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Go Starter

Go-starter allows to bootstrap a new project from a template. It uses Git repositories as templates and is shipped with batch of utilities to make bootstarpping easier.


Download latest release from release page using one of the commands below.

Mac OS

curl \
  -sSfL -o go-starter.tgz


curl \
  -sSfL -o go-starter.tgz

Unpack content of the archive to a directory listed in $PATH. The archive includes multiple binaries shipped with go-starter.

tar -xvzf go-starter.tgz -C /usr/local/bin
rm go-starter.tgz

Run go-starter to verify it's installed correctly.


Run go-starter with template repository URL and path where you would like to create a new project, for example:

go-starter starter-template/hello-world-starter awesome-project

You can specify full GitHub URL or just repository name (like so starter-template/hello-world-starter).

Now, go-starter will clone hello-world-starter into ./awesome-project directory and run tasks defined in .starter.yml. See "Templates" for more details.

Advanced usage

You can skip cloning, for example if template is already cloned, but task failed to execute by passing -skip-clone flag.

You can also pass additional variables (or pre-define variables instead of entering them using prompt) using -var flag.


Templates are regular Git repositories like this one. If you try to use go-starter with random repository it will just clone it to your computer. To make use of go-starter you would need to let it know how to "post-process" template repository after it has been cloned. To do so, you need to define .starter.yml configuration file.

After go-starter clones repository it tries to load .starter.yml to execute additional actions and turn template into a project. This configuration file defines two sections:

  • questions - list of questions to be asked from user, for example: project name, binary name, team etc
  • tasks - list of commands to be executed (these can be globally installed binaries, or binaries packed with template itself)

Here is an example of .starter.yml:

  - message: Application name
    name: "application_name"
    type: input
    regexp: ^[a-z0-9\-]+$
    help_msg: Must be lowercase characters or digits or hyphens
  - message: GitHub owners
    name: "github_owners"
    type: input
    regexp: ^[a-z0-9\-]+$
    help_msg: Must be lowercase characters or digits or hyphens

  - command: [ "go-starter-replace" ]
  - command: [ "rm", ".starter.yml" ]

This file defines two questions, asking user to enter application_name and github_owners variables. Then, go-starter will execute go-starter-replace binary (shipped with go-starter) to replace placeholders in the files of the template, turning generic tempalte into something more specific to the project. Finally it will use standard rm command to remove .starter.yml.

Each template may contain custom tasks placed in .starter folder. For example, you can create a bash script which would generate CODEOWNERS file and place it under .starter/make-owners. Then, add it as tasks in .starter.yml like so:


  - command: [ "./.starter/make-owners" ]

Custom scripts may access variables (answers to the questions) through environment variables. They are uppercased and prefixed with STARTER_. Following example above, ./.starter/make-owners may get github_owners variable using STARTER_GITHUB_OWNERS environment variable.

Build-in tasks

Go-starter ships with few additional binaries which can be used as tasks in .starter.yml.


This binary recursively goes through files in current folder and replaces placeholders to variable values in files and their names. By default, placeholders are surrounded by < and >.


Usage: go-starter-replace [flags]


  -prefix string
        Placeholder prefix (default "<")
  -suffix string
        Placeholder suffix (default ">")


This binary automatically created GitHub repository, initiates local Git repository, adds GitHub remote and pushes changes to GitHub.


Usage: go-starter-github [flags] <github-org> <github-repo>

    go-starter-github adobe awesome-project

  -branch string
        Name of the master branch (default "master")
  -collaborator value
        Add collaborators to the repository by GitHub username. You can grant permissions using following format: <username>:<permission>. Permission can be: pull (read only), push (read and write) or admin (everything), default is push. Can be specified multiple times. Example: --collaborator octocat:pull
  -deploy-key string
        Add SSH deployment key to the repository, add ':rw' suffix to grant write permissions to the key
        Make repository public
  -remote string
        Name of the remote in local repository (default "upstream")
        Enable issues in GitHub
        Enable projects in GitHub
        Enable wiki page in GitHub


This binary configures drone integration and runs first build.


Usage: go-starter-drone [flags] <drone-url> <org-name> <repo-name>

    go-starter-drone adobe awesome-project

  -pull-secret-file value
        Create a secret from file available for pull-requests (eq. --pull-secret-file=secret_name=./path/to/file)
  -pull-secret-literal value
        Create a secret from literal available for pull-requests (eq. --pull-secret-literal=secret_name=value)
  -secret-file value
        Create a secret from file (eq. --secret-file=secret_name=./path/to/file)
  -secret-literal value
        Create a secret from literal (eq. --secret-literal=secret_name=value)
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