Programming language: Shell
License: MIT License
Tags: Package Management    
Latest version: v1.4.0

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Go Package Manager Build Status

Go Package Manager (or gpm, for short) is a tool that helps achieve reproducible builds for Go applications by specifying the revision of each external Go package that the application depends on.

Being simple and unobstrusive are some of the most important design choices for gpm: go get already provides a way to fetch dependencies, and relies on versions control systems like Git to do it, gpm adds the additional step of setting each dependency repo to the desired revision, neither Go or your application even know about any of this happening, it just works.

To achieve this, gpm uses a manifest file which is assumed to be called Godeps (although you can name it however you want), running gpm fetches all dependencies and ensures each is set to a specified version, down to revision level.

Basic usage

For a given project, running gpm in the directory containing the Godeps file is enough to make sure dependencies in the file are fetched and set to the correct revision.

However, if you share your GOPATH with other projects running gpm each time can get old, my solution for that is to isolate dependencies by manipulating the GOPATH, see the workspaces section for details.

You can see gpm in action under this workflow in the following gif:

[sample gpm usage](./gpm.gif)

Installation options

In OSX with Homebrew

$ brew install gpm

In Arch Linux - AUR

$ yaourt -S go-gpm


$ packer -S go-gpm

Caveat: you'll use go-gpm instead of just gpm in the command line, as there is a general purpose linux package under that name already.

Manually with a one-liner

Latest stable release:

$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pote/gpm/v1.4.0/bin/gpm && chmod +x gpm && sudo mv gpm /usr/local/bin

Manually on *nix using the makefile.

$ git clone https://github.com/pote/gpm.git && cd gpm
$ git checkout v1.4.0 # You can ignore this part if you want to install HEAD.
$ ./configure
$ make install

Use directly from GitHub

As gpm is a bash script you can always use it directly from GitHub via wget or curl, this is particularly useful for CI servers and other automated environments.

## With wget
$ wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pote/gpm/v1.4.0/bin/gpm | bash

## With cURL
$ curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pote/gpm/v1.4.0/bin/gpm | bash

The Godeps file

gpm expects you to have a file called Godeps in the root of your Go application in the format <import path> <tag/revision>.

Once this file is in place, running the gpm tool will download those packages and check out the specified versions.


You can specify packages with the <import path> <version> format, where version can be a revision number (a git/bazaar/mercurial/svn revision hash) or a tag.

$ ls .
Godeps  foo.go  foo_test.go

$ cat Godeps
github.com/nu7hatch/gotrail               v0.0.2
github.com/replicon/fast-archiver         v1.02
launchpad.net/gocheck                     r2013.03.03   # Bazaar repositories are supported
code.google.com/p/go.example/hello/...    ae081cd1d6cc  # And so are Mercurial ones

When specifying your dependencies please keep in mind how gpm and the go tool operate: importing a package is setting the version of a cloned repo to a specific revision, so if you are importing several subpackages that are hosted under the same repo only one of them (the top level) should be specified in your Godeps file, in cases where there are no Go packages in the root of the dependency repository you can get Go to fetch the code anyway by appending /... to the import path (see last line in the example above)


The Godeps file accepts comments using a # symbol. Everything to the right of a # will be ignored by gpm, as well as empty lines.


As a convention comments can be used to specify lines that gpm core should ignore but are instead intended to affect how a given gpm plugin behaves.

For example: a hypothetical gpm-track plugin that makes sure a given package is always updated to its last possible version would leverage a line like this one:

#[gpm-track] github.com/nu7hatch/gotrail

This convention makes the Godeps file format extensible, just as with plugins this can help identify common needs that might later on be merged into core without having to sacrifice code simplicity in order to explore new features.

