Programming language: Go
License: Apache License 2.0
Tags: Messaging    
Latest version: v1.8.2

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Confluent's Golang Client for Apache KafkaTM

confluent-kafka-go is Confluent's Golang client for Apache Kafka and the Confluent Platform.


  • High performance - confluent-kafka-go is a lightweight wrapper around librdkafka, a finely tuned C client.

  • Reliability - There are a lot of details to get right when writing an Apache Kafka client. We get them right in one place (librdkafka) and leverage this work across all of our clients (also confluent-kafka-python and confluent-kafka-dotnet).

  • Supported - Commercial support is offered by Confluent.

  • Future proof - Confluent, founded by the creators of Kafka, is building a streaming platform with Apache Kafka at its core. It's high priority for us that client features keep pace with core Apache Kafka and components of the Confluent Platform.

The Golang bindings provides a high-level Producer and Consumer with support for the balanced consumer groups of Apache Kafka 0.9 and above.

See the API documentation for more information.


High-level balanced consumer

import (

func main() {

    c, err := kafka.NewConsumer(&kafka.ConfigMap{
        "bootstrap.servers": "localhost",
        "group.id":          "myGroup",
        "auto.offset.reset": "earliest",

    if err != nil {

    c.SubscribeTopics([]string{"myTopic", "^aRegex.*[Tt]opic"}, nil)

    for {
        msg, err := c.ReadMessage(-1)
        if err == nil {
            fmt.Printf("Message on %s: %s\n", msg.TopicPartition, string(msg.Value))
        } else {
            // The client will automatically try to recover from all errors.
            fmt.Printf("Consumer error: %v (%v)\n", err, msg)



import (

func main() {

    p, err := kafka.NewProducer(&kafka.ConfigMap{"bootstrap.servers": "localhost"})
    if err != nil {

    defer p.Close()

    // Delivery report handler for produced messages
    go func() {
        for e := range p.Events() {
            switch ev := e.(type) {
            case *kafka.Message:
                if ev.TopicPartition.Error != nil {
                    fmt.Printf("Delivery failed: %v\n", ev.TopicPartition)
                } else {
                    fmt.Printf("Delivered message to %v\n", ev.TopicPartition)

    // Produce messages to topic (asynchronously)
    topic := "myTopic"
    for _, word := range []string{"Welcome", "to", "the", "Confluent", "Kafka", "Golang", "client"} {
            TopicPartition: kafka.TopicPartition{Topic: &topic, Partition: kafka.PartitionAny},
            Value:          []byte(word),
        }, nil)

    // Wait for message deliveries before shutting down
    p.Flush(15 * 1000)

More elaborate examples are available in the [examples](examples) directory, including [how to configure](examples/confluent_cloud_example) the Go client for use with Confluent Cloud.

Getting Started

Supports Go 1.11+ and librdkafka 1.6.0+.

Using Go Modules

Starting with Go 1.13, you can use Go Modules to install confluent-kafka-go.

Import the kafka package from GitHub in your code:

import "github.com/confluentinc/confluent-kafka-go/kafka"

Build your project:

go build ./...

If you are building for Alpine Linux (musl), -tags musl must be specified.

go build -tags musl ./...

A dependency to the latest stable version of confluent-kafka-go should be automatically added to your go.mod file.

Install the client

If Go modules can't be used we recommend that you version pin the confluent-kafka-go import to v1 using gopkg.in:

Manual install:

go get -u gopkg.in/confluentinc/confluent-kafka-go.v1/kafka

Golang import:

import "gopkg.in/confluentinc/confluent-kafka-go.v1/kafka"


Prebuilt librdkafka binaries are included with the Go client and librdkafka does not need to be installed separately on the build or target system. The following platforms are supported by the prebuilt librdkafka binaries:

  • Mac OSX x64
  • glibc-based Linux x64 (e.g., RedHat, Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, etc) - without GSSAPI/Kerberos support
  • musl-based Linux 64 (Alpine) - without GSSAPI/Kerberos support

When building your application for Alpine Linux (musl libc) you must pass -tags musl to go get, go build, etc.

CGO_ENABLED must NOT be set to 0 since the Go client is based on the C library librdkafka.

If GSSAPI/Kerberos authentication support is required you will need to install librdkafka separately, see the Installing librdkafka chapter below, and then build your Go application with -tags dynamic.

Installing librdkafka

If the bundled librdkafka build is not supported on your platform, or you need a librdkafka with GSSAPI/Kerberos support, you must install librdkafka manually on the build and target system using one of the following alternatives:

  • For Debian and Ubuntu based distros, install librdkafka-dev from the standard repositories or using Confluent's Deb repository.
  • For Redhat based distros, install librdkafka-devel using Confluent's YUM repository.
  • For MacOS X, install librdkafka from Homebrew. You may also need to brew install pkg-config if you don't already have it: brew install librdkafka pkg-config.
  • For Alpine: apk add librdkafka-dev pkgconf
  • confluent-kafka-go is not supported on Windows.
  • For source builds, see instructions below.

Build from source:

git clone https://github.com/edenhill/librdkafka.git
cd librdkafka
sudo make install

After installing librdkafka you will need to build your Go application with -tags dynamic.

Note: If you use the master branch of the Go client, then you need to use the master branch of librdkafka.

confluent-kafka-go requires librdkafka v1.6.0 or later.

API Strands

There are two main API strands: function and channel-based.

Function-Based Consumer

Messages, errors and events are polled through the consumer.Poll() function.


  • More direct mapping to underlying librdkafka functionality.


  • Makes it harder to read from multiple channels, but a go-routine easily solves that (see Cons in channel-based consumer below about outdated events).
  • Slower than the channel consumer.

See [examples/consumer_example](examples/consumer_example)

Channel-Based Consumer (deprecated)

Deprecated: The channel-based consumer is deprecated due to the channel issues mentioned below. Use the function-based consumer.

Messages, errors and events are posted on the consumer.Events() channel for the application to read.


  • Possibly more Golang:ish
  • Makes reading from multiple channels easy
  • Fast


  • Outdated events and messages may be consumed due to the buffering nature of channels. The extent is limited, but not remedied, by the Events channel buffer size (go.events.channel.size).

See [examples/consumer_channel_example](examples/consumer_channel_example)

Channel-Based Producer

Application writes messages to the producer.ProducerChannel(). Delivery reports are emitted on the producer.Events() or specified private channel.


  • Go:ish
  • Proper channel backpressure if librdkafka internal queue is full.


  • Double queueing: messages are first queued in the channel (size is configurable) and then inside librdkafka.

See [examples/producer_channel_example](examples/producer_channel_example)

Function-Based Producer

Application calls producer.Produce() to produce messages. Delivery reports are emitted on the producer.Events() or specified private channel.


  • Go:ish


  • Produce() is a non-blocking call, if the internal librdkafka queue is full the call will fail.
  • Somewhat slower than the channel producer.

See [examples/producer_example](examples/producer_example)


Apache License v2.0

KAFKA is a registered trademark of The Apache Software Foundation and has been licensed for use by confluent-kafka-go. confluent-kafka-go has no affiliation with and is not endorsed by The Apache Software Foundation.

Developer Notes

See [kafka/README](kafka/README.md)

Contributions to the code, examples, documentation, et.al, are very much appreciated.

Make your changes, run gofmt, tests, etc, push your branch, create a PR, and sign the CLA.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Confluent Kafka Golang Client README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.