Important: This documentation is about an older version. It's relevant only to the release noted, many of the features and functions have been updated or replaced. Please view the current version.

Open source

Quick start for Tempo

The Tempo repository provides multiple examples to help you quickly get started using Tempo and distributed tracing data.

Every example has a docker-compose.yaml manifest that includes all of the options needed to explore trace data in Grafana, including resource configuration and trace data generation. The Tempo examples running with Docker using docker-compose all include a version of Tempo and a storage configuration like Amazon S3 and GCS.

This quick start guide uses the local example running Tempo as a single binary (monolithic). Any data is stored locally in the tempo-data folder. To learn more, read the local storage example README.

Alternative: Complete MLTP example

If you would like to use a demo with Tempo, Mimir, Loki, and Grafana, then try the Introduction to Metrics, Logs, Traces, and Profiling in Grafana. Intro-to-mltp provides a self-contained environment for learning about Mimir, Loki, Tempo, and Grafana. The project includes detailed explanations of each component and annotated configurations for a single-instance deployment. Data from intro-to-mltp can also be pushed to Grafana Cloud.

Before you begin

To follow this guide, you need:

  • Git
  • Docker
  • The docker-compose plugin

Clone the Tempo repository and start Docker

  1. Clone the Tempo repository:

    git clone
  2. Go into the examples directory:

    cd tempo/example/docker-compose/local
  3. Start the services defined in the docker-compose file:

    docker compose up -d
  4. Verify that the services are running using docker compose ps. You should see something like:

    docker compose ps
    NAME                 COMMAND                  SERVICE             STATUS              PORTS
    local-grafana-1      "/"                grafana             running   >3000/tcp
    local-k6-tracing-1   "/k6-tracing run /ex…"   k6-tracing          running
    local-prometheus-1   "/bin/prometheus --c…"   prometheus          running   >9090/tcp
    local-tempo-1        "/tempo -config.file…"   tempo               running   >3200/tcp,>4317-4318/tcp,>9411/tcp,>14268/tcp
  5. As part of the docker compose manifest, Grafana is now accessible on port 3000. Open a browser to localhost:3000 and sign in to Grafana.

  6. Once logged in, navigate to the Explore page, select the Tempo data source and select the Search tab. Select Run query to list the recent traces stored in Tempo. Select one to view the trace diagram:

    Query example

  7. A couple of minutes after Tempo has started up successfully, select the Service graph tab for the Tempo data source in the Explore page. Select Run query to view a service graph, generated by Tempo’s metrics-generator.

    Service graph sample

  8. To stop the services:

    docker-compose down -v