Dlv DAP - Delve's native DAP implementation

Delve's native DAP implementation is now available to be used to debug Go programs.

🔥 This new adapter is still in active development, so to take advantage of the most recent features and bug fixes, you need to use Delve built from the dev branch. When the extension asks to install/update dlv-dap, please follow the instruction and rebuild the tool.

The Go extension currently maintains this development version of Delve separately from the stable version of dlv. This version is installed with the name dlv-dap. Please follow the instruction in Getting Started to configure the extension and install dlv-dap.

This new debug adapter runs in a separate go process, which is spawned by VS Code when you debug Go code. Please see the Debug Adapter Protocol (DAP) to learn about how the Debug Adapter acts as an intermediary between VS Code and the debugger (Delve).

Getting Started

You can select the default debug adapter to use in all launch configurations and codelenses through the "debugAdapter" field in the "go.delveConfig" setting. You can choose which debug adapter to use for individual launch configurations with the "debugAdapter" field in your launch.json configuration. Most settings will continue to work with in this new "dlv-dap" mode except a few caveats. If you do not already have a launch.json, select create a launch.json file from the debug pane and choose an initial Go debug configuration.

In your launch configuration, set the "debugAdapter" field to be "dlv-dap". For example, a launch configuration for a file would look like:

    "name": "Launch file",
    "type": "go",
    "request": "launch",
    "mode": "auto",
    "program": "${fileDirname}",
    "debugAdapter": "dlv-dap"

To switch back to the legacy adapter, set "debugAdapter" to "legacy".

When you start debugging using the configuration for the first time, the extension will ask you to install dlv-dap.

Once dlv-dap is installed, the extension will prompt you for update whenever installing a newer version is necessary (usually after the Go extension update).

Updating dlv dap

The easiest way is to use the "Go: Install/Update Tools" command from the command palette (⇧+⌘+P or Ctrl+Shift+P). The command will show dlv-dap in the tool list. Select it, and the extension will build the tool at master.

If you want to install it manually, go get with the following command and rename it to dlv-dap.

$ GO111MODULE=on GOBIN=/tmp/ go get github.com/go-delve/delve/cmd/dlv@master
$ mv /tmp/dlv $GOPATH/bin/dlv-dap

Features and Caveats

🎉 The new debug adapter offers many improvements and fixes bugs that existed in the old adapter. Here is a partial list of enhancement/fixes available only in the new adapter.

  • User-friendly inlined presentation of variables of all complex types (map, struct, pointer, array, slice, ...)
  • Auto-loading of nested variables without extra configuration. (See delve PR/2455)
  • Fixed handling of maps with compound keys
  • Improved CALL STACK presentation
  • Fixed automated “Add to Watch” / “Copy as Expression” expressions.
  • Support to switch goroutines while stepping.
  • Robust call evaluation.
  • Good test coverage.

Most of all, the new adapter is written in Go and integrated in dlv. That will make it easier for the Go community to contribute. Because it is native, we hope for improvement in speed and reliability.

⚒️ The following features are still under development.

  • Pause/restart while the debugged program is running does not work yet.
  • Setting breakpoints while the debugged program is running does not work yet.
  • SetVariable does not work yet.
  • dlvLoadConfig to configure max string/bytes length in "go.delveConfig" does not work.
  • Traditional remote debugging is not supported.

Follow along with golang/vscode-go#23 and the project dashboard for updates on the implementation.

Reporting issues

The VS Code Go maintainers are reachable via the issue tracker and the #vscode-dev channel in the Gophers Slack. Please reach out on Slack with questions, suggestions, or ideas. If you have trouble getting started on an issue, we'd be happy to give pointers and advice.

When you are having issues in dlv-dap mode, first check if the problems are reproducible after updating dlv-dap. It's possible that the issues are already fixed. Follow the instruction for updating dlv-dap) and updating extension.

Please report issues in our issue tracker with the following information.

  • go version
  • go version -m <path/to/dlv-dap>
  • VS Code and VS Code Go version.
  • Instruction to reproduce the issue (code snippets, your launch.json, screenshot)


Code location

The core part of Delve DAP implementation is in the service/dap package. Follow Delve project‘s contribution guideline to send PRs. Code for integration with the Go extension is mostly in src/goDebugFactory.ts and tests are in test/integration/goDebug.test.ts. Please take a look at VS Code Go project’s contribution guideline to learn about how to prepare a change and send it for review.


For simple launch cases, build the delve binary, and configure "go.alternateTools" setting.

"go.alternateTools": {
    "dlv-dap": <path_to_your_delve>

Set logOutput and showLog attributes in launch.json to enable `dlv'-side logging and DAP message tracing.

    "name": "Launch file",
    "type": "go",
    "debugAdapter": "dlv-dap",
    "showLog": true,
    "logOutput": "dap",

Set trace attribute to control the verbosity of debug extension's logging. The logging will appear in the Go Debug output channel (Command Palette -> “View: Toggle Output” -> Select “Go Debug” from the dropdown menu).

    "name": "Launch file",
    "type": "go",
    "debugAdapter": "dlv-dap",
    "trace": "verbose",

If you are having issues with seeing logs and or suspect problems in extension's integration, you can start Delve DAP server from a separate terminal and configure the extension to directly connect to it.

$ dlv-dap dap --listen=:12345 --log --log-output=dap
    "name": "Launch file",
    "type": "go",
    "request": "launch",
    "debugAdapter": "dlv-dap",
    "port": 12345