Go for Visual Studio Code


The VS Code Go extension provides rich language support for the Go programming language.

📣 Gopls, the official Go language server, is now enabled in VS Code by default. Gopls replaces several legacy tools to provide IDE features while editing Go code. See issue 1037 for more information.

Quick Start

Welcome! 👋🏻
Whether you are new to Go or an experienced Go developer, we hope this extension fits your needs and enhances your development experience.

  • Step 1. If you haven't done so already, install Go and the VS Code Go extension.
  • Step 2. To activate the extension, open any directory or workspace containing Go code. Once activated, the Go status bar will appear in the bottom left corner of the window and show the recognized Go version.
  • Step 3. The extension depends on a set of extra command-line tools. If they are missing, the extension will show the “⚠️ Analysis Tools Missing” warning. Click the notification to complete the installation.

You are ready to Go :-)    🎉🎉🎉

Please be sure to learn more about many features of this extension as well as how to customize them. Take a look at Troubleshooting and Help for further guidance.

If you are new to Go, this article provides the overview on go code organization and basic go commands. The recent Go open source live video featured VS Code Go and demonstrated how other Gophers use the features to enhance their Go development workflow.


This extension provides many features, including IntelliSense, code navigation, and code editing support. It also shows diagnostics as you work and provides enhanced support for testing and debugging your programs. See the full feature breakdown for more details and to learn how to tune the behavior.

In addition to integrated editing features, the extension provides several commands for working with Go files. You can access any of these by opening the Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P on Linux/Windows and Cmd+Shift+P on Mac), and then typing in the command name. See the full list of commands provided by the extension.

⚠️ Note: the default syntax highlighting for Go files is provided by the TextMate rule embedded in VS Code, not by this extension.


The extension uses a few command-line tools developed by the Go community. In particular, go, gopls, and dlv are the main tools that implement build/test, language features, and debugging functionalities of this extension. See Tools for the full list of tools the extension depends on.

In order to locate the command-line tools, the extension searches $GOPATH/bin and directories specified in the PATH environment variable (or Path in Windows) with which the VS Code process has started. If the tools are not found, the extension will prompt you to install the missing tools and show the “⚠️ Analysis Tools Missing” warning in the bottom right corner. Please install them by responding to the warning notification, or by manually running the Go: Install/Update Go Tools command. The extension will run the go get command to install them.

Setting up your workspace

Modules are how Go manages the versions and dependencies in the recent versions of Go. Modules replace the old GOPATH-based approach to specifying which source files are used in a given build, and they are the default build mode after go1.16. While this extension continues to support both Go modules and GOPATH-mode, we highly recommend Go development in module mode. If you are working on existing projects, please consider migrating to modules.

Unlike the traditional GOPATH-mode, module mode does not require the workspace to be under GOPATH nor to use a specific structure. A module is defined by a tree of Go source files with a go.mod file in the tree's root directory. Your project may involve one or more modules. If you are working with multiple modules or uncommon project layouts, you will need to specifically configure your workspace, so features like references can work across modules. Please see the Workspace document for information on supported workspace layouts.


The extension needs no configuration and should work out of the box. However, you may wish to modify settings to meet your needs. Please see the Settings documentation for the comprehensive list of extension configuration options.

Choosing a different version of Go

The extension chooses the go command from the $PATH (or $Path) environment variable by default. You can configure this extension to choose a different version of Go with one of the following options.

  • (Preferred) Adjust your $PATH or $Path environment variable, and open VS Code with the adjusted environment variable, or
  • Use the Go extension's "Go: Choose Go Environment" command that opens a menu to change the go version, or
  • Use the "go.alternateTools" settings and specify the absolute path to the go command.
   "go.alternateTools": { "go": "/path/to/go/command" }

note: For historical reasons, some users use the "go.goroot" settings or the GOROOT environment variable to select the Go SDK location. With the recent versions of Go, that's unnecessary in most cases.

Configuring the installation of command-line tools

Go: Install/Update Tools command uses the go get command to download and install requested tools. By default, go get will install the compiled tools in one of the following directories.

  • the directory the $GOBIN environment variable specifies, or
  • the bin directory under the first $GOPATH (or "go.gopath") directory, or
  • the $HOME/go/bin (or $USERPROFILE/go/bin) directory.

Some users prefer to choose a different installation location. In that case, use the "go.toolsGopath" setting.

The extension finds the required tools by their names (go, gopls, dlv, ...). Sometimes, users may need to wrap the tools or want the extension to pick an alternate tool. "go.alternateTools" provides a way to configure the extension to use different tools.

Using a custom linter

A commonly customized feature is the linter, which is a tool used to provide coding style feedback and suggestions. This extension supports linters such as staticcheck, golangci-lint, and revive. You can choose one of them using the "go.lintTool" setting. For customization of the linter, please consult the tools' documentation.

If you are using staticcheck, you can enable it via the gopls settings block by setting

  "gopls": {
    "ui.diagnostic.staticcheck": true

Working on the Go standard library and the Go tools

When you need to work on the Go project (https://go.googlesource.com/go), please follow the instruction in the Standard Library Development to adjust your settings.

Ask for help

If you're having issues with this extension, please reach out to us by filing an issue or asking a question on the Gophers Slack. We hang out in the #vscode channel!

Take a look at learn.go.dev and golang.org/help for additional guidance.

Preview version

If you'd like to get early access to new features and bug fixes, you can use the nightly build of this extension. Learn how to install it in by reading the Go Nightly documentation.


We welcome your contributions and thank you for working to improve the Go development experience in VS Code. If you would like to help work on the VS Code Go extension, please see our contribution guide. It explains how to build and run the extension locally, and it describes the process of sending a contribution.

Code of Conduct

This project follows the Go Community Code of Conduct. If you encounter an issue, please mail conduct@golang.org.