Mac OS X: Install Go Programming Language


ow do I install Go language on Apple Mac OS X? How to setup GO lanuage on Mac OS X? How do I install Go language version 1.2+ on OS X?


Go or golang, is a programming language initially developed at Google by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. Just like Linux kernel it has many contributors from the open source community. From the official project site:

Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. Go is distributed under a BSD-style license. It is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It’s a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.

Install Xcode and gcc

Fig.01: Installing Xcode on OS X


First, you need to use the gcc that comes with Xcode. See how to install and use Xcode on Apple Mac OS X for more information.

Installing Golang on Mac OS X

Google provides the package file for OS X. All you have to do is visit this page and grab the latest version. Once downloaded, open it, and follow the prompts to install the Go tools. The package installs the Go distribution to /usr/local/go directory:

Golang installing on OS X using wizard

Golang install # 2

Golang install # 3

Golang – enter admin password

Golang install # 5

Golang install Completed

Verify your installation

Open the Terminal and type the following commands:

$ ls -l /usr/local/go


Sample outputs:

total 120

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel  13577 Nov 29 03:13 AUTHORS

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel  19578 Nov 29 03:13 CONTRIBUTORS

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel   1479 Nov 29 03:13 LICENSE

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel   1303 Nov 29 03:13 PATENTS

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel   1112 Nov 29 03:13 README

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel      5 Nov 29 03:16 VERSION

drwxr-xr-x   2 root  wheel    272 Nov 29 03:13 api

drwxr-xr-x   2 root  wheel    170 Nov 29 03:15 bin

drwxr-xr-x   4 root  wheel    136 Nov 29 03:15 blog

drwxr-xr-x   8 root  wheel   1292 Nov 29 03:13 doc

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel   1150 Nov 29 03:13 favicon.ico

drwxr-xr-x   3 root  wheel    510 Nov 29 03:13 include

drwxr-xr-x   3 root  wheel    102 Nov 29 03:13 lib

drwxr-xr-x  22 root  wheel    816 Nov 29 03:16 misc

drwxr-xr-x   6 root  wheel    204 Nov 29 03:14 pkg

-rw-r–r–   1 root  wheel     26 Nov 29 03:13 robots.txt

drwxr-xr-x   7 root  wheel    782 Nov 29 03:13 src

drwxr-xr-x  16 root  wheel   6800 Nov 29 03:13 test

Type the following command to display Go environment information:

$ go env


Sample outputs:

GOARCH= amd64





GOHOSTOS= darwin

GOOS= darwin



GOROOT= /usr/local/go

GOTOOLDIR= /usr/local/go/pkg/tool/darwin_amd64

TERM= dumb

CC= gcc

GOGCCFLAGS= -g -O2 -fPIC -m64 -pthread -fno-common

CXX= g++


Writing your first Go program

Create a text file called hello.go using a text editor such as vi/vim:

$ vi hello.go


Append the following code:

/* hello.go – My first Golang program */

package main

import  fmt

func main() {

fmt.Printf( Hello, world\n )


Test and run hello.go, enter:

$ go run hello.go


Sample outputs:

Hello, world

To build an executable i.e. compile packages and dependencies into an executable file, enter:

$ go build hello.go


You will get an executable file called hello in the current directory:

$ ls -l hello

-rwxr-xr-x  1 vivek  wheel  2188368 Dec  2 16:07 hello

$ file hello

hello: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64

You can run hello program as follows:

$ ./hello

Getting help

The go command is a tool for managing Go source code. To see basic help, type:

$ go help


Sample outputs:

Go is a tool for managing Go source code.




go command [arguments]


The commands are:


build       compile packages and dependencies

clean       remove object files

env         print Go environment information

fix         run go tool fix on packages

fmt         run gofmt on package sources

get         download and install packages and dependencies

install     compile and install packages and dependencies

list        list packages

run         compile and run Go program

test        test packages

tool        run specified go tool

version     print Go version

vet         run go tool vet on packages


Use  go help [command]  for more information about a command.


Additional help topics:


c           calling between Go and C

gopath      GOPATH environment variable

importpath  import path syntax

packages    description of package lists

testflag    description of testing flags

testfunc    description of testing functions


Use  go help [topic]  for more information about that topic.

To get more information on specific topic, type:

go help topicHere

go help build

go help build | less


See the Golang home page and documenation for more information.



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