Managing Golang Workspace: My ZSH Configuration

One of the first thing beginners wonder in the Go userland is how to organize a project. Go expects to have a global workspace. A go workspace contains 3 directories: “src”, “pkg” and “bin”. The src directory contains the source codes for all your projects and their dependencies. When you try to import a package, go compiler will try to locate it under this “src” directory. The “pkg” directory is used to build cross OS packages out of your source code. Yes, you can build single compiled binaries for other platforms directly from your current OS. That is one of the awesome features of Golang. Finally, the “bin” directory holds all the executable binaries. When you’re building a command line app or trying to install one from 3rd parties using the “go install” command, the binary is placed in here. I have the central Go Workspace in ~/Projects/golang.

Go expects the path of the go workspace as the $GOPATH environment variable. So I added this to my ZSH profile:

My $GOPATH is set to ~/Projects/golang:

Now that we have a workspace, how do we lay out individual projects? We can choose any structure we like. As long as Go can find required packages in the workspace’s src directory tree, it will be okay. However, since we all love to push our codes to some code hosting service, we will try to match our project structure with our VCS url structure. How? Well, first, we know that Go has a fantastic tool – “go get” – it can download source codes from an array of VCS and install them for us. How does it work? When I type: “go get”, it understands that it’s a git project. It would create the reflecting directory structure inside the “src” directory of the workspace so that we can import the project as “import” in our local projects. So it’s better if we keep our own projects in a similar pattern whether we publish them or not in the future.

I created a directory named “” under “src” and then created “masnun” under that. Now my projects would reside in: ~/Projects/golang/src/ directory. My newly created project path would be something like: ~/Projects/golang/src/ I can now treat ~/Projects/golang/src/ directory as my personal workspace. So, I added these to my .zshrc for convenience:

After I have this mirrored up, I can actually do:

Then I added a handy alias to emulate Python’s virtualenvwrapper’s “workon” command:

So I can now just do:

I also added the ~/Projects/golang/bin (aka $GOPATH/bin) to my system path so that I can use the commands installed from “go install” or “go get”.

How do you organize your Go projects? What tools/techniques do you use in day to day Golang hacking?

2 Comments Managing Golang Workspace: My ZSH Configuration

  1. Matt D

    Thanks for this post, it was helpful. I ended up just doing

    with zsh because it was easier to get going, but your tips are definitely valuable.

    1. Matt D

      Also, this line works well for setting up all the directories you need for a Go project:



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