Hello. Thanks for reading this article. Now that Go 1.1 has been released an updated version of this article is available.
Go provides excellent support for producing binaries for foreign platforms without having to install Go on the target. This is extremely handy for testing packages that use build tags or where the target platform is not suitable for development.
Support for building a version of Go suitable for cross compilation is built into the Go build scripts; just set the
CGO_ENABLED and possibly
GOARM correctly and invoke
go/src. Therefore, what follows is provided simply for convenience.
1. Install Go from source. The instructions are well documented on the Go website, golang.org/doc/install/source. A summary for those familiar with the process follows.
% hg clone https://code.google.com/p/go % cd go/src % ./all.bash
2. Checkout the support scripts from Github, github.com/davecheney/golang-crosscompile
% git clone git://github.com/davecheney/golang-crosscompile.git % source golang-crosscompile/crosscompile.bash
3. Build Go for all supported platforms
% go-crosscompile-build-all go-crosscompile-build darwin/386 go-crosscompile-build darwin/amd64 go-crosscompile-build freebsd/386 go-crosscompile-build freebsd/amd64 go-crosscompile-build linux/386 go-crosscompile-build linux/amd64 go-crosscompile-build linux/arm go-crosscompile-build windows/386 go-crosscompile-build windows/amd64
This will compile the Go runtime and standard library for each platform. You can see these packages if you look in
$(go env GOROOT)/pkg.
% ls -1 $(go env GOROOT)/pkg darwin_386 darwin_amd64 freebsd_386 freebsd_amd64 linux_386 linux_amd64 linux_arm obj tool windows_386 windows_amd64
Using your cross compilation environment
crosscompile.bash provides a
go-$GOOS-$GOARCH function for each platform, you can use these as you would the standard
go tool. For example, to compile a program to run on
% cd $GOPATH/github.com/davecheney/gmx/gmxc % go-linux-arm build % file ./gmxc ./gmxc: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, not stripped
This file is not executable on the host system (
darwin/amd64), but will work on
Cross compiled binaries, not a cross compiled Go installation
This post describes how to produce an environment that will build Go programs for your target environment, it will not however build a Go environment for your target. For that, you must build Go directly on the target platform. For most platforms this means installing from source, or using a version of Go provided by your operating systems packaging system.
No cgo in cross platform builds
It is currently not possible to produce a
cgo enabled binary when cross compiling from one operating system to another. This is because packages that use
cgo invoke the C compiler directly as part of the build process to compile their C code and produce the C to Go trampoline functions. At the moment the name of the C compiler is hard coded to
gcc, which assumes the system default gcc compiler even if a cross compiler is installed.
GOARM flag needed for cross compiling to linux/arm.
Because some arm platforms lack a hardware floating point unit the
GOARM value is used to tell the linker to use hardware or software floating point code. Depending on the specifics of the target machine you are building for, you may need to supply this environment value when building.
% GOARM=5 go-linux-arm build
e4b20018f797 you will at least get a nice error telling you which
GOARM value to use.
$ ./gmxc runtime: this CPU has no floating point hardware, so it cannot run this GOARM=7 binary. Recompile using GOARM=5.
By default, Go assumes a hardware floating point unit if no
GOARM value is supplied. You can read more about Go on
linux/arm on the Go Language Community Wiki.