gopls, the Go language server

gopls is the official Go language server developed by the Go team. It was developed in response to the release of Go modules, and it is the recommended approach when working with Go modules in VS Code. gopls is not enabled by default yet and users have to opt in by changing from their settings. We plan to switch the default and enable it by default early 2021.

gopls has its own documentation pages, and they should be treated as the source of truth for how to use gopls in VS Code.



This extension functions by shelling out to a number of command-line tools. This introduces complexity, as each feature is provided by a different tool. Language servers enable all editors to support all programming languages without these individualized tools. They also provide speed improvements, as they can cache and reuse results.

gopls is the official Go language server. Using gopls will enable the VS Code Go extension to provide high-quality Go support as the language evolves.

To learn more about the context behind gopls, you can watch the Go pls, stop breaking my editor talk at GopherCon 2019.

Enable the language server

To start using the language server, set "go.useLanguageServer": true in your VS Code Go settings.

You should see a prompt to install gopls. If you do not see a prompt, please run the Go: Install/Update Tools command and select gopls.

Automatic updates

The gopls team releases new versions of gopls approximately once a month (release notes). The Go extension will automatically detect that a new version has been released, and a pop-up will appear prompting you to update.

If you would like to opt-out of these updates, set "go.useGoProxyToCheckForToolUpdates" to false.


There are a number of VS Code Go settings for controlling the language server.

  • "go.toolsEnvVars" is used when launching gopls for the workspace.
  • "go.buildFlags" and "go.buildTags" are propagated to gopls.
  • "go.languageServerExperimentalFeatures" allows you to disable certain features.
    • "diagnostics": false disables diagnostic warnings from gopls. You might want to disable these if you don't like the diagnostics changing as you type.
    • "documentLink": false is deprecated by "gopls": { "importShortcut": false } setting. It was originally meant to disable document links. The reason to disable these is explained in golang/go#39065: the Ctrl+Click shortcut for clicking on a link collides with the Ctrl+Click shortcut for go-to-definition.
  • "go.languageServerFlags" allows you to pass flags to the gopls process.
    • The -rpc.trace flag enables verbose debug logging.
  • "gopls" allows to fine-tune gopls behavior or override the settings propagated from the extension settings (e.g. "go.buildFlags", "go.toolsEnvVars") as shown in the gopls VS Code user guide. The sets of settings recognized by the extension and the gopls may differ if you use an old version or a pre-release version of gopls. In that case, the source of truth is in the documentation in the gopls project.

Ignored settings

Some of the extension‘s settings are irrelevant when gopls is enabled. For example, the extension no longer uses gocode or guru, so the corresponding settings are no longer applicable. We are trying to document that in the settings’ description and the settings documentation. When you find incompelete documentation, please file an issue or send a PR!

Additional resources

If you encounter an issue while using gopls, take a look at these resources:

If you are unable to resolve your issue, please ask for help. Make sure to mention that you are using gopls. Here's how to ask for guidance: