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cmd/go: go mod tidy ignores file #50750

bozaro opened this issue Jan 21, 2022 · 38 comments

cmd/go: go mod tidy ignores file #50750

bozaro opened this issue Jan 21, 2022 · 38 comments
modules NeedsDecision Feedback is required from experts, contributors, and/or the community before a change can be made. Thinking


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bozaro commented Jan 21, 2022

What version of Go are you using (go version)?

$ go version
go version go1.18beta1 linux/amd64

What operating system and processor architecture are you using (go env)?

go env Output
$ go env
GOGCCFLAGS="-fPIC -m64 -pthread -fmessage-length=0 -fdebug-prefix-map=/tmp/go-build4292218461=/tmp/go-build -gno-record-gcc-switches"

What did you do?

Minimal reproducing repository:

Full script:

$ git clone -b go-mod-tidy
$ cd go-work-play/tools
$ go mod tidy
go: finding module for package imports module found (v0.0.0-20200925035954-2333c6299f34), but does not contain package

What did you expect to see?

I expect go.mod and go.sum updated with current working copy state.

What did you see instead?

I see that go mod tidy try to get modules for shared go modules from repository ignoring content.

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bcmills commented Jan 21, 2022

Tidiness is a property of an individual module, not a workspace: if a module is tidy, then a downstream consumer of the module knows which versions to use for every dependency of every package in that module.

If you don't particularly care about downstream consumers having a package that is provided by the workspace, you can use go mod tidy -e to ignore the error from the missing package.

Otherwise, you either need to publish the workspace dependencies before running go mod tidy (so that they have well-defined upstream versions), or tell the go command what those versions will be (using a replace and require directive in the individual module).

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bcmills commented Jan 21, 2022

@matloob, for Go 1.19 I wonder if we should augment the file to be able to declare explicit intended versions for the modules in the workspace. Then go mod tidy could use those versions instead of looking upstream. 🤔

@bcmills bcmills changed the title go mod tidy ignores` file cmd/go: go mod tidy ignores` file Jan 21, 2022
@bcmills bcmills changed the title cmd/go: go mod tidy ignores` file cmd/go: go mod tidy ignores file Jan 21, 2022
@bcmills bcmills added this to the Backlog milestone Jan 21, 2022
@heschi heschi added the NeedsDecision Feedback is required from experts, contributors, and/or the community before a change can be made. label Jan 21, 2022
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bozaro commented Jan 22, 2022

Currently with reproducing repository (

I can run:

cd tools/hello
go run .

And go run works like workspace go modules declared as replace in current tools/go.mod.

But for go mod tidy I need add replace manually.

This behaviour looks like inconsistent: I expects that go run and go mod tidy would use same dependencies.

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liadmord commented Jan 24, 2022

What valid use cases are there for if we are still required to fully implement the go.mod in order to work on multi module repo?

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AlmogBaku commented Apr 8, 2022

This is also happening for go get ./...

I agree with @liadmord, the only benefit I see get from the is a better "understanding" of my IDE
Or - maybe I'm doing something wrong here?

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I agree with @bozaro @liadmord and @AlmogBaku

I have a monorepo private project where I have multiple modules, and on each one I need to insert a lot of replace statements for each direct and indirect dependencies. With go workspaces I really want to be possible to run go mod download or go mod tidy without the needed to write a replace statement in every go.mod file in my workspace.


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maxsxu commented May 18, 2022

Encountering the same issue with go1.18.2.

Furthermore, some other go mod commands also failed.

  • go mod vendor
➜  server   go mod vendor imports no required module provides package; to add it:
        go get
  • go mod verify
➜  server   go mod verify : missing ziphash: open hash: no such file or directory

Expected behaviour: The go mod commands should not try to find modules which have been declared in which I think will make go workspace more meaningful.

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Gbps commented May 31, 2022

My expected functionality is that a go mod tidy on a enabled workspace should feel like a bunch of phantom replace statements inside the go.mod without editing the file. If the module is at and I tell my that the module can be found in /path/to/mymodule, then go mod tidy should pull the version from my local repo instead of going to github at all.

If I don't commit my, then anyone who uses my go.mod afterwards will have to go to GitHub, which is correct! Now I can edit my local copy and test changes, but when I'm ready to push, I can tidy the correct version into the go.mod and push both the mymodule local dev repo and my current project. This makes sense!

Once I must make an edit to go.mod to include a local path string for any feature of the go mod command line to work, all the purpose of is lost on me. I should never have to taint go.mod with local paths, go mod tidy can find what commit I'm working with locally through and update it accordingly. It should be no different than if I pushed a commit to github and ran go mod tidy to pull the newer version into my go.mod.

