Top 9 Best IDEs For Golang

Developing any program or application requires a considerable amount of coding. The extensive amount of work mandates acute attention to detail, and it’s only human to make errors when working on such extensive assignments.

IDEs are very useful in this regard, as they catch errors and bugs to keep the program running smoothly. And that is why a debugger comes included with almost every IDE.

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, and it helps programmers code using different languages.

Although they can write code without assistance – the way it’s supposed to be – but results are often inefficient, time-consuming, and laden with errors. IDEs help programmers write code and develop programs efficiently by easing the process and introducing features to improve the overall plan.

You can expect to find a handful of similar features in every IDE, such as a debugger, a compiler, a code-editor, along with numerous other plugins. These plugins can be added to introduce new features to your preferred Integrated Development Environment.

In a nutshell, they help developers focus on the program’s logic and algorithm rather than getting stuck in smaller details, such as syntax. A comprehensive IDE program should offer you:

  • Integrated Code Organization and Navigation
  • Integrated Testing
  • Integrated Debugging

Benefits of an IDE:

Here are a few benefits you can reap from IDE:

  • Standardization of code
  • Easy collaboration
  • Improves productivity for programmers
  • Effective project management

What is Go?

Golang is an open-source programming language, released in 2009. It has quickly taken the programming world by storm, ranking high among the top programming languages.

It’s the go-to language for syntax, and developers like to term it as the C++ of the twenty-first century. However, it provides significantly more leverage than C++, allowing you to manage objects, collect garbage and provide static typing along with concurrency.

Golang makes compiled machine code binaries and is statically typed. One of its many capabilities is that apps made here directly compile to native machine code, eliminating the need for an interpreter or virtual machine.

Compared to other languages, it’s much faster and doesn’t require warming up.

Why Should You Use Golang?

Go-based apps work well even with older devices since they demand lower system requirements and can manage allocated memory more efficiently.

It is a flexible programming language with a wide range of applications, ranging from network programming, audio and video editing, and machine learning, among many others.

Golang was designed to use the full potential of multiple cores, and it is ideal for multitasking coders. As Go-based apps utilize go-routine instead of threads that require much less RAM, they are at a much lower risk of crashing due to lack of memory.

Other than that, it has a clear and neat syntax, which is easy to pick up; developers don’t have to spend days familiarizing themselves with how it works. This is why many beginners prefer to try their hand at Go instead of hiring an expert for support and maintenance.

Golang also provides users with automatic technical documentation, which includes features such as cross-referencing and code examples.

Furthermore, codes can be analyzed via the GoMetaLinter tool to save time. It allows programmers to test, profile, and add code samples by utilizing the API that comes with Golang.

However, as functional as it may be, there happen to be a few drawbacks to Golang. Programmers prefer languages like Ruby for an intuitive graphical user interface and high development speed because Golang cannot deliver in these departments.

It lacks its own GUI library, compelling programmers to spend a lot of time trying to connect to a library. This isn’t the case with Java or Python, which have native solutions.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best IDEs for Golang!

Best IDE’s For Golang

As functional as Golang is, it works much better when used with any of the following IDES:

1. Visual Studio Code

Visual Code Studio is among the most popular optimized IDEs. It is a cross-platform software developed by Microsoft, compatible with various programming languages such as Golang, C, C++, and many more.

The IDE is modern, flexible, and open-source, meaning you don’t have to pay to use it. It offers several features designed to make programming easy, such as code refactoring and syntax highlighting.

Its plugin capability also makes it extremely customizable. But that doesn’t take away from its multi-functionality! Visual Code Studio lets programmers conduct remote debugging and navigating back and forth between documents.

Furthermore, programmers can use deployment support using Windows installer while merging modules and supporting installation rollback.


  • Free
  • Auto-code completion
  • Debugging feature
  • Easy navigation
  • Editor features
  • Deployment tools


  • Code error prompts can be misleading
  • Slow to start

2. Emacs

Emacs is a cross-platform IDE with an enormous range of functionalities. It is used as one of the primary text editors by programmers as it allows them to modify files on systems with a similar interface remotely. It is also equipped with features such as syntax highlighting and auto-completion.

Emacs users can benefit from its fast file editing capabilities, whether locally or through a remote SSH connection. The interface is user-friendly and is pretty straightforward once you get familiar with various shortcuts.

Users can customize configurations for their profiles and add features by installing new plugins and packages. Moreover, it maps all functions to keys and allows for keyboard-focused, mouse-free editing.

Emacs is easy to install, update, and has relevant information – including tutorials – readily available on the internet. Its extensive range of community and third-party developer plugins help programmers tweak it to their needs.

Even without the plugins, users can compile, debug, and integrate with version control systems. Emacs also features built-in support and help for its users.

Additionally, this IDE can integrate an extensive range of functions, making it a one-stop-shop for all your programming processes. And thanks to its lisp customization, users can change any behavior within Emacs.


  • Syntax highlighting
  • Keyboard focused editing
  • Cross-platform
  • Lisp customization
  • Multi-line editing
  • Dynamic word completion


  • Hard customization

3. GoLand

GoLand is a sophisticated IDE developed by Jetbrains that is useful for both commercial and personal programming projects. It provides users with handy coding features and tool integration.

