Rafe Hart

Thoughts on security, privacy, and building software.

Installing Golang on Kali Linux

12 June 2021

If you are anything like me, you are more likely to Google how to install a golang than do an apt search. If that brought you here, then this is what you are after:

# First, install the package
sudo apt install -y golang

# Then add the following to your .bashrc
export GOROOT=/usr/lib/go
export GOPATH=$HOME/go
export PATH=$GOPATH/bin:$GOROOT/bin:$PATH

# Reload your .bashrc
source .bashrc

At this point you should be ready to Go. You can test by writing and compiling the Hello World program from Golang’s webpage.

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
	fmt.Printf("hello, world\n")

Save this as hello.go. You can then build this with go build hello.go. This should yield an executable file named hello.

With this setup, Go modules will be downloaded to your home directory and compiled there. As you start to get more Go programs installed, they will all be put in /go, which may be what you want, but my preference is to install each program into a separate directory. As a result, I use something similar to the following python script to change the prefix for each Go module so that it installs into a separate /opt directory and soft links to /usr/local/bin. You’ll need to change the list of modules to install to your preferences, but it should work as is:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import os
import sys

def install_golang_module(module):
    ''' Install the specified Golang module '''
    modulename = module.split("/")[-1].lower()
    if not os.path.exists("/opt/" + modulename):
        print("Installing go module " + modulename)
        cmdseries = ["sudo -E GO111MODULE=on go get -v " + module,
                     "sudo ln -s /opt/" + modulename + "/bin/" + \
                     modulename + " /usr/local/bin/" + modulename]
        os.environ["GOPATH"] = "/opt/" + modulename
        for cmdstring in cmdseries:

if __name__ == '__main__':
    ''' These go tools will be installed globally. '''

    golang_modules_to_install = ['github.com/tomnomnom/assetfinder',

    for module in golang_modules_to_install:

The full update script I use normally does a bunch of additional things, in an effort to keep all my environments at parity. You can take a look at github.com/rafaelh/update-kali.

You will also see GO111MODULE in a lot of Go installation commands. I recommend the following post to understand what this is about.

Now that you have Go working, take a look at the following repositories:

Happy hacking!