The Elixir SDK for Sentry.

Getting Started

Getting started with Sentry is a three step process:

  1. Sign up for an account
  2. Install your SDK
  3. Configure it


Edit your mix.exs file to add it as a dependency and add the :sentry package to your applications:

defp deps do
    # ...
    {:sentry, "~> 7.0"},
    {:jason, "~> 1.1"},


Setup the application production environment in your config/prod.exs

config :sentry,
  dsn: "PUBLIC_DSN",
  environment_name: :prod,
  enable_source_code_context: true,
  root_source_code_path: File.cwd!,
  tags: %{
    env: "production"
  included_environments: [:prod]

The environment_name and included_environments work together to determine if and when Sentry should record exceptions. The environment_name is the name of the current environment. In the example above, we have explicitly set the environment to :prod which works well if you are inside an environment specific configuration like config/prod.exs.

An alternative is to use Mix.env in your general configuration file:

config :sentry, dsn: "PUBLIC_DSN",
   included_environments: [:prod],
   environment_name: Mix.env

This will set the environment name to whatever the current Mix environment atom is, but it will only send events if the current environment is :prod, since that is the only entry in the included_environments key.

You can even rely on more custom determinations of the environment name. It’s not uncommon for most applications to have a “staging” environment. In order to handle this without adding an additional Mix environment, you can set an environment variable that determines the release level.

config :sentry, dsn: "PUBLIC_DSN",
  included_environments: ~w(production staging),
  environment_name: System.get_env("RELEASE_LEVEL") || "development"

In this example, we are getting the environment name from the RELEASE_LEVEL environment variable. If that variable does not exist, it will default to "development". Now, on our servers, we can set the environment variable appropriately. On our local development machines, exceptions will never be sent, because the default value is not in the list of included_environments.

If using an environment with Plug or Phoenix, add the following to your Plug.Router or Phoenix.Router:

use Plug.ErrorHandler
use Sentry.Plug

Filtering Events

If you would like to prevent certain exceptions, the :filter configuration option allows you to implement the Sentry.EventFilter behaviour. The first argument is the exception to be sent, and the second is the source of the event. Sentry.Plug will have a source of :plug, Sentry.LoggerBackend will have a source of :logger, and Sentry.Phoenix.Endpoint will have a source of :endpoint. If an exception does not come from either of those sources, the source will be nil unless the :event_source option is passed to Sentry.capture_exception/2

A configuration like below will prevent sending Phoenix.Router.NoRouteError from Sentry.Plug, but allows other exceptions to be sent.

# sentry_event_filter.ex
defmodule MyApp.SentryEventFilter do
  @behaviour Sentry.EventFilter

  def exclude_exception?(%Elixir.Phoenix.Router.NoRouteError{}, :plug), do: true
  def exclude_exception?(_exception, _source), do: false

# config.exs
config :sentry, filter: MyApp.SentryEventFilter,
  included_environments: ~w(production staging),
  environment_name: System.get_env("RELEASE_LEVEL") || "development"

Context and Breadcrumbs

Sentry has multiple options for including contextual information. They are organized into “Tags”, “User”, and “Extra”, and Sentry’s documentation on them is here. Breadcrumbs are a similar concept and Sentry’s documentation covers them here.

In Elixir this can be complicated due to processes being isolated from one another. Tags context can be set globally through configuration, and all contexts can be set within a process, and on individual events. If an event is sent within a process that has some context configured it will include that context in the event. Examples of each are below, and for more information see the documentation of Sentry.Context.

# Global Tags context via configuration:

config :sentry,
  tags: %{my_app_version: "14.30.10"}
  # ...

# Process-based Context
Sentry.Context.set_extra_context(%{day_of_week: "Friday"})
Sentry.Context.set_user_context(%{id: 24, username: "user_username", has_subscription: true})
Sentry.Context.set_tags_context(%{locale: "en-us"})
Sentry.Context.set_http_context(%{path: "/my_path/34"})
Sentry.Context.add_breadcrumb(%{category: "web.request"})

# Event-based Context
Sentry.capture_exception(exception, [tags: %{locale: "en-us", }, user: %{id: 34},
  extra: %{day_of_week: "Friday"}, breadcrumbs: [%{timestamp: 1461185753845, category: "web.request"}]]


By default, Sentry aggregates reported events according to the attributes of the event, but users may need to override this functionality via fingerprinting.

To achieve that in Sentry Elixir, one can use the before_send_event configuration callback. If there are certain types of errors you would like to have grouped differently, they can be matched on in the callback, and have the fingerprint attribute changed before the event is sent.

An example configuration and implementation could look like:

# sentry.ex
defmodule MyApp.Sentry do
  def before_send(%{exception: [%{type: DBConnection.ConnectionError}]} = event) do
    %{event | fingerprint: ["ecto", "db_connection", "timeout"]}

  def before_send(event) do

# config.exs
config :sentry,
  before_send_event: {MyApp.Sentry, :before_send},
  # ...

Including Source Code

Sentry’s server supports showing the source code that caused an error, but depending on deployment, the source code for an application is not guaranteed to be available while it is running. To work around this, the Sentry library reads and stores the source code at compile time. This has some unfortunate implications. If a file is changed, and Sentry is not recompiled, it will still report old source code.

The best way to ensure source code is up to date is to recompile Sentry itself via mix deps.compile sentry --force. It's possible to create a Mix Task alias in mix.exs to do this. The example below would allow one to run mix.sentry_recompile which will force recompilation of Sentry so it has the newest source and then compile the project:

# mix.exs
defp aliases do
  [sentry_recompile: ["compile", "deps.compile sentry --force"]]

To enable, set :enable_source_code_context and root_source_code_path:

config :sentry,
  enable_source_code_context: true,
  root_source_code_path: File.cwd!

For more documentation, see Sentry.Sources.

Deep Dive

Want more? Have a look at the full documentation for more information.


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