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Updating golang on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 20

In this article, we will guide you through the process of updating Go (also known as Golang) on your Ubuntu system. Go is a statically typed, compiled language known for its simplicity and efficiency, and it’s widely used in software development. From time to time, it’s necessary to update your Go installation to take advantage of new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

Quick Answer

To update Go (Golang) on Ubuntu, you need to remove the existing installation, download the latest version from the official Go website, extract it to the /usr/local directory, set up the necessary environment variables, update your current session, and verify the installation by checking the Go version.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, make sure you have administrative access to your Ubuntu system. This is necessary to install new packages and remove existing ones.

Removing the Existing Go Installation

The first step in updating Go is to remove the existing installation. This ensures that there are no conflicts between the old and new versions. You can remove Go with the following commands:

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/go
sudo rm -rf /usr/bin/go

In these commands, rm is the remove command, -rf is a combination of options that tell the command to recursively (-r) remove files and to force (-f) the removal without asking for confirmation. /usr/local/go and /usr/bin/go are the directories where Go is typically installed.

Downloading the Latest Go Version

Next, you’ll need to download the latest version of Go. You can find this on the official Go downloads page at https://golang.org/dl/. Choose the version that corresponds to your system architecture.

Extracting the Go Archive

Once you’ve downloaded the Go archive, you’ll need to extract it to the /usr/local directory. You can do this with the following command:

sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go1.4.linux-amd64.tar.gz

In this command, tar is a tool for manipulating archive files, -C /usr/local tells tar to change to the /usr/local directory before extracting, -xzf is a combination of options that tell the command to extract (-x) a gzipped (-z) file and to use the given file (-f). go1.4.linux-amd64.tar.gz is the name of the Go archive you downloaded. Replace this with the name of your downloaded file.

Setting Up Environment Variables

After extracting the Go archive, you’ll need to set up some environment variables. These variables tell your system where to find Go and where to store Go projects. Add the following lines to your ~/.profile file:

export GOROOT=/usr/local/go
export GOPATH=$HOME/go
export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin:$GOPATH/bin

In these lines, export is a command that sets environment variables, GOROOT is the variable that tells your system where to find Go, GOPATH is the variable that tells your system where to store Go projects, and PATH is a system variable that tells your system where to look for executable files.

Updating the Current Session

After setting up the environment variables, you’ll need to update your current session to recognize these changes. You can do this with the following command:

source ~/.profile

In this command, source is a command that reads and executes commands from the given file, in this case, the ~/.profile file. This updates the current session to include the new environment variables.

Verifying the Installation

Finally, you can verify that Go has been updated correctly by checking its version. You can do this with the following command:

go version

This command should output the version of Go that you just installed.

Conclusion

Updating Go on Ubuntu involves several steps, but it’s a straightforward process. By following these steps, you can ensure that you’re always using the latest version of Go, with all the new features, improvements, and bug fixes that come with it. Remember to always check the official Go website for the latest updates and information.

Can I update Go without removing the existing installation?

No, it’s recommended to remove the existing Go installation before updating to avoid conflicts between the old and new versions.

What if I don’t have administrative access to my Ubuntu system?

Administrative access is necessary to install new packages and remove existing ones. If you don’t have administrative access, you will need to contact the system administrator or obtain the necessary permissions.

Where can I find the latest version of Go for my system architecture?

You can find the latest version of Go for your system architecture on the official Go downloads page at https://golang.org/dl/.

Can I extract the Go archive to a different directory instead of /usr/local?

Yes, you can extract the Go archive to a different directory of your choice. Just replace /usr/local in the extraction command with the desired directory path.

Do I need to manually update the environment variables every time I update Go?

No, once you set up the environment variables in your ~/.profile file, they will persist across sessions. You only need to update the current session using the source ~/.profile command.

How can I check the currently installed version of Go?

You can check the currently installed version of Go by running the command go version in your terminal. It will display the version of Go that you have installed.

Can I have multiple versions of Go installed on my Ubuntu system?

Yes, you can have multiple versions of Go installed on your Ubuntu system. Just make sure to update the environment variables and use the appropriate version when working on different projects.

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