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Google Cloud Trace

  • Overview
  • Installation
  • Change log
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Google Cloud Trace Data Source


The Google Cloud Trace Data Source is a backend data source plugin for Grafana, which allows users to query and visualize their Google Cloud traces and spans in Grafana.

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Supported Grafana Version




Download this plugin to the machine Grafana is running on, either using git clone or simply downloading it as a ZIP file. For the purpose of this guide, we'll assume the user "alice" has downloaded it into their local directory "/Users/alice/grafana/". If you are running the Grafana server using a user such as grafana, make sure the user has access to the directory.

Enable Cloud Resource Manager API

You need to enable the resource manager API. Otherwise, your cloud projects will not be displayed in the dropdown menu.

You can follow the steps to enable it:

  1. Navigate to the cloud resource manager API page in GCP and select your project
  2. Press the Enable button

Generate a JWT file & Assign IAM Permissions

  1. If you don't have gcp project, add a new gcp project. link
  2. Open the Credentials page in the Google API Console
  3. Click Create Credentials then click Service account
  4. On the Create service account page, enter the Service account details
  5. On the Create service account page, fill in the Service account details and then click Create and Continue
  6. On the Grant this service account access to project section, add the Cloud Trace User role under Cloud Trace to the service account. Click Done
  7. In the next step, click the service account you just created. Under the Keys tab and select Add key and Create new key
  8. Choose key type JSON and click Create. A JSON key file will be created and downloaded to your computer

If you want to access traces in multiple cloud projects, you need to ensure the service account has permission to read logs from all of them.

If you host Grafana on a GCE VM, you can also use the Compute Engine service account. You need to make sure the service account has sufficient permissions to access the traces in all projects.

Service account impersonation

You can also configure the plugin to use service account impersonation. You need to ensure the service account used by this plugin has the iam.serviceAccounts.getAccessToken permission. This permission is in roles like the Service Account Token Creator role (roles/iam.serviceAccountTokenCreator). Also, the service account impersonated by this plugin needs cloud trace user and project list permissions.

Grafana Configuration

  1. With Grafana restarted, navigate to Configuration -> Data sources (or the route /datasources)
  2. Click "Add data source"
  3. Select "Google Cloud Trace"
  4. Provide credentials in a JWT file, either by using the file selector or pasting the contents of the file.
  5. Click "Save & test" to test that traces can be queried from Cloud Trace.

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Grafana Explore

  1. After configuration, navigate to Explore (or the route /explore).

  2. Select "Google Cloud Trace" from the dropdown list of datasources.

  3. Select either Filter or Trace ID for the query type.

  4. For Trace ID queries, simply enter in a trace ID to view the trace and its associated spans.

  5. For Filter queries, enter any number of filters in the form of [key]:[value]. Typically these filters are are used to match labels on the traces. These filters are additive. There are also a number of special user friendly keys you can use:

    • RootSpan matches any trace which contains the given root span name
    • SpanName matches any trace which contains the given span name
    • HasLabel matches any trace which contains the given label key
    • MinLatency matches any trace which has a latency greater than the given latency
    • Version matches any trace which contains the label with the given service version
    • Service matches any trace which contains the label with the given service name
    • Status matches any trace which contains the label /http/status_code with the given status
    • URL matches any trace which contains the label /http/url with the given url
    • Method matches any trace which contains the label /http/method with the given HTTP method

    After making a Filter query, a table will be displayed with all of the matching traces (Example: http.scheme:http http.server_name:testserver MinLatency:500ms)

Supported variables

The plugin currently supports variables for the GCP projects and a trace id. The project variable is a query one, and the trace id is a text or custom one.


Cloud Trace Logo (src/img/logo.svg) is from Google Cloud's Official icons and sample diagrams

As commented, JWTForm and JWTConfigEditor are largely based on Apache-2.0 licensed grafana-google-sdk-react

Installing Google Cloud Trace on Grafana Cloud:

For more information, visit the docs on plugin installation.


1.1.0 (2023-10-07)

  • Support service account impersonation
  • Support the project and trace id variables
  • Update dependencies

1.0.0 (2023-06-16)

Initial release.