title: GccgoCrossCompilation


If you want to run your Go programs on a platform that is not supported by the standard Go compiler gc you can build a version of the GCC compiler that targets your desired target platform, since GCC supports many more platforms. This is possible because there is a Go frontend to GCC named gccgo.



  • Build This is the computer where you are building the cross-compiler.
  • Host The computer that will run the cross-compiler once it's built. This is usually the same as Build.
  • Target This is the destination system, where you want the cross-compiled program to run.

More definitions and complex cross situations can be found at the Wikipedia article.

Go tools and gccgo

You will later need to source code to the Go tool, so you might as well uninstall the version you have installed from your package manager to avoid confusion (fully optional tho). Also build & install gccgo targeting host(!, that's right, you need a gcco compiling for not only target but one for host).

Build the cross-compiler


First you have to build your cross-compiling version of GCC. This is complex process as it requires several stages with bootstrapping since there are mutual dependency relations between GCC and libc implementations. A very fine tutorial on how to build a GCC cross-toolchain with eglic (works with glibc too) was written by Jim Blandy and posted at eglibc's mailinglist patches Cross-building instructions. In the final stage where the full GCC is built, simply configure script with --enable-languages=c,c++,go (see official Go documentation).

You can use the ewxb_gcc_cross-compiler_builder script as a starting point. Don‘t expect that script to work out of the box, but rather as a hint to which steps you’re likely to take when building your x-toolchain.

If you're lucky enough and want a version of GCC that is not bleeding edge (which you might want to have the latest Go features) you can use a cross-compiler builder to ease the configuration e.g. crosstool-NG that lets you configure GCC with a simple TUI menu.

Newer versions of crosstool-NG can build the go language by enabling CT_EXPERIMENTAL and CT_CC_SUPPORT_GOLANG. This will automatically add go to --enable-languages.


You should now have a bin directory with files with names like “<target>-gcc”, “<target>-gnu-gccgo” etc. Because the go build tool does not allow you to specify file-names of the compilers to use (only statically supports the strings ‘gc’ and ‘gccgo’) it will look in your $PATH envvar for the first file named ‘gccgo’ and ‘gcc’. You will therefore have to add this directory as an overlay by setting it to be the first one in $PATH when you want to use the cross-compiler and not your normal gcc binary on your system. Since the go tool looks for a binary named gccgo you'll have to make some symlinks for the tools you want it to find.

	$ cd path/to/cross-comp-gcc/bin
	$ ln -s <arch>-<os>-gnu-gcc gcc	
	$ ln -s <arch>-<os>-gnu-gccgo gccgo
	$ ln -s <arch>-<os>-gnu-ar ar
	$ export PATH="path/to/crosscomp-gcc/bin:$PATH" # Do this whenever you want to use the cross-compilers targeting your target instead of the system default targeting host.


With $TARGET set to the target architecture and $PREFIX set to the destination path of the built files, you can make the symlinks with:

##!/usr/bin/env bash 		

cd $PREFIX/bin
for file in $(find . -type f); do 		
	tool_name=$(echo $file | sed -e "s/${TARGET}-\(.*\)$/\1/") 		
	ln -sf "$file" "$tool_name" 		


When the cross-compiler is build you should test that it works, both for a simple C program and a simple Go program.

	$ gccgo -Wall -o helloworld helloworld.go
	$ file helloworld # verify that the architecture of the binary is the desired target and not a binary that can run on your host machine.
	$ <upload-command-to-target> helloworld
	$ <ssh/telnet etc. to target and test run>


If you haven‘t compiled a shared object of the go library, libgo, for your target you might want to compile your Go programs statically, just like gc does, to include all what is needed to run your program. Do this by adding the -static switch to gccgo. If you’re unsure how your produced ELF file is linked, inspect it with readelf -d <elf> or objdump -T <elf>.

Build a cross-gccgo aware version of the Go tool


  • Assuming that you've followed the instructions on Installing Go from source you should have a checked out version of the go source at $GOROOT.
  • Envvar $GOROOT is set.
  • The envvars $GOARCH and $GOOS represent the target architecture and operating system. Figure these out and set them to these values when you want to cross-compile.


You can specify the compiler to use when building with the go tool with go build -compiler gccgo <go-package,files>. This is however not enough. If you have set $GOARCH and $GOOS to something that is not supported by gc but with gccgo you have to build a special version of the go tool that understands these extra architectures. If you compile another version of the go tool with the go tool but specify to use gccgo targeting your host, the resulting go tool will be able to compile programs with all the architectures supported by gccgo.

	$ cd ~/tmp
	$ hg clone ~/src/go # [0]
	$ cd go/src/cmd/go
	$ go build -o xgo -compiler gccgo . # [1] [2] [3]
	$ cp xgo ~/bin/ # Or any directory that is in your $PATH
  • [0] Clone Go source to directory outside $GOROOT. Needed since the cmd/go we're about to compile is handles specially.
  • [1] Here the gccgo that targets host must be used, and not the cross-compiling gccgo. Make sure to have you $PATH set correctly for this.
  • [2] Will produce binary named xgo to distinguish from the existing go-binary. Name it to something suitable, e.g. mgo if your target is MIPS.
  • [3] The compilation step (go build) can fail with some compilation errors since gccgo is lagging behind the go project (at least at go mercurial tip 7f2863716967). Fix those errors by commenting out or something more clever and re-compile.

Cross-compile Go programs.

With your $PATH set to find _xgo_and the cross-compiling version of_gccgo and $GOARCH set properly you can now cross-compile using the go tool (named xgo).

	$ export PATH="path/to/xgo/:path/to/crosscomp-gccgo/:$PATH"
	$ export GOARCH="<you-target's-arch>"
	$ export GOOS="<you-target's-OS>"
	$ xgo build -compiler gccgo <go-package/files>


Go-programs importing “C” does not seems to work using xgo. Currently blocked by Go issue#7398

This Wiki page was inspired by the lessons learned from “[golang-nuts] Simplification of MIPS cross-compilation?” @ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/golang-nuts/PgyS2yoO2jM