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Top 5 IDEs for Go

Jane Elizabeth
Shutterstock / Oleh Markov

Golang is going places. If you need some advice on an IDE, then we’ve got you sorted. We take a look at some of the most popular IDEs for Go.

Go is a simple and reliable language for programming. Its sturdy structure and strong typing have helped it develop into a stable and popular language for developers of all kinds. Today, we’re taking a look at five of our favorite IDEs for Go.

Just to be clear, this list is not exhaustive and based on our preferences. We’re likely going to leave things out due to limitations of time, energy, and whatnot. However, if there’s an IDE you think we should take a closer look at, let us know in the comments below!

These are our top 5 IDEs for Golang, in no particular order.


LiteIDE is a simple, open source Go IDE. It’s notable for being the first IDE to directly target Go back in 2012. It is a C++ Qt, meaning it looks and feels similar to other compilers like Visual Studio and GCC C++.

Since it was directly designed for Golang, LiteIDE has a number of useful features for developers directly out of the box, including configurable build commands, an advanced code editor, and extensive Golang support. Other features include code management, a gdb and Delve debugger, auto-completion and theming with WordApi, MIME type based system, and more.

More information about LiteIDE can be found here.

SEE ALSO: “We want VS Code to become the most popular code editor”

Visual Studio Code

The ever-popular open source IDE from Microsoft has a Go extension available out of the box for Visual Studio Code. The vscode-go plugin give developers even more features, including integration with a number of Go tools.

VS Code offers smart completion with IntelliSense, built-in Git integration, the ability to debug code straight from the editor, and more. VS Code is highly extensible with a number of customization options through its many extensions. It also offers support in dozens of languages, making it understandable why it was ranked the most popular developer tool for Stack Overflow’s 2018 Developer Survey.

More information about Visual Studio Code can be found here.




Eclipse with GoClipse

We couldn’t go too far without a plug for our favorite IDE of all, Eclipse. With the GoClipse plugin, developers can utilize the popular Eclipse IDE for their programming. Both the Eclipse IDE and GoClipse plugin are free and open source.

The GoClipse editors provides developers with a wide range of features, including a source code editor, a project wizard and builder to help report in-editor build errors, and a fully featured GDB debugger support.

More information about GoClipse can be found here.

SEE ALSO: Go infographic: The most important language constructs at a glance

Atom IDE

We’ve already covered Atom IDE here on JAXenter. Developers can take advantage of this IDE’s improved language integration with a smarter editor. The open source go-plus package makes it even easier for developers to code in Go.

Atom and the go-plus package offers Golang support for the tools, build flows, linters, vet, and coverage tools. Other functionality includes autocomplete, formatting, testing, and documentation. Additional debugging functionality can be added with the go-debug package with delve.

More information about Atom IDE can be found here.


Don’t worry about getting lost in Vim. VI Improved has a number of plugins to help developers edit their Go code even easier.  The vim-go plugin automatically installs all the necessary bits and bobs to provide a smoother integration for Go developers in Vim.

Vim-go features a number of helpful bits including a compiler, improved syntax highlighting and folding, completion support and a bunch of debug programs with integrated delve support. There are also a number of advanced source analysis tools that utilize guru, including :GoImplements, :GoCallees, and :GoReferrers.

Other vim plugins include a Syntastic plugin for feedback on compiler errors, a tagbar plugin for Gotags, a vim compiler plugin for syntax checking, and even a vim-bootstrap to generator a .virmrc configuration.

More information about vim-go can be found here.

SEE ALSO: Revive: An extensible and configurable linter for Go

Honorable mentions

Of course, no list is done without a few honorable mentions. JetBrain’s GoLand is a capable and ergonomic IDE for Golang; however, it only has a free 30-day trial. Komodo IDE is a cross-platform IDE that supports a number of major languages. And finally, Wide is a cloud-based version of Lite IDE intended for collaboration between teams.


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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3 years ago

So maybe you should change the title to “Top 5 Open Source IDEs for Go.” ;-)

2 years ago

I use vim-go and it’s awesome! We put together an open source neovim config based on it to make it easier to get going with auto-completion, auto-imports, code formatting, and snippets in case anyone here is interested: