12 Most Popular Go IDEs and Code Editors

Posted in /   /  

12 Most Popular Go IDEs and Code Editors

Pankaj Bhadwal
Last updated on November 5, 2022

    Go, also known as Golang, is a compiled programming language that first appeared in 2009. It was designed to emphasize simplicity and safety and improve programming productivity. This language is syntactically analogous to C; however, it supports garbage collection, memory safety, CSP-style concurrency, and structural typing.

    Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson at Google designed Golang primarily for building programs related to network and infrastructure. Today, it is used for building cloud-based and server-side applications and command-line tools.

    To facilitate the development of Go applications, several IDEs and code editors are available out there. If you are looking for the best Go IDE or code editor for your project, this article will guide you in making the right choice.

    Here, we have listed some of the most popular IDEs, code editors, and online IDEs and compilers that are suitable for developing Go applications.

    Top 12 Go IDEs and Code Editors

    Following is a curated list of the top Go IDEs and code editors that you can consider using for developing your next project:


    1. LiteIDE

    LiteIDE is an open-source and cross-platform integrated development environment (IDE). Go developers are using this popular IDE since its inception in 2012. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux operating systems. Moreover, it highly resembles Visual Studio Code and GCC C++.


    This IDE comes with out-of-the-box features, an advanced code editor, and extensive support for the Go programming language. Some of the key features of LiteIDE are as follows:

    • Configurable build commands.
    • MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type management.
    • System environment management.
    • Plug-in system.
    • Integrated terminal.
    • A quick search for files, commands, and symbols.

    The code editor of LiteIDE supports Golang and Golang Present. Golang Present is a popular tool that enables users to create online slide decks and articles using Markdown. Some other features of LiteIDE’s code editor are as follows:

    • Syntax highlighting and color scheme.
    • Code completion and code folding.
    • Rapid code navigation tools.

    More interestingly, you can switch between multiple system environments for your build using the LiteIDE environment setup plugin. Each of these environments has its own environment variables for controlling the build process. It supports three different environments, namely system win64 win32, system linux64 linux32, and system darwin64 darwin32.



    2. GoLand

    GoLand is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Go. It is a commercial IDE specially designed for Go developers with a rich set of features. JetBrains developed this Go IDE with extended support for TypeScript, JavaScript, SQL, Node.js, Databases, Docker, Kubernetes, and Terraform.


    Let us take a look at the primary features of GoLand below:

    • GoLand comes with a code editor that serves as a coding assistant since it provides several features that facilitate the development of code. It includes syntax highlighting, parameter hints, smart completion, inspection and fixes, code refactoring, and code formatting.
    • It comes with a lot of built-in tools, such as a debugger, test runner, and Terminal.
    • GoLand can seamlessly integrate with Git, which is a version control system (VCS). Through plugins, it also supports integration with other version control systems, such as Mercurial, SVN, and many others.
    • The code editor provides coding assistance while editing SQL queries. Also, it enables you to connect to live databases, browse and export data, run queries, and manage your schemas in a visual interface.

    GoLand has a rich ecosystem, which includes more than 1000 plugins and enables you to choose the desired tools required for developing Go applications. Moreover, you can change, extend, and customize this IDE as per your requirements.


    GoLand charges $199 per user per year.

    3. Zeus IDE

    Zeus IDE is a language-neutral programmer’s IDE for Windows systems. This IDE comes pre-configured for various programming languages, including Go, C++, C, C#, Rust, Lua, and Python. It is a highly configurable IDE, and we can work on any programming language and tool with this IDE with minimal effort.


    The following are the salient features of Zeus IDE:

    • Syntax highlighting for C, C++, Go, C#, Rust, Lua, Python, SQL, Java, Perl, Fortran, and Cobol.
    • Easily configurable to support any programming language or toolset.
    • Provides code completion, code indenting, code navigation, and code folding features.
    • Comes with a built-in compiler to compile and build your code without leaving the IDE.
    • Supports ligature fonts like FiraCode.
    • Fast keyword searching with integration with MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network).
    • Developers can run Git, and SVN commands from within the IDE.

    The latest release of Zeus IDE comes with Zeus macros that work better with Go tools, like gocode, gofmt, gorename, gobuild, and goimports. Along with these tools, Zeus IDE also works well with Delve debugger.