Programmers appreciate its cross-platform features and compatibility with Windows, macOS, Linux, and other platforms. GoLand also gained a loyal userbase with its intelligent code completion, a powerful auto-completion engine, and a debugger.

Although it requires a considerable amount of memory to run, its numerous built-in features justify the demand.

Compared to IDEs like Vim, it integrates extensive features and commands, such as code completion, code indexing, refactoring, and extended analysis functionalities.

Furthermore, it comes with several built-in Go tools, such as the Gotype directory and Goimports file.

The feature that most programmers commend Goland for has to be its refactoring tools. They help save a lot of time by fixing code documentation and renaming variables.

Lastly, Goland also boasts a large ecosystem that helps its users acquire and source many additional tools.


  • Smart code completion
  • Code generation
  • Tabbed interface
  • Easy navigation
  • Highlighting function exit points
  • Source code
  • Refactoring
  • Inspections


  • Not open sourced

4. LiteIDE

LiteIDE is an open-source, Golang compatible IDE. It’s cross-platform and offers configurable build commands, a debugger, and advanced auto-completion, among the usual features.

It’s also efficient and features arguably the lowest amount of bugs as compared to other IDEs. Besides that, all its plugins have to be written in C++, making it easy for users to find them within the programming community.

Moreover, it’s useable across different platforms and boots up quickly on Windows and Linux. It’s also easy to use and easy to install.

For novices looking to get started with Golang, this is the IDE to begin with. It updates regularly and provides easy access to upgrade features.


  • Extensive plugins
  • System environment management
  • Kate format for auto-completion and theming
  • MIME type-based system
  • Simple debug system
  • Customizable build commands
  • Smart and customizable auto-completion


  • Limited extensibility

5. Vim

If you’re looking for a flexible IDE with plugin capabilities that allow for adding newer features, Vim is your best bet. It is a highly configurable and customizable open-source IDE.

This customizability makes it popular with all kinds of coders, from C++ coding to Python coding. Additionally, its functionality includes installing required binaries automatically. To further extend its capabilities, you can install and run relevant plugins.

Vim is exceedingly convenient and can be used on various platforms. Programmers can customize the program and make it look the way they want by tailoring it accordingly. Plus, it includes syntax highlighting and auto-code correction, allowing programmers to focus more on logic than syntax.

This IDE is excellent for boosting programming productivity with shortcuts that make editing, tweaking, and navigating easier. It also makes work seamless for programmers by mapping every function to a key.

Other than that, it features some esoteric functions, such as detecting and highlighting corrupted portions of a file that may impact the code’s overall operation.

Vim is exceptionally lightweight with almost no dependencies, and you won’t have to deal with crashes or system delays. You also won’t have to manage package dependencies when using it on a new system. The IDE is fast and uses a fraction of the system memory when compared to other options.

Furthermore, programmers and developers commended the mouse-free, keyboard-based interface of Vim. Every function is mapped to a key, and there’s no need to reach for the mouse for added efficiency.

Almost everything in this IDE is programmable: color scheme, functions, configuration settings, and commands.

Lastly, Vim also works well on remote machines with slow connections, and it features a package manager that helps users track plugins and load them at the time of startup.


  • Quick file executions
  • Third-party support
  • Source code analysis
  • Adding and removing import paths
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto-code completion


  • The graphical user interface is not optimized

6. IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA is hugely popular with software developers. It is a Java-based IDE developed by JetBrains, and its Go-language support plugin allows for effortless Golang integration.

It is popular because of the vast selection of tools it offers, each one being optimized for seamless software development and streamlining the development process.

The IDE comes equipped with several integrated tools that make programming more efficient and precise. One of these tools is the highly advanced editor that assists users in coding, especially when working with CSS and HTML.

Therefore, when working on Golang, programmers will find their programming and development process much more efficient and hassle-free when paired with this IDE.

With IntelliJ, programmers can access all kinds of plugins developed by Jetbrains or third-party publishers for almost any task they may need to cover. It also comes with a handy and powerful debugger to execute code snippets and show method return values.

Moreover, it features an interactive and easy-to-use interface that can be customized to your needs. What’s more, is that it also loads faster in comparison to other IDEs.

This IDE also prioritizes safe refactoring and offers programmers features such as safe delete and type migration. It’s also stable and does not crash or need to be restarted any time a code is corrupted.

IntelliJ IDEA offers smart contextual assistance, with an indexing technique that provides users with hints and assists them through auto-completing and importing suggestions, among other things.

Also, its outstanding code-analysis feature alerts users regarding errors and proposes corrections and refactorization. This IDE is ideal for both server-side and client-side development processes using JavaScript.


  • Advanced refactoring
  • Shortcuts
  • Smart code completion
  • Detects duplicates
  • Supports other tools and frameworks


  • The free edition lacks GO support, and the paid version is expensive
  • Irregular updates

7. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a sophisticated IDE with a particular emphasis on speed, making it quite popular in the programming community.

A GoSublime plugin makes this IDE compatible with Golang, and it offers code completion features using GoCode. Users can also conduct syntax checking and removal and addition of package imports.

But that is not all. Sublime Text’s functionality can be extended by installing more plugins. You can add in package manager plugins and plugins for other commands. This IDE can also be scripted to add new features and languages.

Furthermore, it offers fast and efficient editing though its code is protected by copyright, and you might face difficulties skirting around it.

Sublime Text is easy to work with and boasts an extremely user-friendly interface. As opposed to other IDEs, it’s very adaptable for beginners and comfortable to work with.

It also provides keyboard shortcuts for almost every function, and users can view the minimap on the side, which makes things much more manageable. Plus, it gives a direct top-down view of their file.

Additionally, the text-editing features of this IDE are also comparatively better than other variants.

If looking for a sleek IDE, consider Sublime Text for its ergonomically efficient design as it does not bog down programmers with shortcuts but offers high-level functionality.

Perhaps the best part is that it is lighter than an average IDE, yet it delivers most of the features of heavier IDEs, such as refactoring support and much more.


  • Easy navigation
  • Automatic code completion
  • Project-wide index of every class and function
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Syntax check and highlighting
  • Supports numerous plugins


  • It doesn’t support the direct installation of themes

8. Eclipse

Eclipse ranks among the top as the most extensively used IDEs, in part due to its flexibility. Golang programmers find it attractive because of its powerful extensions, as the GoClipse plugin customizes it for Golang based programs and applications.

This plugin offers Go source code editing with automatic indentation and brace completion. It also serves as a builder and project wizard that includes code assist debugging.

Eclipse is an open-source IDE that developers can use for free, and it also boasts a large community of users worldwide. New programmers can even consult this broad community for tips and tricks to improve.

Moreover, it is compatible with a range of platforms and operating systems, including Windows and macOS, while offering a friendly and adaptable user-interface.

Users get a wide selection of features optimized for coding, such as source and hyperlink navigation and syntax highlighting. As a beginner, you’ll find it very easy to get the hang of this IDE, and if you happen to find a bug, you can report it on their official website.

Eclipse also lets developers standardize the component installation and invoke commands within the IDE for multiple applications. These capabilities make it an excellent option for multitasking coders.

It was initially used for Java, but now it is increasingly used for several different programming languages, including Golang, C++, and COBOL.

Furthermore, Eclipse is highly customizable, thanks to an extensive range of plugins and configuration options, although a few plugins can be unstable and may have bugs.

However, users still have the luxury of choosing from various plugins developed by the helpful and highly active Eclipse community.

But what sells the IDE is its customized compiler, which has speeds much faster than other comparable options.


  • User-friendly interface
  • Auto-code completion
  • Visual debugging tools
  • Source navigation
  • Hyperlink navigation
  • A builder to report errors
  • Source code editor
  • Compatible with different platforms
  • Rich community support


  • Complicated to set up for beginners

9. Atom

Atom is a free-for-use, open-text editor that is exceedingly customizable and user-friendly. GitHub developed it, but it was built on HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js. It is also compatible with Golang through a plugin called Go-plus.

This IDE has a large and active global community, and users can access a multitude of plugins to customize it according to their needs. Furthermore, it’s cross-platform and supports Windows, macOS X, and Linux.

From expert developers to novices, its incredibly user-friendly and straightforward design appeals to all kinds of programmers. It features embedded Git control and lets users highlight folders, files, and lines for later editing.

However, looking for specific plugins can be challenging since Atom is primarily a text editor and not a dedicated IDE.

But it is still exceptionally functional as it features built-in package management and comes with several pre-installed plugins.

Meanwhile, the design is customizable and easy to change, and developing new plugins is also quite straight forward. Also, there is no need to restart the IDE after installing a new plugin.

Overall, Atom features a very modern and customizable feel, with a user-friendly interface that appeals to users of all levels. Lastly, the IDE has a very top-to-bottom approach that makes it easy for users to get the hang of it.


  • Compatible with a range of programming languages
  • Customizable
  • Smart auto-completion feature
  • Plugin support from the Atom community
  • Package manager
  • Multiple panes
  • Supports command palette


  • Tends to crash
  • Finding specific plugins can be hard


What Is Golang Used For?

Golang, also known as Go, is a sophisticated system-level language widely used to program large-scale network servers and distributed systems. It is also referred to as the C++ of the 21st century. In recent times, it has become a popular alternative to C++ and Java for app developers.

Is Golang The Future?

When it comes to using a strong software development programming language, Golang is already the go-to choice for many professional developers and can only expand in usage. Today, Golang is used by renowned companies like Netflix, Uber, Facebook, and Dropbox.

Is Golang Easier Than Java?

Most programmers reported finding Golang easier than Java and Python with its more precise and efficient code. However, it is still not as popular because it is slower and more protracted.

Wrapping Up

Since its launch, Golang has only increased in popularity, from a relatively obscure programming language to one of the more widely used present-day languages.

It features a robust ecosystem and a growing community of users that make it a relevant programming language, especially for large-distributed networks.

The IDE’s we have highlighted are primed for Golang development. However, finding and choosing the right one can make a lot of difference when working with a programming language.