How to compile and run a Go program

This tutorial continues what we did in how to create your first Go program.

Open a terminal in the hello folder and run the program using

go run hello.go

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Our program ran successfully, and it printed “Hello, World!” to the terminal!

The go run tool first compiles and then runs the program specified.

You can create a binary using go build:

go build hello.go

This will create a hello file that’s a binary you can execute:

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In the introduction I mentioned Go is portable.

Now you can distribute this binary and everyone can run the program as-is, because the binary is already packaged for execution.

The program will run on the same architecture we built it on.

We can create a different binary for a different architecture using the GOOS and GOARCH environment variables, like this:

GOOS=windows GOARCH=amd64 go build hello.go

This will create a hello.exe executable for 64-bit Windows machines:

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Setup for 64-bit macOS (Intel or Apple Silicon) is GOOS=darwin GOARCH=amd64 and Linux is GOOS=linux GOARCH=amd64.

This is one of the best features of Go.

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