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fmt: value implementing Stringer (GoString) cause infinite recursion with %s (%v) #12285

vladimirvivien opened this issue Aug 23, 2015 · 3 comments


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@vladimirvivien vladimirvivien commented Aug 23, 2015

The fmt.Print{f, ln} function generates a stackoverflow when the format flag is %v to output the value of a type that implements the Stringer interface. This is true when the implementation of the String() method also uses fmt with flag %v or %s flag to output the string as shown in the example below.

1)What version of Go are you using (go version)?
go version go1.4.2 linux/amd64

2) What operating system and processor architecture are you using?
Ubuntu 14 trusty
Linux Kernel 3.14

3)What did you do ?
The following simple program.

package main

import (

type mytype string

func (m mytype) String() string {
    return fmt.Sprintf("%s", m)

func main() {
    s := mytype("hello")
    fmt.Printf("%v", s)
  1. What did you expect to see?
    Expects the value of s to be printed.

5) What did you see instead?

runtime: goroutine stack exceeds 1000000000-byte limit
fatal error: stack overflow
@bradfitz bradfitz changed the title GoStringer value cause Stack Overflow when %V or %S used in implementation x/tools/cmd/stringer: value cause stack overflow with %V or %S Aug 23, 2015
@minux minux changed the title x/tools/cmd/stringer: value cause stack overflow with %V or %S fmt: value implementing Stringer (GoString) cause infinite recursion with %s (%v) Aug 24, 2015
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@minux minux commented Aug 24, 2015

This is working as intended. You need to change the String method to
convert m into a real string before passing it to fmt.Sprintf, otherwise
the fmt.Sprintf will just call the String method again, which will lead to
infinite recursion.

@minux minux closed this Aug 24, 2015
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@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor commented Aug 24, 2015

See "To avoid recursion" in the fmt package docs.

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@vladimirvivien vladimirvivien commented Aug 25, 2015

@ianlancetaylor thanks for pointing that out.

@golang golang locked and limited conversation to collaborators Aug 24, 2016
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