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APM & Distributed Tracing with Agent v5

Getting started

APM is available with Datadog Agent versions 5.11+ as part of the one line install for the Linux and Docker Agents. Mac and Windows users must perform a manual install of the APM Agent (aka Trace Agent) via a separate install process.

The Agent can be enabled by including the following in your Datadog Agent configuration file:

apm_enabled: true
APM is enabled by default after Datadog Agent 5.13 (on Linux and Docker), but can be disabled by adding the parameter: apm_enabled: no in your Datadog Agent configuration file.

Installing the Agent

Tracing metrics are sent to the Datadog through the Datadog Agent. To enable tracing:

Install the latest Datadog Agent (version 5.11.0+ is required).

Running the Agent in Docker

To trace applications in Docker containers, use the docker-dd-agent image (tagged version 11.0.5110+) and enable tracing by passing DD_APM_ENABLED=true as an environment variable.

For additional information, reference the Docker page.

Instrument your application

To instrument an application written in a language that does not yet have official library support, reference the Tracing API.


The Datadog Agent uses the configuration file for both infrastructure monitoring and APM configuration options.

Additionally, some configuration options may be set as environment variables. Note that options set as environment variables overrides the settings defined in the configuration file.

File settingEnvironment variableDescription
apm_enabledDD_APM_ENABLEDThe Datadog Agent accepts trace metrics when the value is set to true. The default value is true.
extra_sample_rateDD_EXTRA_SAMPLE_RATEUse this setting to adjust the trace sample rate. The value should be a float between 0 (no sampling) and 1 (normal sampling rate). The default value is 1
max_traces_per_secondDD_MAX_TRACES_PER_SECONDThe maximum number of traces to sample per second. To disable the limit (not recommended), set to 0. The default value is 10.
receiver_portDD_RECEIVER_PORTThe port that the Datadog Agent’s trace receiver should listen on. The default value is 8126.
connection_limitDD_CONNECTION_LIMITThe number of unique client connections to allow during one 30 second lease period. The default value is 2000.
resourceDD_IGNORE_RESOURCEA blacklist of regular expressions to filter out traces by their resource name.

For more information about the Datadog Agent, see the dedicated doc page or refer to the datadog.conf.example file.

Trace search is available for Agent 5.25.0+. For more information, see the set up instructions in the main APM documentation.


Need help? Contact Datadog support.