Go: cmd/compile Files | Directories

Command compile

Compile, typically invoked as “go tool compile,” compiles a single Go package comprising the files named on the command line. It then writes a single object file named for the basename of the first source file with a .o suffix. The object file can then be combined with other objects into a package archive or passed directly to the linker (“go tool link”). If invoked with -pack, the compiler writes an archive directly, bypassing the intermediate object file.

The generated files contain type information about the symbols exported by the package and about types used by symbols imported by the package from other packages. It is therefore not necessary when compiling client C of package P to read the files of P's dependencies, only the compiled output of P.

Command Line


go tool compile [flags] file...

The specified files must be Go source files and all part of the same package. The same compiler is used for all target operating systems and architectures. The GOOS and GOARCH environment variables set the desired target.


-D path
	Set relative path for local imports.
-I dir1 -I dir2
	Search for imported packages in dir1, dir2, etc,
	after consulting $GOROOT/pkg/$GOOS_$GOARCH.
	Show complete file path in error messages.
	Disable optimizations.
	Print assembly listing to standard output (code only).
-S -S
	Print assembly listing to standard output (code and data).
	Print compiler version and exit.
-asmhdr file
	Write assembly header to file.
-blockprofile file
	Write block profile for the compilation to file.
	Assume package has no non-Go components.
-cpuprofile file
	Write a CPU profile for the compilation to file.
	Allow references to Go symbols in shared libraries (experimental).
	Remove the limit on the number of errors reported (default limit is 10).
	Halt with a stack trace at the first error detected.
-importmap old=new
	Interpret import "old" as import "new" during compilation.
	The option may be repeated to add multiple mappings.
-installsuffix suffix
	Look for packages in $GOROOT/pkg/$GOOS_$GOARCH_suffix
	instead of $GOROOT/pkg/$GOOS_$GOARCH.
	Disable inlining.
	Generate code that assumes a large memory model.
-linkobj file
	Write linker-specific object to file and compiler-specific
	object to usual output file (as specified by -o).
	Without this flag, the -o output is a combination of both
	linker and compiler input.
-memprofile file
	Write memory profile for the compilation to file.
-memprofilerate rate
	Set runtime.MemProfileRate for the compilation to rate.
	Insert calls to C/C++ memory sanitizer.
-mutexprofile file
	Write mutex profile for the compilation to file.
	Disallow local (relative) imports.
-o file
	Write object to file (default file.o or, with -pack, file.a).
-p path
	Set expected package import path for the code being compiled,
	and diagnose imports that would cause a circular dependency.
	Write a package (archive) file rather than an object file
	Compile with race detector enabled.
-trimpath prefix
	Remove prefix from recorded source file paths.
	Disallow importing packages not marked as safe; implies -nolocalimports.

There are also a number of debugging flags; run the command with no arguments for a usage message.

Compiler Directives

The compiler accepts compiler directives in the form of // comments at the beginning of a line. To distinguish them from non-directive comments, the directives require no space between the slashes and the name of the directive. However, since they are comments, tools unaware of the directive convention or of a particular directive can skip over a directive like any other comment.

//line path/to/file:linenumber

The //line directive specifies that the source line that follows should be recorded as having come from the given file path and line number. Successive lines are recorded using increasing line numbers, until the next directive. This directive typically appears in machine-generated code, so that compilers and debuggers will show lines in the original input to the generator.

The //line directive is an historical special case; all other directives are of the form //go:name, indicating that the directive is defined by the Go toolchain.


The //go:noescape directive specifies that the next declaration in the file, which must be a func without a body (meaning that it has an implementation not written in Go) does not allow any of the pointers passed as arguments to escape into the heap or into the values returned from the function. This information can be used during the compiler's escape analysis of Go code calling the function.


The //go:nosplit directive specifies that the next function declared in the file must not include a stack overflow check. This is most commonly used by low-level runtime sources invoked at times when it is unsafe for the calling goroutine to be preempted.

//go:linkname localname importpath.name

The //go:linkname directive instructs the compiler to use “importpath.name” as the object file symbol name for the variable or function declared as “localname” in the source code. Because this directive can subvert the type system and package modularity, it is only enabled in files that have imported "unsafe".

Package Files

doc.go main.go



Package main imports 13 packages (graph). Updated 2017-10-27. Refresh now. Tools for package owners.