Deploying with Go Feb 23, 2015

Recently I have been building a lot of go applications, and I think I have come up with a good pattern for building an app that is ready for deployment to either a server or to users. This includes build/run for development, testing, dependency management, and packaging. While this process is still being actively developed I believe it is at a state in which to share.

The Structure

I keep a very simple structure for my projects and it is as follows.

  |- my-project
    |- bin/     # place to store binaries (in .gitignore)
    |- dist/    # place to store packaged apps (in .gitignore)
    |- pkg/     # for sub-packages
    |- _vendor/ # our custom GOPATH (optional .gitignore)
    |- Makefile
    |- main.go
    |- wercker.yml

The Makefile

The meat and potatoes of this workflow starts with the Makefile for those who don’t know make is a build system. Make allows us to download dependencies, keep version, as well build and package.

.PHONY: version all run dist clean
APP_NAME := my-project
SHA := $(shell git rev-parse --short HEAD)
BRANCH := $(subst /,-,$(shell git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD))
VER := 0.0.1


  VERSION = $(VER)-$(subst /,-,$(APP_SUFFIX))


# Go setup
TEST=go test
GOPATH := ${PWD}/_vendor:${GOPATH}
export GOPATH


# Sources and Targets
# Build Binaries setting main.version and vars
LDFLAGS :=-ldflags "-X main.version $(VERSION) -X $(BUILD)"
# Package target
PACKAGE :=$(DIR)/dist/$(APP_NAME)-$(VERSION).tar.gz

# Custom go path for project
VENDOR_DIR :=_vendor/src



# print the version
  @echo $(VERSION)
# print the name of the app
  @echo $(APP_NAME)

# print the package path
  @echo $(PACKAGE)

# We have to set GOPATH to just the _vendor
# directory to ensure that `go get` doesn't
# update packages in our primary GOPATH instead.
# This will happen if you already have the package
# installed in GOPATH since `go get` will use
# that existing location as the destination.
  @echo Downloading $(@:$(VENDOR_DIR)%=%)...
  @GOPATH=${PWD}/_vendor go get $(@:$(VENDOR_DIR)%=%)

# This defines the req's for each binary
# if you only have one then these can be placed under
# $(EXECUTABLES): Target
# you must define the main file for each binary that will
# be placed in bin.
# For Example:
# -----------
# binary #1
# bin/$(APP_NAME): main.go pkg/* $(DEPENDENCIES_DIR)
# binary #2
# bin/my_other_bin: other.go pkg/* $(DEPENDENCIES_DIR)
bin/$(APP_NAME): main.go $(DEPENDENCIES_DIR) 

  $(GO) build $(LDFLAGS) -o $@ $<

run: bin/$(APP_NAME)

  $(TEST) -r -cover

  @echo Cleaning Workspace...
  rm -dRf _vendor
  rm -dRf bin
  rm -dRf dist

$(PACKAGE): all
  @echo Packaging Binaries...
  @mkdir -p tmp/$(APP_NAME)/bin
  @cp -R bin/ tmp/$(APP_NAME)/
  @mkdir -p $(DIR)/dist/
  tar -cf $@ -C tmp $(APP_NAME);
  @rm -rf tmp

dist: $(PACKAGE)

This gives us a small list of important commands:

You may have also noticed a few things pertaining to versioning these are some cool tricks to make versioning awesome and easy when releasing your app into the wild.

The first is the VERSION variable, it is composed of two parts the semver, a tag (beta, rc, etc) or the branch name. The second part is the BUILD variable, it is composed of two parts the commit sha, and the branch it was built from.

This all comes together in the LDFLAGS variable which will set two corresponding variables in the main package of your code which you could then use to populate a cli message among other things. The power of this is that we can keep our versioning in one place and it will affect all other parts of our project. You will see more of this in the next part.

The wercker.yml

For those who do not know what wercker is, I urge you to check it out, it’s currently my favorite CI/CD tool and it’s free while they are in beta. I use wercker as my platform for testing my code and more importantly building/releasing my code. In order to use wercker you must first setup your repo in wercker, then you must add a wercker.yml file to your repo. Wercker gives us two flows, a Build Flow and a Deploy Flow and they do exactly that.

My wercker configuration takes advantage of a lot of werckers features namely the Custom deploy targets and Pipeline variables. this allows me to create deploy targets for both final releases and release candidates. My “deployments” are in the form of Github Releases and recieve a tag of the version, and the packaged binaries.

box: wercker/golang@1.2.3

        # Sets the go workspace and places your package
        # at the right place in the workspace tree
        - setup-go-workspace
        - script: 
            name: Build App
            code: make dist
        - script:
            name: Make Exports
            code: | 
                export APP_VERSION=$(make version)
                export PACKAGE_PATH=$(make package)
        - github-create-release:
            token: $GITHUB_TOKEN
            tag: v$APP_VERSION
            prerelease: $PRE_RELEASE
            title: Version $APP_VERSION
        - github-upload-asset:
            token: $GITHUB_TOKEN
            file: $PACKAGE_PATH
            release_id: $WERCKER_GITHUB_CREATE_RELEASE_ID

# Build definition
  # The steps that will be executed on build
    # Sets the go workspace and places your package
    # at the right place in the workspace tree
    - setup-go-workspace
    - script:
        name: Unit Test
        code: |
            make test

This file will instruct wercker to first run tests on your project and then once completed you may run a “deploy” on your test that will package up your app and then ship the tarball off to github release with git tags on the given commit. There are however a few steps needed to make this work, you must first create a deploy target in wercker by going to your project and clicking settings -> deploy targets and adding a new “Custom Deploy” target you may then choose a name such as “release” and select whether you wish to auto-deploy a specific branch. Next you must add two pipeline variables an APP_SUFFIX which will contain the identifier for this release (eq: beta), and a PRE_RELEASE variable which can be true or false and will flag the release in github as a pre-release, and thats it you should be able to fire off a build and release it directly to your repos github releases.

Final Thoughts

With the given Makefile, wercker.yml, and filesystem structure I have been able to quickly and easily bootstrap applications with CI/CD as well as a nice way to manage dependencies that works everywhere. I hope this is a useful resource and I will continue to update this process with new additions as I find them.

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