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NOTE: This repository has not been maintained in over a year.

Development has continued in the official Apache Thrift repositories, with significant fixes in thrift-0.9.1 and even more changes in thrift-0.9.2.

I'm leaving the remainder of this README in place for personal record-keeping in case I get a chance to come back to thrift4go.

The contents of this repository were originally incorporated into Apache Thrift as of version 0.7 or commit revision 1072478.* However, unfortunately upstream development ceased and necessitated continued development here; thusly, these files have been rebased against Thrift revision 1362341 at

This project will continued to be maintained for any further developments for Thrift for Go as needed (e.g., Go Version 1 compatibility).

Add this Git repository to your Thrift checkout. It will overwrite a few files to add options for Go.

Currently generates code for the following protocols:

  1. Binary Protocol (with test cases)
  2. Fast Binary Protocol (with test cases)
  3. Standard Thrift JSON Protocol (with test cases)
  4. A (custom) simple JSON Protocol (with test cases)
  5. Services (compiles and runs against Java, assumed to work elsewhere)

Tested on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and Linux ca. 2010 derivatives.

Manual installation

Install build-essential, maven, libtool and autoconf. For a debian (derived) linux distribution run: sudo apt-get install build-essential maven libtool autoconf

Get the master branch for thrift4go:

git clone

Get the thrift-0.9.0.tar.gz and extract it:

wget -c

tar xzvf thrift-0.9.0.tar.gz

Set environment variables (used by the script) and execute the merge script:

export THRIFT=$(pwd)/thrift-0.9.0

export THRIFT4GO=$(pwd)/thrift4go

bash ./thrift4go/scripts/ -b

Configure and make thrift:

cd thrift-0.9.0

./configure --with-go


The compiler is located at thrift-0.9.0/compiler/cpp/thrift. Install the Go library.

ln -s $(pwd)/lib/go/src/thrift $GOPATH/src/thrift

go install thrift

Tutorial files

A tutorial has been created in the thrift4go/tutorial/go/src directory.

To use this tutorial, run the following: thrift -r --gen go <thrift_src_dir>/tutorial/tutorial.thrift Build the files in the gen-go directory using go install as appropriate. Build the files in the <thrift_src_dir>/tutorial/go directory with go install as appropriate. Run the server from <thrift_src_dir>/tutorial/go/TutorialServerClient and run the client from either <thrift_src_dir>/tutorial/go/TutorialServerClient or gen-go/tutorial/Calculator/Calculator-remote.

Make sure you specify the same protocol for both the server and client.

Basic Walkthrough

thrift --gen go <thrift_src_dir>/test/ThriftTest.thrift

This will create gen-go/thrift/test/*.go and associated files/directories.

  • gen-go/thrift/test/ThriftTest.go shows a service and client base implementation with the associated interfaces and the ability to send/receive or serialize/deserialize as necessary.

  • ThriftTestClient is a client library designed to access the ThriftTest service. No changes would need to be made here.

  • A ThriftTest/ThriftTest-remote.go and associated Makefile is also made available so you can access a remote service implementing the ThriftTest interface and see how the client side works under the covers. The command-line arguments use the custom JSON parser, so you can just pass in JSON strings as arguments when you need to populate a struct, which I find better than any other alternative.

  • ThriftTestProcessor implements the server side and you would want to implement the server handlers using NewThriftTestProcessor().

  • You just pass in your handler that implements the IThriftTest interface and make sure you import the appropriate package. Package directories/names are shown in the relevant Makefile.

  • One unique thing about Go is that to have a publicly available function/variable, the first letter has to be capitalized, so all exportable functions/variables have the first letter capitalized, but since the Thrift files normally don't, they assume any serialization uses the capitalization found in the Thrift interface definition file itself.

Patching into Mainline Thrift

This package is targeted to Thrift stable, which at the time of writing this, is 0.8.0. Please give the script a run for more information. It will perform the grungework of merging a local checkout of Thrift stable and thrift4go.

Also, GOROOT must be set to the directory that contains the go binary when configuring thrift.

Areas for Future Assistance

  • Providing qualification tests that automatically build against Thrift stable as well as HEAD.

  • Improving idiomaticness of generated Thrift.

  • Generating Go interface code that would comply with gofmt tool.

Continuous Integration

Build Status

[*] - See


Apache Thrift for the Go Language



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