17 December 2020
The industry is abuzz about non-x86 processors recently,
so we thought it would be worth a brief post about Go’s support for them.
It has always been important to us for Go to be portable,
not overfitting to any particular operating system or architecture.
The initial open source release of Go
included support for two operating systems (Linux and Mac OS X) and three
architectures (64-bit x86,
32-bit x86, and 32-bit ARM).
Over the years, we’ve added support for many more operating systems and architecture combinations:
Although the x86-64 port got most of the attention in the early days of Go,
today all our target architectures are well supported by our SSA-based compiler back end
and produce excellent code.
We’ve been helped along the way by many contributors,
including engineers from Amazon, ARM, Atos,
IBM, Intel, and MIPS.
Go supports cross-compiling for all these systems out of the box with minimal effort.
For example, to build an app for 32-bit x86-based Windows from a 64-bit Linux system:
GOARCH=386 GOOS=windows go build myapp # writes myapp.exe
In the past year, several major vendors have made announcements of new ARM64
hardware for servers,
laptops and developer machines.
Go was well-positioned for this. For years now,
Go has been powering Docker, Kubernetes, and the rest of the Go ecosystem
on ARM64 Linux servers,
as well as mobile apps on ARM64 Android and iOS devices.
Since Apple’s announcement of the Mac transitioning to Apple silicon this summer,
Apple and Google have been working together to ensure that Go and the broader
Go ecosystem work well on them,
both running Go x86 binaries under Rosetta 2 and running native Go ARM64 binaries.
Earlier this week, we released the first Go 1.16 beta,
which includes native support for Macs using the M1 chip.
You can download and try the Go 1.16 beta for M1 Macs and all your other
systems on the Go download page.
(Of course, this is a beta release and, like all betas,
it certainly has bugs we don’t know about.
If you run into any problems, please report them at golang.org/issue/new.)
It’s always nice to use the same CPU architecture for local development as in production,
to remove one variation between the two environments.
If you deploy to ARM64 production servers,
Go makes it easy to develop on ARM64 Linux and Mac systems too.
But of course, it’s still as easy as ever to work on one system and cross-compile
for deployment to another,
whether you’re working on an x86 system and deploying to ARM,
working on Windows and deploying to Linux,
or some other combination.
The next target we’d like to add support for is ARM64 Windows 10 systems.
If you have expertise and would like to help,
we’re coordinating work on golang.org/issue/36439.