trace enables OpenTracing-based tracing of DNS requests as they go through the plugin chain.


With trace you enable OpenTracing of how a request flows through CoreDNS. Enable the debug plugin to get logs from the trace plugin.


The simplest form is just:

  • ENDPOINT-TYPE is the type of tracing destination. Currently only zipkin and datadog are supported. Defaults to zipkin.
  • ENDPOINT is the tracing destination, and defaults to localhost:9411. For Zipkin, if ENDPOINT does not begin with http, then it will be transformed to http://ENDPOINT/api/v1/spans.

With this form, all queries will be traced.

Additional features can be enabled with this syntax:

    every AMOUNT
    service NAME
    datadog_analytics_rate RATE
  • every AMOUNT will only trace one query of each AMOUNT queries. For example, to trace 1 in every 100 queries, use AMOUNT of 100. The default is 1.
  • service NAME allows you to specify the service name reported to the tracing server. Default is coredns.
  • client_server will enable the ClientServerSameSpan OpenTracing feature.
  • datadog_analytics_rate RATE will enable trace analytics on the traces sent from 0 to 1, 1 being every trace sent will be analyzed. This is a datadog only feature (ENDPOINT-TYPE needs to be datadog)


You can run Zipkin on a Docker host like this:

docker run -d -p 9411:9411 openzipkin/zipkin

Note the zipkin provider does not support the v1 API since coredns 1.7.1.


Use an alternative Zipkin address:

trace tracinghost:9253


. {
    trace zipkin tracinghost:9253

If for some reason you are using an API reverse proxy or something and need to remap the standard Zipkin URL you can do something like:

trace http://tracinghost:9411/zipkin/api/v1/spans

Using DataDog:

trace datadog localhost:8126

Trace one query every 10000 queries, rename the service, and enable same span:

trace tracinghost:9411 {
	every 10000
	service dnsproxy


The trace plugin will publish the following metadata, if the metadata plugin is also enabled:

  • trace/traceid: identifier of (zipkin/datadog) trace of processed request

See Also

See the debug plugin for more information about debug logging.