Run Format

Installing Go from source

Introduction

Go is an open source project, distributed under a BSD-style license. This document explains how to check out the sources, build them on your own machine, and run them.

Most users don't need to do this, and will instead install from precompiled binary packages as described in Getting Started, a much simpler process. If you want to help develop what goes into those precompiled packages, though, read on.

There are two official Go compiler tool chains. This document focuses on the gc Go compiler and tools (6g, 8g etc.). For information on how to work on gccgo, a more traditional compiler using the GCC back end, see Setting up and using gccgo.

The Go compilers support three instruction sets. There are important differences in the quality of the compilers for the different architectures.

amd64 (a.k.a. x86-64); 6g,6l,6c,6a
A mature implementation. The compiler has an effective optimizer (registerizer) and generates good code (although gccgo can do noticeably better sometimes).
386 (a.k.a. x86 or x86-32); 8g,8l,8c,8a
Comparable to the amd64 port.
arm (a.k.a. ARM); 5g,5l,5c,5a
Supports Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD binaries. Less widely used than the other ports.

Except for things like low-level operating system interface code, the run-time support is the same in all ports and includes a mark-and-sweep garbage collector, efficient array and string slicing, and support for efficient goroutines, such as stacks that grow and shrink on demand.

The compilers can target the FreeBSD, Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OS X (Darwin), Plan 9, and Windows operating systems. The full set of supported combinations is listed in the discussion of environment variables below.

Install C tools, if needed

The Go tool chain is written in C. To build it, you need a C compiler installed. Please refer to the InstallFromSource page on the Go community Wiki for operating system specific instructions.

Install Mercurial, if needed

To perform the next step you must have Mercurial installed. (Check that you have an hg command.)

If you do not have a working Mercurial installation, follow the instructions on the Mercurial downloads page.

Mercurial versions 1.7.x and up require the configuration of Certification Authorities (CAs). Error messages of the form:

warning: code.google.com certificate with fingerprint b1:af: ... bc not verified (check hostfingerprints or web.cacerts config setting)

when using Mercurial indicate that the CAs are missing. Check your Mercurial version (hg --version) and configure the CAs if necessary.

Fetch the repository

Go will install to a directory named go. Change to the directory that will be its parent and make sure the go directory does not exist. Then check out the repository:

$ hg clone -u release https://code.google.com/p/go

If you intend to modify the go source code, and contribute your changes to the project, then move your repository off the release branch, and onto the default (development) branch. Otherwise, skip this step.

$ hg update default

Install Go

To build the Go distribution, run

$ cd go/src
$ ./all.bash

(To build under Windows use all.bat.)

If all goes well, it will finish by printing output like:

ALL TESTS PASSED

---
Installed Go for linux/amd64 in /home/you/go.
Installed commands in /home/you/go/bin.
*** You need to add /home/you/go/bin to your $PATH. ***

where the details on the last few lines reflect the operating system, architecture, and root directory used during the install.

For more information about ways to control the build, see the discussion of environment variables below.

Testing your installation

Check that Go is installed correctly by building a simple program.

Create a file named hello.go and put the following program in it:

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Printf("hello, world\n")
}

Then run it with the go tool:

$ go run hello.go
hello, world

If you see the "hello, world" message then Go is installed correctly.

Set up your work environment

You're almost done. You just need to do a little more setup.

How to Write Go Code Learn how to set up and use the Go tools

The How to Write Go Code document provides essential setup instructions for using the Go tools.

Install additional tools

The source code for several Go tools (including godoc) is kept in the go.tools repository. To install all of them, run the go get command:

$ go get code.google.com/p/go.tools/cmd/...

Or if you just want to install a specific command (godoc in this case):

$ go get code.google.com/p/go.tools/cmd/godoc

To install these tools, the go get command requires that Mercurial be installed locally.

You must also have a workspace (GOPATH) set up; see How to Write Go Code for the details.

Note: The go command will install the godoc binary to $GOROOT/bin (or $GOBIN) and the cover and vet binaries to $GOROOT/pkg/tool/$GOOS_$GOARCH. You can access the latter commands with "go tool cover" and "go tool vet".

Community resources

The usual community resources such as #go-nuts on the Freenode IRC server and the Go Nuts mailing list have active developers that can help you with problems with your installation or your development work. For those who wish to keep up to date, there is another mailing list, golang-checkins, that receives a message summarizing each checkin to the Go repository.

Bugs can be reported using the Go issue tracker.

Keeping up with releases

The Go project maintains a stable tag in its Mercurial repository: release.

The release tag refers to the current stable release of Go. Most Go users should use this version. New releases are announced on the golang-announce mailing list.

To update an existing tree to the latest release, you can run:

$ cd go/src
$ hg pull
$ hg update release
$ ./all.bash

Optional environment variables

The Go compilation environment can be customized by environment variables. None is required by the build, but you may wish to set some to override the defaults.

Note that $GOARCH and $GOOS identify the target environment, not the environment you are running on. In effect, you are always cross-compiling. By architecture, we mean the kind of binaries that the target environment can run: an x86-64 system running a 32-bit-only operating system must set GOARCH to 386, not amd64.

If you choose to override the defaults, set these variables in your shell profile ($HOME/.bashrc, $HOME/.profile, or equivalent). The settings might look something like this:

export GOROOT=$HOME/go
export GOARCH=amd64
export GOOS=linux

although, to reiterate, none of these variables needs to be set to build, install, and develop the Go tree.