User guide

If you're having issues with gopls, please see the troubleshooting guide.

This document focuses on VSCode, as at the time of writing, VSCode is the most popular Go editor. However, most of the features described here work in any editor. The settings should be easy to translate to those of another editor's LSP client. The differences will be in the place where you define the settings and the syntax with which you declare them.


The following is the list of editors with known integrations. If you use gopls with an editor that is not on this list, please let us know by filing an issue or modifying this documentation.


For the most part, you should not need to install or update gopls. Your editor should handle that step for you.

If you do want to get the latest stable version of gopls, change to any directory that is both outside of your GOPATH and outside of a module (a temp directory is fine), and run

go get

Do not use the -u flag, as it will update your dependencies to incompatible versions.

To get a specific version of gopls (for example, to test a prerelease version), run:

go get

Where vX.Y.Z is the desired version.

If you see this error:

$ go get
go: cannot use path@version syntax in GOPATH mode

then run

GO111MODULE=on go get

Unstable versions

go get doesn't honor the replace directive in the go.mod of gopls when you are outside of the gopls module, so a simple go get with @master could fail. To actually update your gopls to the latest unstable version, use:

go get

In general, you should use @latest instead, to prevent frequent breakages.

Supported Go versions

gopls follows the Go Release Policy, meaning that it officially supports the last 2 major Go releases. We run CI to verify that the gopls tests pass for the last 4 major Go releases, but do not prioritize issues only affecting legacy Go release (3 or 4 releases ago).


Environment variables

These are often inherited from the editor that launches gopls, and sometimes the editor has a way to add or replace values before launching. For example, VSCode allows you to configure go.toolsEnvVars.

Configuring your environment correctly is important, as gopls relies on the go command.

Command line flags

See the command line page for more information about the flags you might specify. All editors support some way of adding flags to gopls, for the most part you should not need to do this unless you have very unusual requirements or are trying to troubleshoot gopls behavior.

Editor settings

For the most part these will be settings that control how the editor interacts with or uses the results of gopls, not modifications to gopls itself. This means they are not standardized across editors, and you will have to look at the specific instructions for your editor integration to change them.

The set of workspace folders

This is one of the most important pieces of configuration. It is the set of folders that gopls considers to be “roots” that it should consider files to be a part of.

If you are using modules there should be one of these per go.mod that you are working on. If you do not open the right folders, very little will work. This is the most common misconfiguration of gopls that we see.

Global configuration

There should be a way of declaring global settings for gopls inside the editor. The settings block will be called "gopls" and contains a collection of controls for gopls that the editor is not expected to understand or control.

In VSCode, this would be a section in your settings file that might look like this:

  "gopls": {
    "usePlaceholders": true,
    "completeUnimported": true

See Settings for more information about the available configurations.

Workspace folder configuration

This contains exactly the same set of values that are in the global configuration, but it is fetched for every workspace folder separately. The editor can choose to respond with different values per-folder.

Special Features

Symbol Queries

Gopls supports some extended syntax for workspace/symbol requests, when using the fuzzy symbol matcher (the default). Inspired by the popular fuzzy matcher FZF, the following special characters are supported within symbol queries:

^^printfexact prefix
$printf$exact suffix

Working on the Go source distribution

If you are working on the Go project itself, your go command will have to correspond to the version of the source you are working on. That is, if you have downloaded the code to $HOME/go, your go command should be the $HOME/go/bin/go executable that you built with make.bash or equivalent.

You can achieve this by adding the right version of go to your PATH (export PATH=$HOME/go/bin:$PATH on Unix systems) or by configuring your editor. In VS Code, you can use the go.alternateTools setting to point to the correct version of go:


    "go.alternateTools": {
        "go": "$HOME/bin/go"

Command line support

Much of the functionality of gopls is available through a command line interface.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is that we do not want users to rely on separate command line tools when they wish to do some task outside of an editor. The second is that the CLI assists in debugging. It is easier to reproduce behavior via single command.

It is not a goal of gopls to be a high performance command line tool. Its command line is intended for single file/package user interaction speeds, not bulk processing.

For more information, see the gopls command line page.