Build

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Building static binaries is one of the best features of Go which enables us to ship our code efficiently

We can do this very easily using the go build command

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
	fmt.Println("I am a binary!")
}
$ go build

This should produce a binary with the name of our module. For example, here we have example

We can also specify the output

$ go build -o app

Now to run this, we simply need to execute it

$ ./app
I am a binary!

Yes, it's as simple as that!

Now, let's talk about some important build time variables, starting with

  • GOOS and GOARCH

these environment variables help use build go programs for different operating systems and underlying processor architectures

We can list all the supported architecture using go tool command

$ go tool dist list
android/amd64
ios/amd64
js/wasm
linux/amd64
windows/arm64
.
.
.

Here's an example for building a window's executable from macOS!

$ GOOS=windows GOARCH=amd64 go build -o app.exe
  • CGO_ENABLED

This variable allows us to configure CGO, which is a way in Go to call C code.

This helps us to produce a statically linked binary that works without any external dependencies.

This is quite helpful for, let's say when we want to run our go binaries in a docker container with minimum external dependencies.

Here's an example of how to use it

$ CGO_ENABLED=0 go build -o app
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