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C to Go translator

GitHub license Gitter GoDoc

CxGo is a tool for translating C source code to Go (aka transpiler, source-to-source compiler).

It uses cc for preprocessing and parsing C (no clang/gcc dependencies!) and a custom type-checker and AST translation layer to make the best output possible.

The only requirement is: C code must compile with cxgo, including headers.

Having said that, cxgo uses a few tricks to make this process easier.

TL;DR for the project goals:

  1. Implement a practical C to Go translator (no C++ for now).
  2. Keep the output program code correct.
  3. Make the generated code human-readable and as idiomatic as possible.
  4. Make it easy to use and customize.

Check the FAQ for more common question about the project.


The project is experimental! Do not rely on it in production and other sensitive environments!

Although it was successfully tested on multiple projects, it might change the behavior of the code due to yet unknown bugs.

Compiler test results:

  • TCC: 62/89 (70%)
  • GCC: 783/1236 (63%)

Transpiled projects:


go get -u

or download the latest release from Github.

How to use

The fastest way to try it is:

cxgo file main.c

For more details, check our examples section.

It will guide you through basic usage patterns as well as a more advanced ones (on real-world projects).

You may also check FAQ if you have any issues.


The following C features are currently accepted by cxgo, but may be implemented partially or not implemented at all:

  • preserving comments from C code (#2)
  • static (#4)
  • auto (#5)
  • bitfields (#6)
  • union with C-identical data layout (#7)
  • packed structs (#8)
  • asm
  • case in weird places (#9)
  • goto forbidden by Go (there is a workaround, though, see #10)
  • label variables (#11)
  • thread local storage (#12)
  • setjmp (will compile, but panics at runtime)
  • some stdlib functions and types are missing (good first issue!)
  • deep type inference (when converting to Go string/slices)
  • considering multiple #ifdef paths for different OS/envs


Join our community! We'd like to hear back from you!