a Go wrapper for SysV Message Queues
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README.md Update README Feb 26, 2014
dev.yml Test against Go 1.11 Sep 17, 2018
wrapper.go Fix compilation on Go 1.5 Oct 27, 2015
wrapper_darwin.go Wrap struct msgid_ds as a Go struct and add Stat() call Nov 5, 2013
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wrapper_test.go Handle and test empty message case Feb 24, 2014


Go wrapper for SysV Message Queues

Build Status

sysv_mq is a Go wrapper for SysV Message Queues. It's important you read the manual for SysV Message Queues, msgrcv(2) and msgsnd(2) before using this library. sysv_mq is a very light wrapper, and will not hide any errors from you.

Documentation for the public API can be viewed at Godoc.

sysv_mq is tested on Linux and OS X. To run the tests run make test. This makes sure that any messages queues currently on your system are deleted before running the tests.


Example which sends a message to the queue with key: 0xDEADBEEF (or creates it if it doesn't exist).

package main

import (

func main() {
	mq, err := sysv_mq.NewMessageQueue(&sysv_mq.QueueConfig{
		Key:     0xDEADBEEF,               // SysV IPC key
		MaxSize: 1024,                     // Max size of a message
		Mode:    sysv_mq.IPC_CREAT | 0600, // Creates if it doesn't exist, 0600 permissions
	if err != nil {

	// Send a message to the queue, with message type 1, without flags.
	err = mq.SendString("Hello World", 1, 0)
	if err != nil {

	// Receive a message from the queue, 0 gives you the top message regardless of
	// message type passed to send().
	response, mtype, err := mq.ReceiveString(0)
	if err != nil {
	fmt.Printf("[%d] %s", mtype, response)
	// Output:
	// [1] Hello World


  • The underlying SysV API works with binary data. You can send any kind of byte slice using SendBytes() and ReceiveBytes(). SendString() and ReceiveString() are a simple wrapper around the byteslice functions for convenience, and will use UTF-8 encoding.
  • The send and receive methods are blocking by default. You can pass the sysv_mq.IPC_NOWAIT flag to make them return immediately.
  • SendBytes(), ReceiveBytes() and NewMessageQueue() all do syscalls, and these could be interrupted by a signal (very common if you do a blocking ReceiveBytes()). The error will be EAGAIN in that case. It's not wrapped here, because EAGAIN is also the error if the call would block or the queue is full. Consult the manual for more information.