Vector clock logging library for Go
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Build Status GoDoc Go Report Card License: MIT Coverage Status

GoVector is a vector clock logging library written in Go. The vector clock algorithm is used to order events in distributed systems in the absence of a centralized clock. GoVector implements the vector clock algorithm and provides feature-rich logging and encoding infrastructure.

Vector clock events are generated using 3 key functions, PrepareSend, UnpackReceive, and LogLocalEvent. PrepareSend encodes messages for network transport, updates GoVectors local time, and logs a sending event. UpackReceive decodes messages from the network, merges GoVectors local clock with the received clock, and logs a receiving event. LogLocalEvent event ticks the clock, and logs a message.

This library can be added to a Go project to generate a ShiViz-compatible vector-clock timestamped log of events in a concurrent or distributed system. This library can also be used to generate TSViz-compatible log of events. GoVector is compatible with Go 1.4+.

  • govec/ : Contains the Library and all its dependencies
  • govec/vclock : Pure vector clock library
  • govec/vrpc : Go's rpc with GoVector integration
  • example/ : Contains some examples instrumented with different features of GoVector


To install GoVector you must have a correctly configured go development environment. See How to Write Go Code.

Once you set up your environment, GoVector can be installed with the go tool command:

go get -u


The following is a basic example of how this library can be used:

	package main

	import ""

	func main() {
		//Initialize GoVector logger
		Logger := govec.InitGoVector("MyProcess", "LogFile")
		//Encode message, and update vector clock
		messagepayload := []byte("samplepayload")
		vectorclockmessage := Logger.PrepareSend("Sending Message", messagepayload)
		//send message

		//In Receiving Process
		//Decode message, and update local vector clock with received clock
		Logger.UnpackReceive("Receiving Message", &messagepayload, vectorclockmessage)

		//Log a local event
		Logger.LogLocalEvent("Example Complete")

For complete documentation with examples see GoVector's GoDoc.

End-to-End Examples


GoVector was initially developed as a pedagogical tool for UBC's computer science course on distributed systems (CPSC 416). Students new to the development of distributed systems can feed generated logs into ShiViz to visualize their program executions and reason about event orderings. Furthermore, GoVector's marshaling functionality reduces the effort needed to write networking code that is largely boilerplate.

Eventually, as a result of student requests, GoVector has been transformed into a general-purpose logging tool. Additional features include optimized IO, priority logging, TSViz compatibility, and RPC instrumentation.


GoVector has the following dependencies:


  • Ivan Beschastnikh
  • Mike Fink
  • Stewart Grant
  • Clement Fung
  • Fabian Ruffy
  • Vaastav Anand

Output Example

The source code from the useage example produces the following log into a file named "LogFile.txt":

MyProcess {"MyProcess":1}
Initialization Complete
MyProcess {"MyProcess":2}
Sending Message
MyProcess {"MyProcess":3}
Receiving Message
MyProcess {"MyProcess":4}
Example Complete

Here is a sample output of the priority logger: PriorityLoggerOutput.png

Here is an example of ShiViz output generated by an RPC client server interaction: ShivizExample.png