Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Latest version: v0.2.3

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An enum generator for go

How it works

The goal of go-enum is to create an easy to use enum generator that will take a decorated type declaration like type EnumName int and create the associated constant values and funcs that will make life a little easier for adding new values. It's not perfect, but I think it's useful.

I took the output of the Stringer command as the String() method, and added a way to parse a string value.


You can now download a release directly from github and use that for generating your enums! (Thanks to GoReleaser)

I did not specify any overrides on the release binary names, so uname -s and uname -m should provide the correct version of the binary for your distro.

    curl -fsSL "https://github.com/abice/go-enum/releases/download/$(GO_ENUM_VERSION)/go-enum_$(uname -s)_$(uname -m)" -o go-enum

Adding it to your project

Using go generate

  1. Add a go:generate line to your file like so... //go:generate go-enum -f=$GOFILE --marshal
  2. Run go generate like so go generate ./...
  3. Enjoy your newly created Enumeration!

Using Makefile

If you prefer makefile stuff, you can always do something like this:

STANDARD_ENUMS = example/animal_enum.go \

NULLABLE_ENUMS = example/sql_enum.go

$(STANDARD_ENUMS): GO_ENUM_FLAGS=--nocase --marshal --names --ptr
$(NULLABLE_ENUMS): GO_ENUM_FLAGS=--nocase --marshal --names --sqlnullint --ptr


# The generator statement for go enum files.  Files that invalidate the
# enum file: source file, the binary itself, and this file (in case you want to generate with different flags)
%_enum.go: %.go $(GOENUM) Makefile
    $(GOENUM) -f $*.go $(GO_ENUM_FLAGS)

Command options

go-enum --help

   go-enum - An enum generator for go

   go-enum [global options] [arguments...]


   --file value, -f value      The file(s) to generate enums.  Use more than one flag for more files.
   --noprefix                  Prevents the constants generated from having the Enum as a prefix. (default: false)
   --lower                     Adds lowercase variants of the enum strings for lookup. (default: false)
   --nocase                    Adds case insensitive parsing to the enumeration (forces lower flag). (default: false)
   --marshal                   Adds text (and inherently json) marshalling functions. (default: false)
   --sql                       Adds SQL database scan and value functions. (default: false)
   --flag                      Adds golang flag functions. (default: false)
   --prefix value              Replaces the prefix with a user one.
   --names                     Generates a 'Names() []string' function, and adds the possible enum values in the error response during parsing (default: false)
   --nocamel                   Removes the snake_case to CamelCase name changing (default: false)
   --ptr                       Adds a pointer method to get a pointer from const values (default: false)
   --sqlnullint                Adds a Null{{ENUM}} type for marshalling a nullable int value to sql (default: false)
   --sqlnullstr                Adds a Null{{ENUM}} type for marshalling a nullable string value to sql.  If sqlnullint is specified too, it will be Null{{ENUM}}Str (default: false)
   --template value, -t value  Additional template file(s) to generate enums.  Use more than one flag for more files. Templates will be executed in alphabetical order.
   --alias value, -a value     Adds or replaces aliases for a non alphanumeric value that needs to be accounted for. [Format should be "key:value,key2:value2", or specify multiple entries, or both!]
   --help, -h                  show help (default: false)
   --version, -v               print the version (default: false)


The parser looks for comments on your type defs and parse the enum declarations from it. The parser will look for ENUM( and continue to look for comma separated values until it finds a ). You can put values on the same line, or on multiple lines.\ If you need to have a specific value jump in the enum, you can now specify that by adding =numericValue to the enum declaration. Keep in mind, this resets the data for all following values. So if you specify 50 in the middle of an enum, each value after that will be 51, 52, 53...


You can use comments inside enum that start with //\ The comment must be at the end of the same line as the comment value, only then it will be added as a comment to the generated constant.

