Programming language: Go
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Security     Tools     Compiler     CLI    

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GO111MODULE=on go get mvdan.cc/garble

Obfuscate Go code by wrapping the Go toolchain. Requires Go 1.15 or later, since Go 1.14 uses an entirely different object format.

garble build [build flags] [packages]

See garble -h for up to date usage information.


Produce a binary that works as well as a regular build, but that has as little information about the original source code as possible.

The tool is designed to be:

  • Coupled with cmd/go, to support modules and build caching
  • Deterministic and reproducible, given the same initial source code
  • Reversible given the original source, to un-garble panic stack traces


The tool wraps calls to the Go compiler and linker to transform the Go build, in order to:

  • Replace as many useful identifiers as possible with short base64 hashes
  • Replace package paths with short base64 hashes
  • Remove all build and module information
  • Strip filenames and shuffle position information
  • Strip debugging information and symbol tables
  • Obfuscate literals, if the -literals flag is given
  • Removes extra information if the -tiny flag is given


By default, the tool garbles the packages under the current module. If not running in module mode, then only the main package is garbled. To specify what packages to garble, set GOPRIVATE, documented at go help module-private.


Most of these can improve with time and effort. The purpose of this section is to document the current shortcomings of this tool.

  • Exported methods are never garbled at the moment, since they could be required by interfaces and reflection. This area is a work in progress.

  • Functions implemented outside Go, such as assembly, aren't garbled since we currently only transform the input Go source.

  • Go plugins are not currently supported; see #87.

Tiny Mode

When the -tiny flag is passed, extra information is stripped from the resulting Go binary. This includes line numbers, filenames, and code in the runtime the prints panics, fatal errors, and trace/debug info. All in all this can make binaries 6-10% smaller in our testing.

Note: if -tiny is passed, no panics, fatal errors will ever be printed, but they can still be handled internally with recover as normal. In addition, the GODEBUG environmental variable will be ignored.