November 30, 2020

How to Auto Reload Golang Applications?

Learn how to reload golang applications without too much manual work

Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash

You wanted to develop quick, you wanted to develop fast and there is nothing more tedious for a developer than doing the same thing again and again.

I really HATE doing repetitive work.

Foundation (a server)

I have been exploring Go, you might be aware since my previous post was written for itself. You can spin up a simple Go server with the following code.

package main

import "net/http"

func handler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
  fmt.Fprintln(w, "hello")

func main() {
  http.HandleFunc("/echo", handler)

  http.ListenAndServe(":3000", nil)

The above code creates a simple server which listens on port 3000 and if you hit http://localhost:3000/echo you will receive “hello” as a message.

To run the go server we should run the command below

go run .

I call this the “tedious code”. I don’t care about it but I care what it does for me, it runs my application.

I want changes, right now!

Now, if you do any changes to the code you have run the “tedious code” again, and again, and again…

You get it 🙄

If you are a lazy developer you must be thinking what is the the better way to do it?

Your computer can help you will that for sure.

Firstly, you need to install Node.js.

I know, you must be thinking about how Node.js can help you to reload your Go code? Just bear with me and you will know how.

Once Node.js is installed on your system you will be able to run the command below.

npm install -g nodemon

It will install a package called nodemon in your system and you will be able to run it from the command line.

Command to Auto Reload

Now you can start you Go application with the command mentioned below.

nodemon --exec go run . --ext go

Let’s break it down.

It will watch for any files with .go extension in the current directory and if any change in the go files it will execute the go run . command again.


By using nodemon you can reload your any application, not just Go, by providing the command to run in the --exec command and specifying which extensions to watch and if there is any change in the provided extensions, nodemon will execute the command specified in the --exec again.