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Tags: golang go dependency-management godep gpm
Clipped on: 2016-02-28

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Barebones dependency manager for Go.
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gpm is a minimalist package manager for Go that leverages the power of the  go get  command and the underlying version control systems used by it to set your Go dependencies to desired versions, thus allowing easily reproducible builds in your Go projects.

Go Package Manager makes no assumptions about your dependencies and supports Git, Bazaar and Mercurial hosted Go packages, for a smoother workflow be sure to check out gvp - the Go Versioning Packager which provides dependency isolation for your projects.

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gpm + gvp sample usage:

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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 && chmod +x gpm && sudo mv gpm /usr/local/bin

Manually on *nix

$ git clone && 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- | bash

## With cURL
$ curl -s | 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               v0.0.2         v1.02                     r2013.03.03   # Bazaar repositories are supported    ae081cd1d6cc  # And so are Mercurial ones


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:


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 login <token>

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


It is recommended to keep a healthy and exhaustive  Godeps  file in the root of all Go project that use external dependencies, remember every package that you add to the Godeps file will be installed along with its dependencies when gpm runs  go get  on it, so if you don't include these dependencies in your Godeps file you are losing the ability to reproduce a build with 100% reliability.

Make sure your Godeps file is exhaustive, this way any project includes the documentation required to be built reliably at any point in time.


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.

Further Reading

The creator for the gpm-git and gpm-local wrote a fantastic blog post explaining the usage and rationale of gpm and gvp, 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.

Go Package Manager evolved from Johnny Deps, a tool I wrote for internal use of Vivid Cortex and which is now maintained by the Vivid Cortex team.