Developer Guide

Configuring the X-Ray SDK for Go

You can specify the configuration for for X-Ray SDK for Go through environment variables, by calling Configure with a Config object, or by assuming default values. Environment variables take precedence over Config values, which take precedence over any default value.

Service Plugins

Use plugins to record information about the service hosting your application.


  • Amazon EC2 – EC2Plugin adds the instance ID and Availability Zone.

  • Elastic Beanstalk – ElasticBeanstalkPlugin adds the environment name, version label, and deployment ID.

  • Amazon ECS – ECSPlugin adds the container ID.

        Segment resource data with Amazon EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk plugins.

To use a plugin, import one of the following packages.

_ ""
_ ""
_ ""

The SDK also uses plugin settings to set the origin field on the segment. This indicates the type of AWS resource that runs your application. The resource type appears under your application's name in the service map. For example, AWS::ElasticBeanstalk::Environment.

Service node with resource type.

When you use multiple plugins, the SDK uses the plugin that was loaded last to determine the origin.

Sampling Rules

The SDK has a default sampling strategy that determines which requests get traced. By default, the SDK traces the first request each second, and five percent of any additional requests. You can customize the SDK's sampling behavior by applying rules you define in a local file.

Example sampling-rules.json

  "version": 1,
  "rules": [
      "description": "Player moves.",
      "service_name": "*",
      "http_method": "*",
      "url_path": "/api/move/*",
      "fixed_target": 0,
      "rate": 0.05
  "default": {
    "fixed_target": 1,
    "rate": 0.1

This example defines one custom rule and a default rule. The custom rule applies a five-percent sampling rate with no minimum number of requests to trace for paths under /api/move/. The default rule traces the first request each second and 10 percent of additional requests.

The SDK applies custom rules in the order in which they are defined. If a request matches multiple custom rules, the SDK applies only the first rule.

Once you've defined your rules, use xray.Configure to add them to your Go application.

func init() {
    ss, err := sampling.NewLocalizedSamplingStrategyFromFilePath("conf/sampling.json")

    if err != nil {

        SamplingStrategy: ss,

Environment Variables

You can use environment variables to configure the X-Ray SDK for Go. The SDK supports the following variables.

  • AWS_XRAY_TRACING_NAME – Set the service name that the SDK uses for segments.

  • AWS_XRAY_DAEMON_ADDRESS – Set the host and port of the X-Ray daemon listener. By default, the SDK sends trace data to Use this variable if you have configured the daemon to listen on a different port or if it is running on a different host.

Environment variables override equivalent values set in code.

Using Configure

You can also configure the X-Ray SDK for Go using the Configure method. Configure takes one argument, a Config object, with the following, optional fields.


This string specifies the host and port of the X-Ray daemon listener. If not specified, X-Ray uses the value of the AWS_XRAY_DAEMON_ADDRESS environment variable. If that value is not set, it uses "".


This string specifies the version of the service. If not specified, X-Ray uses the empty string ("").


This SamplingStrategy object specifies which of your application calls are traced. If not specified, X-Ray uses a LocalizedSamplingStrategy, which takes the strategy as defined in xray/resources/DefaultSamplingRules.json.


This StreamingStrategy object specifies whether to stream a segment when RequiresStreaming returns true. If not specified, X-Ray uses a DefaultStreamingStrategy that streams a sampled segment if the number of subsegments is greater than 20.


This ExceptionFormattingStrategy object specifies how you want to handle various exceptions. If not specified, X-Ray uses a DefaultExceptionFormattingStrategy with an XrayError of type error, the error message, and stack trace.


This string specifies the default logging level for your application. You can set this to "trace", "debug", "info", "warn" or "error". If not specified, X-Ray uses "info".


This string specifies the format of the log messages. If not specified, X-Ray uses "%Date(2006-01-02T15:04:05Z07:00) [%Level] %Msg%n".