// Commented is an enumeration of commented values
value1 // Commented value 1
value3 // Commented value 3
type Commented int

The generated comments in code will look something like:

const (
    // CommentedValue1 is a Commented of type Value1
    // Commented value 1
    CommentedValue1 Commented = iota
    // CommentedValue2 is a Commented of type Value2
    // CommentedValue3 is a Commented of type Value3
    // Commented value 3


There are a few examples in the example [directory](example). I've included one here for easy access, but can't guarantee it's up to date.

// Color is an enumeration of colors that are allowed.
/* ENUM(
Black, White, Red
Green = 33 // Green starts with 33
// Blue
// grey=
// yellow
// blue-green
// red-orange
// yellow_green
// red-orange-blue
// )
type Color int32

The generated code will look something like:

// Code generated by go-enum DO NOT EDIT.
// Version: example
// Revision: example
// Build Date: example
// Built By: example

package example

import (

const (
    // ColorBlack is a Color of type Black.
    ColorBlack Color = iota
    // ColorWhite is a Color of type White.
    // ColorRed is a Color of type Red.
    // ColorGreen is a Color of type Green.
    // Green starts with 33
    ColorGreen Color = iota + 30
    // ColorBlue is a Color of type Blue.
    // ColorGrey is a Color of type Grey.
    // ColorYellow is a Color of type Yellow.
    // ColorBlueGreen is a Color of type Blue-Green.
    // ColorRedOrange is a Color of type Red-Orange.
    // ColorYellowGreen is a Color of type Yellow_green.
    // ColorRedOrangeBlue is a Color of type Red-Orange-Blue.

const _ColorName = "BlackWhiteRedGreenBluegreyyellowblue-greenred-orangeyellow_greenred-orange-blue"

var _ColorMap = map[Color]string{
    ColorBlack:         _ColorName[0:5],
    ColorWhite:         _ColorName[5:10],
    ColorRed:           _ColorName[10:13],
    ColorGreen:         _ColorName[13:18],
    ColorBlue:          _ColorName[18:22],
    ColorGrey:          _ColorName[22:26],
    ColorYellow:        _ColorName[26:32],
    ColorBlueGreen:     _ColorName[32:42],
    ColorRedOrange:     _ColorName[42:52],
    ColorYellowGreen:   _ColorName[52:64],
    ColorRedOrangeBlue: _ColorName[64:79],

// String implements the Stringer interface.
func (x Color) String() string {
    if str, ok := _ColorMap[x]; ok {
        return str
    return fmt.Sprintf("Color(%d)", x)

var _ColorValue = map[string]Color{
    _ColorName[0:5]:                    ColorBlack,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[0:5]):   ColorBlack,
    _ColorName[5:10]:                   ColorWhite,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[5:10]):  ColorWhite,
    _ColorName[10:13]:                  ColorRed,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[10:13]): ColorRed,
    _ColorName[13:18]:                  ColorGreen,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[13:18]): ColorGreen,
    _ColorName[18:22]:                  ColorBlue,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[18:22]): ColorBlue,
    _ColorName[22:26]:                  ColorGrey,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[22:26]): ColorGrey,
    _ColorName[26:32]:                  ColorYellow,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[26:32]): ColorYellow,
    _ColorName[32:42]:                  ColorBlueGreen,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[32:42]): ColorBlueGreen,
    _ColorName[42:52]:                  ColorRedOrange,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[42:52]): ColorRedOrange,
    _ColorName[52:64]:                  ColorYellowGreen,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[52:64]): ColorYellowGreen,
    _ColorName[64:79]:                  ColorRedOrangeBlue,
    strings.ToLower(_ColorName[64:79]): ColorRedOrangeBlue,

// ParseColor attempts to convert a string to a Color
func ParseColor(name string) (Color, error) {
    if x, ok := _ColorValue[name]; ok {
        return x, nil
    return Color(0), fmt.Errorf("%s is not a valid Color", name)

func (x Color) Ptr() *Color {
    return &x

// MarshalText implements the text marshaller method
func (x Color) MarshalText() ([]byte, error) {
    return []byte(x.String()), nil

// UnmarshalText implements the text unmarshaller method
func (x *Color) UnmarshalText(text []byte) error {
    name := string(text)
    tmp, err := ParseColor(name)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    *x = tmp
    return nil