OpenTelemetry Traceparent HTTP Header

What is traceparent header?

The traceparent HTTP header contains information about the incoming request in a tracing system, for example:

# {version}-{trace_id}-{span_id}-{trace_flags}
traceparent: 00-80e1afed08e019fc1110464cfa66635c-7a085853722dc6d2-01

You can find the traceparent header in a HTTP response, for example, using Google Chrome tools:

Traceparent header

Using the header, you can extract a trace id to find the trace in a distributed tracing toolopen in new window, for example, on the screenshot above the trace id is 80e1afed08e019fc1110464cfa66635c.

Traceparent header format

The traceparent header uses the version-trace_id-parent_id-trace_flags format where:

  • version is always 00.
  • trace_id is a hex-encoded trace id.
  • span_id is a hex-encoded span id.
  • trace_flags is a hex-encoded 8-bit field that contains tracing flags such as sampling, trace level, etc.

Injecting traceparent header


You can inject the traceparent header into http.ResponseWriter with the following middleware:

import (

type TraceparentHandler struct {
	next  http.Handler
	props propagation.TextMapPropagator

func NewTraceparentHandler(next http.Handler) *TraceparentHandler {
	return &TraceparentHandler{
		next:  next,
		props: otel.GetTextMapPropagator(),

func (h *TraceparentHandler) ServeHTTP(w http.ResponseWriter, req *http.Request) {
	h.props.Inject(req.Context(), propagation.HeaderCarrier(w.Header())), req)

Make sure to run the middleware after the first span is created, for example:

var handler http.Handler

handler = router

// First, use otelhttp to start a trace.
handler = otelhttp.NewHandler(handler, "")

// Then, use the middleware to inject traceparent.
handler = httputil.NewTraceparentHandler(handler)

// Finally, serve requests.
http.ListenAndServe(":3000", handler)


Need an example? Uptrace uses the TraceparentHandler middleware to add the traceparent header to all HTTP responses.

Uptrace is an open source DataDog competitoropen in new window with an intuitive query builder, rich dashboards, alerting rules, and integrations for most languages and frameworks. It can process billions of spans and metrics on a single server and allows to monitor your applications at 10x lower cost.

Uptrace uses ClickHouse database to store traces, metrics, and logs. You can use it to monitor applications and set up automatic alerts to receive notifications via email, Slack, Telegram, and more.

You can get startedopen in new window with Uptrace by downloading a DEB/RPM package or a pre-compiled Go binary.

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