Private Repos

Both gpm and go get support using private GitHub repositories! Here's what you need to do in order for a specific machine to be able to access them:

  • Generate a GitHub access token by following these instructions.
  • Add the following line to the ~/.netrc file in your home directory.
machine github.com login <token>

You can now use gpm (and go get) to install private repositories to which your user has access! :)


Any dependency not specified in the Godeps file will be installed by the Go tool to whatever revision the master branch of its hosting repository is pointing at that given moment, as reproducibility is the main goal of gpm it is suggested to be exhaustive and list all your dependencies in the file, with a specific revision.

Do it once, reproduce it anytime, it pays off.


gpm has the following commands:

$ gpm             # Same as 'install'.
$ gpm get         # Parses the Godeps file, gets dependencies and sets them
                  # to the appropriate version but does not install them.
$ gpm install     # Parses the Godeps file, installs dependencies and sets
                  # them to the appropriate version.
$ gpm version     # Outputs version information
$ gpm help        # Prints this message


As of version v1.1.1 gpm supports plugins, the intent of which is the ability to add powerful non-core features to gpm without compromising the simplicity of its codebase.

The way gpm plugin works is simple: whenever an unknown command is passed into gpm it will look for an executable in your $PATH called gpm-<command> and if it exists it will run it while passing all extra arguments to it, simple yet powerful.

This brings a lot to the table: plugins can be written in anything, they can be Go binaries, bash scripts, Ruby gems, Python packages, you name it. gpm wants to make it easy for you to extend it. :)

Installing plugins through Homebrew

I maintain a repository with homebrew formulae for gpm plugins that you can add to your system with the brew tap command:

$ brew tap pote/gpm_plugins

After you've done this you can install plugins as you would with any other homebrew packge.

$ brew install gpm-bootstrap

Known Plugins

If you have written a gpm plugin and want it included please send a pull request to the repo! I love how people have taken to explore possible features using plugins so if you've written one there is about a 99% chance I will include it here. :)

Name and Link Author Short Description Type
gpm-bootstrap pote Creates an initial Godeps file official
gpm-git technosophos Git management helpers third party
gpm-link elcuervo Dependency vendoring third party
gpm-local technosophos Usage of local paths for packages third party
gpm-prebuild technosophos Improves building performance third party
gpm-all pote Installs multiple sets of deps official
gpm-lock zeeyang Lock down dependency versions third party

There is no real difference on official/third party plugins other than the willingness of the gpm core team to support each, plugins labeled as third party will be supported (or not) by their authors.


A question that comes up time and time again is how to handle different workspaces for Go projects.

This question has many answers, and gpm should be compatible with most of them. My personal way to solve it is to have an environment file per project, which I use to manipulate the GOPATH whenever I switch to a given project.

$ cd my_project
$ cat .env
export GOPATH="$PWD"/.dependencies:"$PWD"
$ source .env

After sourcing the env file (in which I usually keep other project-specific configuration variables, like database urls, secret keys, etc) the active GOPATH is a local one: this means that I don't need to run gpm again to make sure my dependencies are in the correct version and there is no danger of conflicting dependency versions across different projects. Everything is isolated and can be easily wiped clean if needed.

Further Reading

The creator for the gpm-git and gpm-local and an alternative package manager called Glide wrote a fantastic blog post explaining the usage and rationale of gpm, it sums up explanations for several of the design decisions behind both tools.


Lots of people have contributed to make gpm what it is today, if you want to take your time to play around with the code please do so! Opening issues on bugs, feature requests or simple food for thought are a great way to contribute, if you send a pull request please be a good citizen and do things in a tidy manner.

  • Create a feature branch with a meaningful name.
  • Make sure your commit messages and PR comments are informative.
  • Write a test for your feature if applicable.
  • Always remember to run the test suite with make test before comitting.

Either way, thank you very much for any form of contribution, even if a patch ends up not being merged the fact that it was sent and forced us to think about it is a contribution in itself.


Released under MIT License, check LICENSE file for details.


This tool is inspired by Ruby's dep gem - authored by @cyx and @soveran, big thanks to them and to all the contributions made by the many wonderful people in our contributors page.

gpm is maintained by @pote and [@elcuervo](https:/github.com/elcuervo).

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