Go compiler can create native executable binaries for many operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS and a few lesser known like plan9, solaris, freebsd, openbsd, netbsd, dragonfly.
It also supports multiple architectures (CPUs) for the same operating system e.g. it can generate both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows binaries or intel, arm, ppc, mips Linux binaries.
Better yet, the toolchain supports cross-compilation i.e. you can create a Linux or Mac binary on Windows etc.
Cross-compilation is very easy but only for pure Go code. It doesn't work when program links a C library via CGO,
Basics of cross-compilation
go build generates binary that matches the system on which the compiler is running. I.e. if you run it on Linux OS with intel 64-bit CPU, it'll generate an executable for Linux OS and 64-bit Intel CPU.
To make it compile for a different OS, set
GOOS environment variable.
To make it compile for a different architecture (CPU), set
GOARCH environment variable.
To see what is their current value, run
Valid values for
GOOS: android, darwin, dragonfly, freebsd, js, linux, netbsd, openbsd, plan9, solaris, windows.
darwin represents Mac OS and iOS. Value
js represents compiling for Web Assembly.
Valid values for
GOARCH: arm, arm64, 386, amd64, ppc64, ppc64le, mpis, mpisle, mps64, mips64le, s390x ,wasm.
386 represents 32-bit Intel-compatible CPU and
amd64 is 64-bit Intel-compatible CPU. Value
wasm is for Web Assembly.
Not all combinations of
GOARCH are valid. To see all possible combinations run
go tool dist list.
Example cross-compilation from Linux or Mac
Here's how to compile e.g. for 32-bit Windows on Linux or Mac:
GOOS=windows GOARCH=386 go build
This temporarily sets
GOOARCH to desired values and runs
We can also set them for the lifetime of shell session with
Example cross-compilation from Windows
On Windows, when using PowerShell and cross-compiling to Linux and 64-bit arm processor:
$Env:GOOS = "linux" $Env:GOARCH = "arm64" go build
$Env:GOOS = "linux" sets
GOOS variable for the duration of PowerShell session i.e. it'll affect all future
go build invocations.
Cross-compiling with gox
If you need to cross-compile to all possible architectures, you can use https://github.com/mitchellh/gox.