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Functions in Golang

Functions in Go language, are simply like other other programming languages, are a code block which can be called every time we need it in our code rather than re-writing it again and again. They takes one or multiple inputs and return output or errors.

Syntax to define functions in Go language:

Let's first discuss about the syntax to use functions in Golang.

func <name> (<inputs>) (<datatypes of return values>) {
    // your code here
  • Function in Golang are defined with func keyword.
  • name - The name that we use to call the function.
  • inputs - Single or multiple inputs that should be provided to the function while calling. (We can also specify the data type for the input values.)
  • datatypes of return values - Output of the function. (we can also assign a variable to the returned value from the function.)
  • code - The code of function should be placed inside the brackets with proper identation.

Basic function in Go language

To start with functions in Golang, we can take example of a simple greetings function which takes a user name as string and return the string greetings message as output:

package main

import "fmt"

func greetings(name string) string {
	message := "Hello " + name + ", welcome to studytonight!"
	return message

func main() {
	username := "user"

Hello user, welcome to studytonight!

main function in Golang

The main function is a special function in Go that is automatically called when a Go program is executed. The main function typically contains the code that runs when the program starts. Here is an example of a main function:

func main() {
    fmt.Println("This is the main function")

init function in Golang

The init function is another special function in Go that is automatically called before the main function. The init function is typically used to initialize variables or perform setup tasks that need to be done before the main program runs. Here is an example of an init function:

func init() {
    fmt.Println("This is the init function")

Functions vs Methods

In Go, functions are different from methods. A method is a function that is associated with a specific type, whereas a function is not associated with any type and can be called by itself. Here is an example of a method in Go:

type Person struct {
    name string

func (p *Person) sayHello() {
    fmt.Printf("Hello, my name is %s\n",

How to call a function from another package?

To call a function from another package in Go, you need to import the package and then use the fully qualified function name, which includes the package name and the function name. For example, if you wanted to call the hello function defined above from another package, you could do it like this:

import "mypackage"

mypackage.hello() // Output: Hello, world!

Functions in parameters - Golang

Yes, functions can be passed as parameters in Go. This is called function currying, and it allows you to create functions with variable number of arguments. Here is an example of passing a function as a parameter in Go:

func add(x, y int) int {
    return x + y

func apply(f func(int, int) int, a, b int) int {
    return f(a, b)

result := apply(add, 1, 2) // Output: 3

In this example, the add function is passed as a parameter to the apply function, which then calls the add function and returns the result.


In conclusion, functions in Go language are blocks of code that can be called whenever needed in the code. They take one or multiple inputs and return output or errors. Functions are defined using the func keyword and have a specific syntax, including the function name, input values, and return values. Go also has special functions called main and init, which are automatically called when a program is executed. In addition, Go has a distinction between functions and methods, where a method is associated with a specific type. Functions can also be passed as parameters in Go, which is called function currying.

About the author:
Pradeep has expertise in Linux, Go, Nginx, Apache, CyberSecurity, AppSec and various other technical areas. He has contributed to numerous publications and websites, providing his readers with insightful and informative content.