    Zeus IDE offers a free version, Zeus IDE Lite. To start using Zeus IDE, you need to register as a user. Also, there is a trial version that allows you to access all the features of the Zeus IDE for 55 days.

    Source Code or Text Editors

    4. Atom with Go-Plus

    Atom is a cross-platform text and source code editor which is open-source and free to use. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems. It is a hackable text editor, meaning that it is customizable.

    This course code editor comes with an init script, and you can edit it using CoffeeScript and change the look and feel of Atom. Moreover, it has a keymap to map and re-map key combinations to commands.

    To use Atom for Go development, you need to download and install the Go-Plug plugin. This plugin adds everything to Atom that you need for developing Go applications, such as tools, linters, build flows, etc.


    Here are the popular features of Atom’s Go-Plus plugin:

    • You can get information about your current Go installation with go version and go env commands.
    • Autocomplete with gcode.
    • Run various linters, like golint, vet, etc., using gometalinter, review, or golanfci-lint.
    • Format your code with gofmt, goimports, or goreturns.
    • Run tests, display test outputs, and test coverage using Go test -coverprofile.
    • Rename the symbol under your cursor using gorename.

    To add debug functionality to Atom, you need to download and install the go-debug package.



    5. Visual Studio Code

    Visual Studio Code is a robust source code editor. However, it provides several features that are available in popular IDEs. Like Atom, you need to install the Go extension for VS Code to write, debug, and perform actions on Go code.

    This extension provides various features, such as a source code editor, code navigation, symbol search, and a built-in debugging facility. You can download and install the Go extension from the VS Code Marketplace.


    Some popular features you get with the Go extension are as follows:

    • The Go language server, gopls, offers syntax highlighting and auto-complete features. As soon as you write Go code in the source code editor, the auto-complete feature provides you with the suggested completions.
    • You can find information on any variable, function, or struct, such as documentation or signature, by hovering over it.
    • The code navigation features are available in the context menu in the source code editor.
    • The Go language server, gopls, detects build and vet errors. The errors and warnings in the code will be represented in red/green squiggly lines in the editor.
    • You can even add lint checks using the go.lintOnSave setting. Also, you can configure the linting tool of your choice using the go.lintTool setting.
    • To debug your Go code, you need to install the Delve debugger manually.

    Since Microsoft maintains VS Code, it gets frequent upgrades and releases.



    6. Vim-go

    Vim is a popular, free, and open-source screen-based text editor. It is a cross-platform text editor that supports Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix operating systems. It comes with a wide range of plugins to add support for different programming languages, and vim-go is one of those plugins for the Go programming language.


    To use Vim for developing Go applications, you need to install the vim-go plugin. This plugin provides the following features that facilitate the development of Go applications:

    • Improved syntax highlighting and code folding through the Go language server, gopls.
    • Run your Go file quickly with the :GoRun command.
    • Debug your Go programs using the :GoDebugStart command with the integrated Delve support.
    • Import packages in your Go code using :GoImport and remove them using :GoDrop.
    • Use :GoCoverage to check which code is covered by tests.
    • Lint your code with :GoLint and run it through :GoVet to catch static errors.
    • Use :GoRename for the type-safe renaming of identifiers.

    Vim has excellent community support, and you can turn to the Vim community in case of any trouble while developing Go applications.



    7. GoSublime

    Sublime Text is a commercial source code editor for Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems. It supports various programming languages and markup languages natively. Moreover, you can expand its functionality through plugins.

    GoSublime is a Golang plugin collection for Sublime Text 3, which provides IDE-like features. This plugin supports integration with most of the Golang development tools. Along with this plugin, you will need to install Golang Build Package for Go build system integration. The Golang Build Package is an official Sublime Text package.


    The following are the salient features offered by GoSublime:

    • Code completion from Gcode.
    • Lint or syntax check as your type Go code.
    • Jump to any linter error reported in any file or package.
    • Create Go files easily and run them without the need to save them first.
    • Share snippets on play.golang.org.
    • Add or remove package imports automatically.
    • List all declarations in the current file or package.

    Sublime Text has a large community of developers that can help you in case of any problem while developing Go applications using Gosublime.


    To use Sublime Text, you need to purchase a license for $99. This license requires renewal after every 3 years.

    Online IDEs and Compilers

    Now, let us move further to discuss some of the most popular online IDEs and compilers for Go development.

