nathany edited this page Dec 11, 2014 · 3 revisions
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A common use case is to create a reusable library and an application that consumes it, and host both on Github. We will illustrate this with a trivial application called "uselessd" that consumes a likewise trivial library called "useless".

Code Layout

The app and both libraries live on Github, each in its own repository. $GOPATH is the root of the project - each of your Github repos will be checked out several folders below $GOPATH.

Your code layout would look like this:


Each folder under src/ is the root of a separate git checkout.


Your $GOPATH variable will point to the root of your Go workspace, as described in How to Write Go Code.

Note for Eclipse Users

Both Go and Eclipse use the term "workspace", but they use it to mean something different. What Go calls a "workspace" is what Eclipse calls a "project". Whenever this document uses either term, it refers to a Go workspace.

Setup the Workspace

Let's assume we are starting from scratch. Initialize the two new repositories on Github, using the "Initialize this repository with a README" option so your repos can be cloned immediately. Then setup the project like this:

cd ~/workspace # Standard location for Eclipse workspace
mkdir mygo # Create your Go workspace
export GOPATH=~/workspace/mygo # GOPATH = Go workspace
mkdir -p src/
cd src/
git clone
git clone


Conventionally, the name of the repository is the same as the name of the package it contains. Our useless repo contains useless.go which defines package useless:

package useless

func Foobar() string {
    return "Foobar!"


An application - Go code that will be compiled into an executable command - always defines package main with a main() function.

So uselessd.go looks like this:

package main

import (


func main() {
    http.Handle("/useless", websocket.Handler(func(ws *websocket.Conn) {
    http.ListenAndServe(":3000", nil)


Your project will probably depend on some existing packages. The application above depends upon You can install all dependencies by running "go get -v ./..." from the root of your workspace. The "go get" command is similar to "go install" in that it will attempt to build and install all packages in the workspace (technically, all packages matched by "./..."), except that it will also examine their dependencies and download (and install) any that are missing first.

See the output of "go help packages" for a full explanation of the "..." syntax.

All dependencies will be installed alongside your code under "$GOPATH/src". All Github reposities checked out by "go get" will be use the read-only https:// repository by default. To push changes back to github from one of these repositories, change the "origin/master" ref in .git/config to match the SSH repository from Github.


During development you can build the useless library by itself with the command "go build ...useless". You could also give the full path to the package name, "go build".

To compile uselessd.go and its dependencies into an executable, use the command "go build ...uselessd".

Example Code

FWIW all the repo addresses on this page are real, and the uselessd application should compile if you follow the directions above.