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Published: May 21, 2024 License: Apache-2.0 Imports: 2 Imported by: 0


OpenTelemetry Collector Builder (ocb)

This program generates a custom OpenTelemetry Collector binary based on a given configuration.


$ go install
$ cat > otelcol-builder.yaml <<EOF
  name: otelcol-custom
  description: Local OpenTelemetry Collector binary
  output_path: /tmp/dist
  - gomod: v0.99.0
  - gomod: v0.99.0

  - gomod: v0.99.0

  - gomod: v0.99.0

  - gomod: v0.99.0

  - gomod: v0.99.0
$ builder --config=otelcol-builder.yaml
$ cat > /tmp/otelcol.yaml <<EOF
        endpoint: localhost:4317



      - otlp
      - batch
      - debug
$ /tmp/dist/otelcol-custom --config=/tmp/otelcol.yaml


There are two supported ways to install the builder: via the official releases (recommended) and through go install.

Official releases

This is the recommended installation method. Download the binary for your respective platform under the "Releases" page.

go install

You need to have a go compiler in your PATH. Run the following command to install the latest version:

go install

If installing through this method the binary will be called builder. Binaries installed through this method will incorrectly show dev as their version.


A build configuration file must be provided with the --config flag. You will need to specify at least one module (extension, exporter, receiver, processor) to add to your distribution. To build a default collector configuration, you can use this build configuration.

$ ocb --config=builder-config.yaml

Use ocb --help to learn about which flags are available.


To keep the debug symbols in the resulting OpenTelemetry Collector binary, set the configuration property debug_compilation to true.

Then install go-delve and run OpenTelemetry Collector with dlv command as the following example:

# go install
# ~/go/bin/dlv --listen=:2345 --headless=true --api-version=2 --accept-multiclient --log exec .otel-collector-binary -- --config otel-collector-config.yaml

Finally, load the OpenTelemetry Collector as a project in the IDE, configure debug for Go


The configuration file is composed of two main parts: dist and module types. All dist options can be specified via command line flags:

$ ocb --config=config.yaml --name="my-otelcol"

The module types are specified at the top-level, and might be: extensions, exporters, receivers and processors. They all accept a list of components, and each component is required to have at least the gomod entry. When not specified, the import value is inferred from the gomod. When not specified, the name is inferred from the import.

The import might specify a more specific path than what is specified in the gomod. For instance, your Go module might be and the import might be

The name will typically be omitted, except when multiple components have the same name. In such case, set a unique name for each module.

Optionally, a list of go mod replace entries can be provided, in case custom overrides are needed. This is typically necessary when a processor or some of its transitive dependencies have dependency problems.

    module: # the module name for the new distribution, following Go mod conventions. Optional, but recommended.
    name: otelcol-custom # the binary name. Optional.
    description: "Custom OpenTelemetry Collector distribution" # a long name for the application. Optional.
    otelcol_version: "0.40.0" # the OpenTelemetry Collector version to use as base for the distribution. Optional.
    output_path: /tmp/otelcol-distributionNNN # the path to write the output (sources and binary). Optional.
    version: "1.0.0" # the version for your custom OpenTelemetry Collector. Optional.
    go: "/usr/bin/go" # which Go binary to use to compile the generated sources. Optional.
    debug_compilation: false # enabling this causes the builder to keep the debug symbols in the resulting binary. Optional.
  - gomod: " v0.40.0" # the Go module for the component. Required.
    import: "" # the import path for the component. Optional.
    name: "alibabacloudlogserviceexporter" # package name to use in the generated sources. Optional.
    path: "./alibabacloudlogserviceexporter" # in case a local version should be used for the module, the path relative to the current dir, or a full path can be specified. Optional.
  # a list of "replaces" directives that will be part of the resulting go.mod
  - => v0.40.0


The builder has 3 steps:

  • Generate: generates the golang source code
  • Get modules: generates the go.mod file based on the imported modules in the generated golang source code
  • Compilation: builds the OpenTelemetry Collector executable

Each step can be skipped independently: --skip-generate, --skip-get-modules and --skip-compilation.

For instance, a code generation step could execute

ocb --skip-compilation --config=config.yaml

then commit the code in a git repo. A CI can sync the code and execute

ocb --skip-generate --skip-get-modules --config=config.yaml

to only execute the compilation step.

Strict versioning checks

The builder checks the relevant go.mod file for the following things after go geting all components and calling go mod tidy:

  1. The dist::otelcol_version field in the build configuration must have matching major and minor versions as the core library version calculated by the Go toolchain, considering all components. A mismatch could happen, for example, when the builder or one of the components depends on a newer release of the core collector library.
  2. For each component in the build configuration, the major and minor versions included in the gomod module specifier must match the one calculated by the Go toolchain, considering all components. A mismatch could happen, for example, when the enclosing Go module uses a newer release of the core collector library.

The --skip-strict-versioning flag disables these versioning checks. This flag is available temporarily and will be removed in a future minor version.


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