In other words, if I add this line to go.mod:

replace => /path/to/mymodule/

Then go mod tidy works as expected. If I have use /path/to/mymodule/ in my, it should accomplish the same thing. The benefit being I don't have to taint go.mod with my local paths, as that is going to need to be committed to remote whereas isn't.

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opengs commented Jun 17, 2022

This is a very big issue for me in the case of creating Docker containers :( I cant use go mod tidy and copy the dependency graph to the Dockerfile. So every time I build a container I have to download downstream dependencies instead of doing go mod download.

Golang is considered the language for microservices and In the current state of the go work it's very hard to work with them in monorepo. Creating multiple-container environment is incredibly hard :(. Basically, every time I hit docker-build it has to download downstream dependencies. Currently, I have two ways to fix this:

  1. Push packages to the repo. But if I have ~30 microservices and most of them are 1 file program - it's a very poor experience.
  2. replace and require create too many relative dependencies and it's very hard to maintain.

I expect 4 things from the golang workspaces:

  1. go mod to know about other modules and don't try to download the local package from the internet. Maybe traverse up in the folder hierarchy and check if exists?
  2. you can create a clear dependency graph so it can be used for caching in Docker containers
  3. functions like go work tidy and go work download, because now I have to enter every package and type go mod commands. I just want to tidy and download everything from one place, and because we already have a path to the modules in file - it should be trivial.
  4. functionality to reduce the number of similar dependencies (download one specific version and force to use it in every module in workspace). This was done by for example turborepo, lerna, and other monorepo management tools.

So now, the only thing why I'm using go work is to have a better codding experience in VsCode. Most of the negative comments that I hear from colleagues about golang are about poor modules/workspaces management. I think, go work is a very important feature to have and it's a very important direction to go.

rustatian added a commit to khepin/roadrunner that referenced this issue Jul 15, 2022
Signed-off-by: Valery Piashchynski <>
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HeCorr commented Jul 25, 2022

I've faced this issue yesterday but my case is a bit different.. My replace statements are in the file, which seemed to solve go run errors, but when attempting go mod tidy on any of the modules, it is indeed ignored.

The solution is simply to move the replace statements to the go.mod files as explained by Gbps, but keeping track of what package uses what internal package is a bit of a hassle. Is this considered a bug also?

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bcmills commented Jul 25, 2022

go mod tidy is intended to update the module's self-contained dependencies. It doesn't use the workspace because in general one may work on multiple independently-maintained modules in the same workspace, and if you're preparing an upstream commit you definitely don't want that commit to rely on unpublished local modifications.

go work sync is intended to update the modules within a workspace to reflect the dependencies selected in that workspace. That is probably what you want if you are working on a set of modules that are all maintained as a single unit.

Folks who are commenting here (and please bear in mind!) — have you considered go work sync for your use-case? If so, what does go work sync do (or not do) that makes it unsuitable for your use-case?

@bcmills bcmills added the WaitingForInfo Issue is not actionable because of missing required information, which needs to be provided. label Jul 25, 2022
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@bcmills I'm not sure what the intended workflow is, but I think the feedback here is that the DX is really not intuitive.

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Folks who are commenting here (and please bear in mind!) — have you considered go work sync for your use-case? If so, what does go work sync do (or not do) that makes it unsuitable for your use-case?

I wish there were go work tidy or something similar that would do the same as go mod tidy for each module in the workspace. Or maybe go work sync could have a flag for that, or even do it by default. This way one could easily manage a single repository with many modules, keeping everything in sync and tidy :) without having to switch to every single module directory to keep it tidy.


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go work sync does not work for me in that scenario either unfortunately. I have a for a monorepo containing yet to be published packages (the domain also does not exist yet). e.g.:

use (

replace v0.0.0-00010101000000-000000000000 => ./foo

However that replace directive seems to be ignored by go work sync

$ go work sync
go: unrecognized import path "": https fetch: Get "https://not-yet-created/foo/foo?go-get=1": dial tcp: lookup on server misbehaving

@bcmills bcmills removed the WaitingForInfo Issue is not actionable because of missing required information, which needs to be provided. label Aug 25, 2022
@bcmills bcmills reopened this Aug 25, 2022
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The documentation for workspaces can be used instead of adding replace directives to work across multiple modules.

seems misleading here if not all of the go commands work with using the as an override for go.mod.

