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Heroku Buildpack for Go

Heroku Buildpack for Go

This is the official Heroku buildpack for Go.

Getting Started

Follow the guide at https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/getting-started-with-go

There's also a hello world sample app at https://github.com/heroku/go-getting-started


$ ls -A1

$ heroku create
Creating polar-waters-4785...

$ git push heroku master
-----> Go app detected
-----> Installing go1.8... done
-----> Running: go install -tags heroku ./...
-----> Discovering process types
       Procfile declares types -> web

-----> Compressing... done, 1.6MB
-----> Launching... done, v4
       https://polar-waters-4785.herokuapp.com/ deployed to Heroku

This buildpack will detect your repository as Go if you are using either:

This buildpack adds a heroku build constraint, to enable heroku-specific code. See the App Engine build constraints article for more.

govendor specifics

The vendor.json spec that govendor follows for its metadata file allows for arbitrary, tool specific fields. This buildpack uses this feature to track build specific bits. These bits are encoded in the following top level json keys:

  • rootPath (String): the root package name of the packages you are pushing to Heroku. You can find this locally with go list -e .. There is no default for this and it must be specified. Recent versions of govendor automatically fill in this field for you. You can re-run govendor init after upgrading to have this field filled in automatically, or it will be filled the next time you use govendor to modify a dependency.

  • heroku.goVersion (String): the major version of go you would like Heroku to use when compiling your code: if not specified defaults to the most recent supported version of Go.

  • heroku.install (Array of Strings): a list of the packages you want to install. If not specified, this defaults to ["."]. Other common choices are: ["./cmd/..."] (all packages and sub packages in the cmd directory) and ["./..."] (all packages and sub packages of the current directory). The exact choice depends on the layout of your repository though. Please note that ./... includes any packages in your vendor directory.

  • heroku.additionalTools (Array of Strings): a list of additional tools that the buildpack is aware of that you want it to install. If the tool has multiple versions an optional @<version> suffix can be specified to select that specific version of the tool. Otherwise the buildpack's default version is chosen. Currently the only supported tool is github.com/mattes/migrate at v3.0.0 (also the default version).

Example with everything, for a project using go1.8, located at $GOPATH/src/github.com/heroku/go-getting-started and requiring a single package spec of ./... to install.

    "rootPath": "github.com/heroku/go-getting-started",
    "heroku": {
        "install" : [ "./..." ],
        "goVersion": "go1.8"

A tool like jq or a text editor can be used to inject these variables into vendor/vendor.json.

glide specifics

The glide.yaml and glide.lock files do not allow for arbitrary metadata, so the buildpack relies solely on the glide command and environment variables to control the build process.

The base package name is determined by running glide name.

The Go version used to compile code defaults to the latest released version of Go. This can be overridden by the $GOVERSION environment variable. Setting $GOVERSION to a major version will result in the buildpack using the latest released minor version in that series. Setting $GOVERSION to a specific minor Go version will pin Go to that version. Examples:

$ heroku config:set GOVERSION=go1.8   # Will use go1.8.X, Where X is that latest minor release in the 1.8 series
$ heroku config:set GOVERSION=go1.7.5 # Pins to go1.7.5

glide install will be run to ensure that all dependencies are properly installed. If you need the buildpack to skip the glide install you can set $GLIDE_SKIP_INSTALL to true. Example:

$ heroku config:set GLIDE_SKIP_INSTALL=true
$ git push heroku master

Installation defaults to .. This can be overridden by setting the $GO_INSTALL_PACKAGE_SPEC environment variable to the package spec you want the go tool chain to install. Example:

$ heroku config:set GO_INSTALL_PACKAGE_SPEC=./...
$ git push heroku master

Usage with other vendoring systems

If your vendor system of choice is not listed here, create vendor/vendor.json with the following contents, adjusted as needed for your project's root path.

    "comment": "For other heroku options see: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/go-dependencies-via-govendor#build-configuration",
    "rootPath": "github.com/yourOrg/yourRepo",
    "heroku": {
        "sync": false

Hacking on this Buildpack

To change this buildpack, fork it on GitHub & push changes to your fork. Ensure that tests have been added to the test/run script and any corresponding fixtures to test/fixtures/<fixture name>.


Requires docker.

$ make test

Using with cgo

The buildpack supports building with C dependencies via cgo. You can set config vars to specify CGO flags to specify paths for vendored dependencies. The literal text of ${build_dir} will be replaced with the directory the build is happening in. For example, if you added C headers to an includes/ directory, add the following config to your app: heroku config:set CGO_CFLAGS='-I${ build_dir}/includes'. Note the usage of '' to ensure they are not converted to local environment variables.

Using a development version of Go

The buildpack can install and use any specific commit of the Go compiler when the specified go version is devel-<short sha>. The version can be set either via the appropriate vendoring tools config file or via the $GOVERSION environment variable. The specific sha is downloaded from Github w/o git history. Builds may fail if GitHub is down, but the compiled go version is cached.

When this is used the buildpack also downloads and installs the buildpack's current default Go version for use in bootstrapping the compiler.

Build tests are NOT RUN. Go compilation failures will fail a build.

No official support is provided for unreleased versions of Go.

Passing a symbol (and optional string) to the linker

This buildpack supports the go linker's ability (-X symbol value) to set the value of a string at link time. This can be done by setting GO_LINKER_SYMBOL and GO_LINKER_VALUE in the application's config before pushing code. If GO_LINKER_SYMBOL is set, but GO_LINKER_VALUE isn't set then GO_LINKER_VALUE defaults to $SOURCE_VERSION.

This can be used to embed the commit sha, or other build specific data directly into the compiled executable.


This buildpack also supports the testpack API.


$ make publish # && follow the prompts

New Go version

  1. Edit files.json, and add an entry for the new version, including the SHA, which can be copied from golang.org.
  2. Update data.json, to update the VersionExpansion object.
  3. run ACCESS_KEY='THE KEY' SECRET_KEY='THE SECRET KEY' bin/sync-files.sh. This will download everything from the bucket, plus any missing files from their source locations, and verify their SHAS, then upload anything missing from the bucket back to the s3 bucket.
  4. Commit and push.