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Buildkite is a continuous integration and deployment platform that allows you to run builds on your own infrastructure, providing you with full control over security and customizing your build environment while managing orchestration in the cloud.

Set up tracing on Buildkite to optimize your resource usage, reduce overhead, and improve the speed and quality of your software development lifecycle.


Pipeline VisibilityPlatformDefinition
Partial retriesPartial pipelinesView partially retried pipeline executions.
Infrastructure metric correlationInfrastructure metric correlationCorrelate jobs to infrastructure host metrics for Buildkite agents.
Manual stepsManual stepsView manually triggered pipelines.
Queue timeQueue timeView the amount of time pipeline jobs sit in the queue before processing.
Custom tags and measures at runtimeCustom tags and measures at runtimeConfigure custom tags and measures at runtime.

Configure the Datadog integration

To set up the Datadog integration for Buildkite:

  1. Go to Settings > Notification Services in Buildkite and click add a Datadog Pipeline Visibility integration.
  2. Fill in the form with the following information:
    • Description: A description to help identify the integration in the future, such as Datadog CI Visibility integration.
    • API key: your Datadog API Key.
    • Datadog site:
    • Pipelines: Select all pipelines or the subset of pipelines you want to trace.
    • Branch filtering: Leave empty to trace all branches or select the subset of branches you want to trace.
  3. Click Add Datadog Pipeline Visibility Notification to save the integration.

Set custom tags

Custom tags can be added to Buildkite traces by using the buildkite-agent meta-data set command. Any metadata tags with a key starting with dd_tags. are added to the job and pipeline spans. These tags can be used to create string facets to search and organize the pipelines.

The YAML below illustrates a simple pipeline where tags for the team name and the Go version have been set.

  - command: buildkite-agent meta-data set "" "backend"
  - command: go version | buildkite-agent meta-data set "dd_tags.go.version"
    label: Go version
  - commands: go test ./...
    label: Run tests

The following tags are shown in the root span as well as the relevant job span in Datadog.

  • team: backend
  • go.version: go version go1.17 darwin/amd64 (output depends on the runner)

The resulting pipeline looks as follows:

Buildkite pipeline trace with custom tags

Any metadata with a key starting with dd-measures. and containing a numerical value will be set as a metric tag that can be used to create numerical measures. You can use the buildkite-agent meta-data set command to create such tags. This can be used for example to measure the binary size in a pipeline:

  - commands:
    - go build -o dst/binary .
    - ls -l dst/binary | awk '{print \$5}' | tr -d '\n' | buildkite-agent meta-data set "dd_measures.binary_size"
    label: Go build

The resulting pipeline will have the tags shown below in the pipeline span:

  • binary_size: 502 (output depends on the file size)

In this example, you can use the value of binary_size to plot the change in the binary size over time.

Visualize pipeline data in Datadog

The CI Pipeline List and Executions pages populate with data after the pipelines finish.

The CI Pipeline List page shows data for only the default branch of each repository.

Correlate infrastructure metrics to jobs

If you are using Buildkite agents, you can correlate jobs with the infrastructure that is running them. For this feature to work, install the Datadog Agent in the hosts running the Buildkite agents.

View partial and downstream pipelines

On the Executions page, you can use the filters below in the search bar:

Downstream Pipeline
Possible values: true, false
Manually Triggered
Possible values: true, false
Partial Pipeline
Possible values: retry, paused, resumed
The Pipeline executions page with Partial Pipeline:retry entered in the search query

These filters can also be applied through the facet panel on the left hand side of the page.

The facet panel with Partial Pipeline facet expanded and the value Retry selected, the Partial Retry facet expanded and the value true selected

Further reading