A Software Engineer and Occasional Writer.


Manage Your Applications Go Environment


Download the latest goenv binary. Make it executable from everywhere.

$ export GOENV_LATEST_VERSION=$(curl --silent "" | jq '.tag_name' | sed -E 's/.*"([^"]+)".*/\1/' | tr -d v)

# For Linux
$ curl -sL{$GOENV_LATEST_VERSION}/goenv_Linux_x86_64.tar.gz | tar xz

# For Mac
$ curl -sL{$GOENV_LATEST_VERSION}/goenv_Darwin_x86_64.tar.gz | tar xz

Or install with homebrew

$ brew tap norwik/tools
$ brew install norwik/tools/goenv

Configure the goenv using the following command

$ goenv config

Add goenv shims to PATH using the following command. also append it to ~/.profile file to make it permanent.

$ export PATH="$HOME/.goenv/shims:"$PATH

# OR

$ eval "$(goenv init)"

Install a new go version 1.18 and set as a global

$ goenv install 1.18
$ goenv global 1.18

To configure a local version different from the global

$ goenv local 1.18

To Uninstall a version

$ goenv uninstall 1.18

Show the used version either from current directory or parent directories or the global version.

$ goenv version

To list all installed versions

$ goenv versions

for a list of all available commands

$ goenv --help

🐺 Manage Your Applications Go Environment.

If you have any suggestions, bug reports, or annoyances please report
them to our issue tracker at <>

  goenv [command]

Available Commands:
  completion  Generate the autocompletion script for the specified shell
  config      Configure the goenv application.
  exec        Show the current go version.
  global      Set or show the global go version.
  help        Help about any command
  info        Print the goenv version
  init        Init the import path for goenv shims.
  install     Install a go version.
  license     Print the license
  local       Set or show the local application-specific go version.
  rehash      Refresh binaries under goenv shim directory.
  satisfy     Satisfy the current directry go version.
  uninstall   Uninstall a specific go version.
  version     Show the current go version.
  versions    List installed go versions.

  -h, --help   help for goenv

Use "goenv [command] --help" for more information about a command.

Under The Hood

Goenv is inspired by and works like rbenv. At a high level, goenv intercepts Go commands using shim executables injected into your PATH, determines which Go version has been specified by your application or globally, and passes your commands to the correct Go installation bin folder.

Understanding PATH

When you run a command like go or gofmt, your operating system searches through a list of directories to find an executable file with that name. This list of directories lives in an environment variable called PATH, with each directory in the list separated by a colon:


Directories in PATH are searched from left to right, so a matching executable in a directory at the beginning of the list takes precedence over another one at the end. In this example, the /usr/local/bin directory will be searched first, then /usr/bin, then /bin.

Understanding Shims

goenv works by inserting a directory of shims at the front of your PATH:


Through a process called rehashing, goenv maintains shims in that directory to match every Go command across every installed version of go like gofmt and so on.

shims are lightweight executables that simply pass your command to the right binary under the current go version, your operating system will do the following:

  1. Search your PATH for an executable file named gofmt.
  2. Find the goenv shim named gofmt at the beginning of your PATH
  3. Run the shim named gofmt, which in turn fetch the target go version and use the gofmt inside go/bin directory.

Choosing the Go Version

When you execute a shim, goenv determines which Go version to use by reading it from the following sources, in this order:

  1. The first .go-version file found by searching the current working directory and each of its parent directories until reaching the root of your filesystem. You can modify the .go-version file in the current working directory with the goenv local x.x.x command.
  2. The global $HOME/.goenv/.go-version file. You can modify this file using the goenv global x.x.x command.

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