    8. JDoodle

    JDoodle is an online IDE that supports around 70 programming languages, including Go, C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, Pascal, Scala, R, to name a few. Moreover, it has an interactive terminal for MySQL and MongoDB.

    The primary goal of JDoodle is to help students learn to code online, and hence, it is popular as an online education tool. It provides a simple way to execute, save, and share small programs online. It offers the following services:

    There are two ways to share your programs through JDoodle, as given below:

    • Editable Share: It is the managed share option, where you can edit your file even after sharing it with others.
    • Instant Share: This option allows you to create a public copy of the current code in the IDE. Once you share this copy, you can’t edit it.

    Though it is not a complete IDE, it enables you to code, save, and share small programs in various programming languages.



    9. OnlineGDB

    OnlineGDB is an online compiler and debugger that supports a wide variety of programming languages, including Go, C, C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, Pascal, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Ruby, Fortran, and Haskell. It is the world’s first online IDE that provides a debugging facility. It comes with an embedded gdb debugger.


    • OnlineGDB is a handy web tool for programmers to investigate the improper behavior of their programs.
    • It helps to find the cause of logical errors in a piece of code.
    • It analyzes the crash taking place in your application.
    • You can stop or pause the program execution by specifying particular commands.

    In a nutshell, OnlineGDB is an excellent online IDE that provides you with a code editor, compiler, and debugger.



    10. Coding Rooms

    Coding Rooms is an online compiler, IDE, and collaborative coding environment that supports a myriad of programming languages, including Go, C, C++, HTML, Java, Python, Bash, Pascal, PHP, MySQL, Ruby, Swift, and Visual Basic.

    There is no need to sign up to use this IDE. You can instantly start coding and share the collaborative environment with your friends.


    Here are some remarkable features of Coding Rooms:

    • This IDE serves as an online real-time platform for teaching programming to students.
    • Teachers can connect with each student, review their code instantly, and provide immediate support.
    • It has integrated audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, and recording.
    • It comes with an auto-grading feature that enables teachers to reduce time spent on evaluation and spend more time teaching and providing feedback.
    • You get hundreds of pre-built assignments and templates.
    • The code playback feature lets you check code for plagiarism.

    This IDE is intended for programming teachers.



    11. Ideone

    Ideone is an online compiler and debugging tool. It enables you to compile code and run it online. It supports more than 60 programming languages, including Go, Bash, C, C++, Haskell, Java, Objective-C, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, Swift, SQLite, and VB.net.


    The following are the features of Ideone:

    • Ideone comes with some sample programs that help beginners to start coding.
    • It has the Recent Codes page, where you will find codes that are recently uploaded by programmers across the world.
    • You can set the visibility of programs on Ideone to the public, secret, and private.
      • Public: Everyone can access your code, and it is listed on the Recent Codes page.
      • Secret: Everyone has access to your code but is not listed on the Recent Codes page.
      • Private: Only you have access to your code.



    12. OneCompiler

    OneComplier is an online compiler that allows you to write, run, compile, and share code. It supports more than 60 programming languages, including Go, C, C++, Java, HTML, Python, Node.js, Groovy, VB.net, Lua, C#, and Erlang. Along with programming languages, it also supports various databases, such as MySQL, Redis, SQLite, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB.


    • With OneCompiler, you can create a team with your college friends or colleagues. It allows you to assign tasks and projects and collaborate with your team effectively.
    • You will find a number of coding challenges that will help you improve your programming skills.
    • Also, you will find several developer cheat sheets created by professional developers.
    • Along with cheat sheets, developers have also created tutorials for various programming languages.
    • This IDE comes with a number of developer tools, including formatters, encoders, decoders, parsers, number convertors, and hash generators.




    Only a few dedicated Go IDEs are available in the market, including Zeus IDE, LiteIDE, and GoLand. All other IDEs require you to download and install certain plugins required to write and run Go code.

    If you are familiar with VS Code, Sublime Text, Vim, or Atom, there is no need to seek an alternative. You simply have to install Go on your machine, add the Go plugin to your IDE or code editor, and you are ready to write Go code. But if you want to try out new IDEs, you can choose LiteIDE, GoLand, or Zeus IDE.

    Also, there are various online IDEs and compilers that you can use for developing applications with the Go programming language.

    People are also reading:

    Leave a Comment on this Post