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Go proxy for GitLab

DETAILS: Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated Status: Experiment

  • Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
  • It's deployed behind a feature flag, disabled by default.
  • It's disabled for
  • To use it in GitLab self-managed instances, ask a GitLab administrator to enable it.
  • Moved from GitLab Premium to GitLab Free in 13.3.

WARNING: The Go package registry for GitLab is under development and isn't ready for production use due to limited functionality. This epic details the remaining work and timelines to make it production ready.

With the Go proxy for GitLab, every project in GitLab can be fetched with the Go proxy protocol.

For documentation of the specific API endpoints that the Go Proxy uses, see the Go Proxy API documentation.

Enable the Go proxy

The Go proxy for GitLab is under development, and isn't ready for production use due to potential performance issues with large repositories.

It's deployed behind a feature flag that is disabled by default.

GitLab administrators with access to the GitLab Rails console can enable it for your instance.

To enable it:

Feature.enable(:go_proxy) # or

To disable it:


To enable or disable it for specific projects:

Feature.enable(:go_proxy, Project.find(1))
Feature.disable(:go_proxy, Project.find(2))

NOTE: Even if it's enabled, GitLab doesn't display Go modules in the package registry. Follow this issue for details.

Add GitLab as a Go proxy

To use GitLab as a Go proxy, you must be using Go 1.13 or later.

The available proxy endpoint is for fetching modules by project: /api/v4/projects/:id/packages/go

To fetch Go modules from GitLab, add the project-specific endpoint to GOPROXY.

Go queries the endpoint and falls back to the default behavior:

go env -w GOPROXY=',,direct'

With this configuration, Go fetches dependencies in this order:

  1. Go attempts to fetch from the project-specific Go proxy.
  2. Go attempts to fetch from
  3. Go fetches directly with version control system operations (like git clone, svn checkout, and so on).

If GOPROXY isn't specified, Go follows steps 2 and 3, which corresponds to setting GOPROXY to,direct. If GOPROXY contains only the project-specific endpoint, Go queries only that endpoint.

For details about how to set Go environment variables, see Set environment variables.

For details about configuring GOPROXY, see Dependency Management in Go > Proxies.

Fetch modules from private projects

go doesn't support transmitting credentials over insecure connections. The following steps work only if GitLab is configured for HTTPS:

  1. Configure Go to include HTTP basic authentication credentials when fetching from the Go proxy for GitLab.
  2. Configure Go to skip downloading of checksums for private GitLab projects from the public checksum database.

Enable request authentication

Create a personal access token with the scope set to api or read_api.

Open your ~/.netrc file and add the following text. Replace the variables in < > with your values.

WARNING: If you use an environment variable called NETRC, Go uses its value as a filename and ignores ~/.netrc. If you intend to use ~/.netrc in the GitLab CI do not use NETRC as an environment variable name.

machine <url> login <username> password <token>
  • <url>: The GitLab URL, for example
  • <username>: Your username.
  • <token>: Your personal access token.

Disable checksum database queries

When downloading dependencies with Go 1.13 and later, fetched sources are validated against the checksum database

If the checksum of the fetched sources doesn't match the checksum from the database, Go doesn't build the dependency.

Private modules fail to build because can't fetch the source of private modules, and so it cannot provide a checksum.

To resolve this issue, set GONOSUMDB to a comma-separated list of private projects. For details about setting Go environment variables, see Set environment variables. For more details about disabling this feature of Go, see Dependency Management in Go > Checksums.

For example, to disable checksum queries for, set GONOSUMDB:

go env -w GONOSUMDB=',<previous value>'

Working with Go

If you're unfamiliar with managing dependencies in Go, or Go in general, review the following documentation:

Set environment variables

Go uses environment variables to control various features. You can manage these variables in all the usual ways. However, Go 1.14 reads and writes Go environment variables to and from a special Go environment file, ~/.go/env by default.

  • If GOENV is set to a file, Go reads and writes to and from that file instead.
  • If GOENV is not set but GOPATH is set, Go reads and writes $GOPATH/env.

Go environment variables can be read with go env <var> and, in Go 1.14 and later, can be written with go env -w <var>=<value>. For example, go env GOPATH or go env -w GOPATH=/go.

Release a module

Go modules and module versions are defined by source repositories, such as Git, SVN, and Mercurial. A module is a repository that contains go.mod and Go files. Module versions are defined by version control system (VCS) tags.

To publish a module, push go.mod and source files to a VCS repository. To publish a module version, push a VCS tag.

See Dependency Management in Go > Versioning for more details about what constitutes a valid module or module version.