaderValue1: 'Bearer <tenant-id>'
  • Fixing insufficient permissions issue
    • Verify that the Querier has the LIST and GET permissions on the bucket.