Getting started with Go language on Ubuntu/Linux

Go (Golang) is an open source programming language developed at Google. It’s a compiled and statically typed language like C/C++/Java. It’s lightweight and fast, with small memory footprint and its support for concurrency, networking and multi-processing makes it an interesting choice for specific projects.

I use Go for building small command line apps and rewriting some parts of Sinatra/Rails(Ruby based web frameworks) applications in Go. It helps me save lots of CPU power and RAM after I rewrote some CPU intensive modules in Go. Ruby(Sinatra/Rails) is my default choice for new web projects, but I’m thinking of trying Golang(net/http) for my next project, especially if the performance/speed is critical.

Setting up Go in Ubuntu [14.04]

1. Download the package from the official page.

2. Extract it (to /usr/local or anywhere else)

sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go1.5.3.linux-amd64.tar.gz

3. Set the path correctly
Open bash config file using nano (or your preferred text editor).

nano ~/.bashrc

And append the following line.

export GOPATH=$HOME/go
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin
export GOBIN=$GOPATH/bin

4. Reload Bash (to apply the new config)

source ~/.bashrc

Type go in the terminal to check if the command is available. Next, you can start writing programs in Golang.

Writing your first program in Go

Lets write a simple “Hello World” Program (hello.go) that would simply print something using fmt.

package main
import "fmt"

func main() {
  fmt.Println("Hello World!")


go build hello.go



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