I fully understand and for the most part agree that go mod tidy may not be the solution for addressing tidy-operations in a go workspace tree; a go mod tidy may modify a go.sum with unpublished references that when synced to a remote/upstream may include references that cannot be reached.

This could be a case of cleaning up/amending the documentation with further clarifications on what use-cases exactly a go workspace can solve.


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Thought I found a workaround, but it's broken in its own unique ways see here

Turns out go mod tidy will happily skip attempting to download modules which don't look like URLs - which seemed to have some potential for creative misuse...

So you can use local module names like my-repo/my-module instead of just fine...

go mod tidy behaves itself and doesn't try to download remote versions of local workspace modules
go run / go build work properly
go work sync works properly...

until someone else wants to import those modules (or any modules in your monorepo which depend upon them)

Seems like all the building blocks are there to support what's discussed in this issue, but there's logic in various tooling which prevents it. (eg. if go get didn't care if your internal module names matched how they're presented to the world via the file it would be fine.)

Perhaps worth considering either:

  1. Change the default behaviour - potentially incurring the wraith of people who have monorepo's in which the contained modules depend on different versions of their own internal modules (is that a thing?)
  2. Allow overriding the default behaviour from so that the go.mod files remain intact and behave as expected

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spekary commented Nov 19, 2022

@bcmills go work sync only works if you actually have a file. Otherwise it errors.

I have a scripted install process that involves calling go mod tidy followed by a number of go install calls, all part of a continuous integration process.

I was using to be able to test the code in a working branch. However, go mod tidy attempts to grab the code from a release on a main branch. Normally, I want that, but when testing new code in a working branch, I don't.

Trying to use go work sync would mean I would have to change the install scripts to do a go work sync if a file was available, and go mod tidy if not. Not too difficult, but a pain.

However, running go work sync on a new install gives me errors like this:

require version "latest" invalid: must be of the form v1.2.3

So go work sync will not do what is expected, which is to get the latest versions of the packages referred to, except if there is a use directive, in which case it should just use whatever is pointed to. This means I am stuck. I can't call go mod tidy because it will error on a missing package since it will not use the file to find it and so produces an error. And I can't call go work sync because it will not load the latest packages when the go.mod file is asking for it, and so produces an error. Perhaps I am missing an argument that will enable updating of the go.mod file? go help work sync and go work help did not reveal anything helpful in this regard.

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betamos commented Feb 3, 2023

IIUC, go mod tidy downloads external modules declared in import statements and adds them to go.mod, but go work sync doesn't traverse source code? That's a fairly major tooling regression for workspace users. Are there other differences?

Independent of the original intent of go mod tidy and go work sync, it appears that the go toolchain disagrees with itself here. Either you are using workspaces or you're are not, or is there some inbetween state? When you type go mod tidy from muscle memory -- I'd assume the intent is "clean up in project the way it's organized" rather than "disregard my project structure and clean up as a standalone module".

As for motivation, many people strongly prefer monorepos for the overwhelming benefits they provide compared to the inconveniences and pitfalls of tightly coupled multi-repo projects. I'm sure Googlers can relate to this :) That said, I can't seem to find a definitive answer on whether monorepos is a first-class use case, and I've read the official docs, tutorials and design doc.


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BorzdeG commented Apr 24, 2023

@bcmills here is an example:

If we execute go mod tidy in the backend directory, we will get an error importing the library that is in public-api/go and connected via

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wangmir commented May 4, 2023

@bcmills Maybe the difficulty to resolve this is related to the nature of go.mod, and things.

How about just add link to the from go.mod to override the's use or replace directives first before handling go.mod.

So, we can ensure that, in case of we cannot find from the link (relative path maybe), then just follow the version and URL, but when we have, then we can follow the path of

Actually, I'm not sure what is the purpose go workspace except seeing monorepo golang code at the same vscode workspace when this cannot be supported.

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BorzdeG commented May 4, 2023

Maybe add an go work tidy command similar to go mod tidy , but understanding

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wangmir commented May 4, 2023

@BorzdeG I think go work tidy is also not a complete solution because in that case, the module should be tightly coupled with If we can just point out from go.mod, the go module can be still managed independently, but just reference the to get proper library only.

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wangmir commented May 24, 2023

@bcmills Hi, are there any discussion channels for this issue?

brianbraunstein pushed a commit to brianbraunstein/configo that referenced this issue May 29, 2023
go workspaces appear to be fundamentally broken, see
golang/go#50750 for details. This changes the configo
repo to be a single module at the root of the repo instead of a workspace
containing multiple modules.
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