Programming language: Go
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later

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Cgo binding for libtextcat C library. Guaranteed compatibility with version 2.2.


Installation consists of several simple steps. They may be a bit different on your target system (e.g. require more permissions) so adapt them to the parameters of your system.

Get libtextcat C library code

NOTE: If this link is not working or there are some problems with downloading, there is a stable version 2.2 snapshot saved in Downloads.

Build and install libtextcat C library

From the directory, where you unarchived libtextcat, run:

sudo make install
sudo ldconfig 

Install Go wrapper

go get github.com/goodsign/libtextcat
go test github.com/goodsign/libtextcat (must PASS)

Installation notes

Make sure that you have your local library paths set correctly and that installation was successful. Otherwise, go build or go test may fail.

libtextcat is installed in your local library directory (e.g. /usr/local/lib) and puts its libraries there. This path should be registered in your system (using ldconfig or exporting LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc.) or the linker would fail.


cat, err := NewTextCat(ConfigPath) // See 'Usage notes' section

if nil != err {
    // ... Handle error ...
defer cat.Close()

matches, err := cat.Classify(text)

if nil != err {
    // ... Handle error ...

// Use matches. 
// NOTE: matches[0] is the best match.

Usage notes

libtextcat library needs to load language models to start guessing languages. These models are set using a configuration file and a number of language model (.lm) files.

Configuration file maps .lm files to identifiers used in the library. See example. Path to this file is specified in the NewTextCat call.

.lm files contain language patterns and frequencies for a specified language. See example. Paths to these files are specified in the config file above. They can be absolute or relative (to the caller).


To immediately get started, copy /defaultcfg folder contents to the directory of your target project and use:

cat, err := NewTextCat("defaultcfg/conf.txt")

This will give you a standard set of languages described in the Default configuration section below.

Default configuration

This package contains a default configuration (/defaultcfg) which is created to work in following conditions:

  • Utf-8 only languages
  • Language list is taken from [snowball](github.com/goodsign/snowball) package
  • Language identifiers are the same as in [snowball](github.com/goodsign/snowball) package

This configuration is meant to be used in pair with the [snowball](github.com/goodsign/snowball) package.

More info

For more information on libtextcat refer to the original website, which contains links on theory and other details.

libtextcat Licence

The libtextcat library is released under the BSD Licence



The goodsign/libtextcat binding is released under the BSD Licence


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