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The gotk3 project provides Go bindings for GTK+3 and dependent projects. Each component is given its own subdirectory, which is used as the import path for the package. Partial binding support for the following libraries is currently implemented:

  • GTK+3 (3.6 and later)
  • GDK 3 (3.6 and later)
  • GLib 2 (2.36 and later)
  • Cairo (1.10 and later)

Care has been taken for memory management to work seamlessly with Go's garbage collector without the need to use or understand GObject's floating references.

Sample Use

The following example can be found in gtk/examples/simple/simple.go. Usage of additional features is also demonstrated in the gtk/examples/ directory.

package main

import (

func main() {
	// Initialize GTK without parsing any command line arguments.

	// Create a new toplevel window, set its title, and connect it to the
	// "destroy" signal to exit the GTK main loop when it is destroyed.
	win, err := gtk.WindowNew(gtk.WINDOW_TOPLEVEL)
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatal("Unable to create window:", err)
	win.SetTitle("Simple Example")
	win.Connect("destroy", func() {

	// Create a new label widget to show in the window.
	l, err := gtk.LabelNew("Hello, gotk3!")
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatal("Unable to create label:", err)

	// Add the label to the window.

	// Set the default window size.
	win.SetDefaultSize(800, 600)

	// Recursively show all widgets contained in this window.

	// Begin executing the GTK main loop.  This blocks until
	// gtk.MainQuit() is run. 


Each package's internal go doc style documentation can be viewed online without installing this package by using the GoDoc site (links to cairo, glib, gdk, and gtk documentation).

You can also view the documentation locally once the package is installed with the godoc tool by running godoc -http=":6060" and pointing your browser to http://localhost:6060/pkg/


gotk3 currently requires GTK 3.6-3.12, GLib 2.36-2.40, and Cairo 1.10 or 1.12. A recent Go (1.2 or newer) is also required.

The gtk package requires the cairo, glib, and gdk packages as dependencies, so only one go get is necessary for complete installation.

The build process uses the tagging scheme gtk_MAJOR_MINOR to specify a build targeting any particular GTK version (for example, gtk_3_10). Building with no tags defaults to targeting the latest supported GTK release (3.12).

To install gotk3 targeting the latest GTK version:

$ go get

On MacOS (using homebrew) you would likely specify PKG_CONFIG_PATH as such:

$ PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/X11/lib/pkgconfig:`brew --prefix gtk+3`/lib/pkgconfig go get -u -v

To install gotk3 targeting the older GTK 3.10 release:

$ go get -tags gtk_3_10

Ubuntu 14.04 uses the GTK 3.10 release. Also, some required packages may be missing. You may need to install the first or all of these packages in Ubuntu before gotk3:

$ sudo apt-get install libgtk-3-dev
$ sudo apt-get install libcairo2-dev
$ sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev


  • Add bindings for all of GTK+
  • Add tests for each implemented binding
  • Add examples for intent

GPG Verification Key

All official release tags are signed by Conformal so users can ensure the code has not been tampered with and is coming from Conformal. To verify the signature perform the following:

  • Download the public key from the Conformal website at

  • Import the public key into your GPG keyring:

    gpg --import GIT-GPG-KEY-conformal.txt
  • Verify the release tag with the following command where TAG_NAME is a placeholder for the specific tag:

    git tag -v TAG_NAME


Package gotk3 is licensed under the liberal ISC License.