Rafe Hart

Thoughts on security, privacy, and building software.

Installing Golang on Kali Linux

29 March 2020

You can probably find a number of articles on manually installing golang on kali linux from a while back, but Golang is available in the Kali repos now, requiring some slightly different defaults. Here is the process to install:

# 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, which is a bit messy for my taste. 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 go get -u " + 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. You can take a look at github.com/rafaelh/update-kali.

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

Happy hacking!