cmd/go/internal/vgo: change get -u to avoid downgrades, prereleases

Module requirements should typically be stated in terms of tagged
versions, like v1.2.3. But for both bootstrapping and debugging, it is
also possible to refer to specific commits using pseudoversions of the
form v0.0.0-yyyymmddhhmmss-abcdefabcdef, where abcdefabcdef is a
revision identifier (a commit hash for git repos).

These pseudoversions are valid semantic versions but chosen so that
they sort below any tagged version: if one part of a build wants a
tagged version and another part wants a pseudoversion, we explicitly
want the tagged version to take priority, so that a dependency deep in
your build cannot force it into compiling against a random commit
instead of a released (tagged) commit.

But this same fact, that pseudoversions sort before tagged versions,
confuses "vgo get -u". If the build is using a pseudoversion of a
commit from earlier today, it makes no sense for "vgo get -u" to
"update" to a latest tagged version that happens to be from last week.
This CL changes "vgo get -u" to avoid this kind of accidental downgrade.
But if the latest tagged version was committed after the current
pseudoversion, then it's OK to upgrade to that tagged version.

Now that we can make the effect of "vgo get -u" context-dependent,
treat prereleases similarly: never choose to upgrade to a prerelease,
but if we're using a prerelease newer than the latest tagged
non-prerelease, stay there instead of downgrading.

This fixes "vgo get -u" for many real repos, especially ones that
must use pseudoversions to get at, say, non-module v17.0.0
of a dependency. Without this logic, "vgo get -u" would rewind
to the latest v1, which might be much older.

Change-Id: Ie9656b78dc6cc326048921898288dcf588441bf5
Reviewed-by: Bryan C. Mills <>
9 files changed
tree: 93f6960a8d4749c85b2e056c27c8fdbbe6c798e8
  1. vendor/
  3. codereview.cfg
  7. main.go

Versioned Go Prototype (vgo)

This repository holds a prototype of what the go command might look like with integrated support for package versioning.

See for documents about the design.


Use go get -u

You can also manually git clone the repository to $GOPATH/src/

Report Issues / Send Patches


This is still a very early prototype. You are likely to run into bugs. Please file bugs in the main Go issue tracker,, and put the prefix x/vgo: in the issue title.

Thank you.