How to Install Go 1.6 on Ubuntu 16.04

Published on May 19, 2016
How to Install Go 1.6 on Ubuntu 16.04
Not using Ubuntu 16.04?Choose a different version or distribution.
Ubuntu 16.04


Go is a modern programming language developed at Google. It is increasingly popular for many applications and at many companies, and offers a robust set of libraries. This tutorial will walk you through downloading and installing Go 1.6, as well as building a simple Hello World application.


This tutorial assumes that you have access to an Ubuntu 16.04 system, configured with a non-root user with sudo privileges as described in Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 16.04.

Step 1 — Installing Go

In this step, we’ll install Go on your server.

To begin, connect to your Ubuntu server via ssh:

  1. ssh sammy@your_server_ip

Visit the official Go downloads page and find the URL for the current binary release’s tarball, along with its SHA256 hash. Make sure you’re in your home directory, and use curl to retrieve the tarball:

  1. cd ~
  2. curl -O https://storage.googleapis.com/golang/go1.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Next, you can use sha256sum to verify the tarball:

  1. sha256sum go1.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz
Sample Output
go1.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz e40c36ae71756198478624ed1bb4ce17597b3c19d243f3f0899bb5740d56212a go1.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz

You’ll get a hash like the one highlighted in the above output. Make sure it matches the one from the downloads page.

Next, use tar to extract the tarball. The x flag tells tar to extract, v tells it we want verbose output (a listing of the files being extracted), and f tells it we’ll specify a filename:

  1. tar xvf go1.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz

You should now have a directory called go in your home directory. Recursively change go’s owner and group to root, and move it to /usr/local:

  1. sudo chown -R root:root ./go
  2. sudo mv go /usr/local

Note: Although /usr/local/go is the officially-recommended location, some users may prefer or require different paths.

Step 2 — Setting Go Paths

In this step, we’ll set some paths in your environment.

First, set Go’s root value, which tells Go where to look for its files.

  1. sudo nano ~/.profile

At the end of the file, add this line:

export GOPATH=$HOME/work
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin:$GOPATH/bin

If you chose an alternate installation location for Go, add these lines instead to the same file. This example shows the commands if Go is installed in your home directory:

export GOROOT=$HOME/go
export GOPATH=$HOME/work
export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin:$GOPATH/bin

With the appropriate line pasted into your profile, save and close the file. Next, refresh your profile by running:

  1. source ~/.profile

Step 3 — Testing Your Install

Now that Go is installed and the paths are set for your server, you can test to ensure that Go is working as expected.

Create a new directory for your Go workspace, which is where Go will build its files:

  1. mkdir $HOME/work

Then, create a directory hierarchy in this folder through this command in order for you to create your test file. You can replace the value user with your GitHub username if you plan to use Git to commit and store your Go code on GitHub. If you do not plan to use GitHub to store and manage your code, your folder structure could be something different, like ~/my_project.

  1. mkdir -p work/src/github.com/user/hello

Next, you can create a simple “Hello World” Go file.

  1. nano ~/work/src/github.com/user/hello/hello.go

Inside your editor, paste the code below, which uses the main Go packages, imports the formatted IO content component, and sets a new function to print “Hello, World” when run.

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Printf("hello, world\n")

This program will print “hello, world” if it successfully runs, which will indicate that Go programs are compiling correctly. Save and close the file, then compile it by invoking the Go command install:

  1. go install github.com/user/hello

With the file compiled, you can run it by simply executing the command:

  1. hello

If that command returns “hello, world”, then Go is successfully installed and functional. You can see where the compiled hello binary is installed by using the which command:

  1. which hello


By downloading and installing the latest Go package and setting its paths, you now have a system to use for Go development.

Next, you can read some Go tips from our development team, and how to host your project using Martini.

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If you installed the latest version of Go (1.16 as of this comment), you may need to initialize Go modules in your directory to avoid getting this error:

go install: version is required when current directory is not in a module

all you need to do to initialize your directory to use Go modules, type this command:

go mod init

then type this command:

go mod tidy

it creates a single file called go.mod and then you should be able to carry on with the instructions.

Important Note: you must use flag -L when curl’ing. If you do not, you’re not actually getting any data (due to redirects) and the checksum will not match.

If you do: curl -O -L <url_of_current_version>

…then once you sha256sum the file, it will match Google’s DL page.

Excellent tutorial, thank you! I was able to install it quickly, after having difficulty trying to follow go instructions earlier today- golang.org

Thanks much for the help!


Please, please, please do not suggest people set GOROOT. Please remove this incorrect advice.

Hi, thanks for the tutorial, I was up and running in maybe 10 seconds! Question, how do you uninstall / remove the “hello” app?

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