Logging and Error Reporting in Go

Logging and error reporting are crucial aspects of any software development process. In the Go programming language, there are several libraries and techniques available to handle logging and error reporting effectively. This article will discuss some of the commonly used practices in Go for logging and error reporting.

Logging in Go

Go provides a built-in standard logging package called log, which offers a simple and convenient way to log messages. The log package supports three types of logging: Print, Printf, and Println. You can choose the appropriate method based on the message you want to log.

Here's an example of basic logging using the log package:

package main

import (

func main() {
    log.Print("This is a log message")  // Print the message without any formatting
    log.Printf("This is a %s message", "formatted")  // Print a formatted message
    log.Println("This is a log message followed by a new line")  // Print the message with a new line

By default, the log package directs the output to the standard error stream (stderr). However, you can redirect it to a file or any other output stream by configuring the logger.

Aside from the standard log package, there are also more advanced logging libraries available in the Go ecosystem, such as logrus, zap, and zerolog. These libraries provide additional features like structured logging, customizable log formats, and performance optimizations.

Error Reporting in Go

In Go, error handling is built upon the error interface provided by the language itself. The idiomatic way to handle errors in Go is by returning an error value from functions or methods that can potentially fail.

Here's an example illustrating error handling in Go:

package main

import (

func divide(a, b float64) (float64, error) {
    if b == 0 {
        return 0, errors.New("division by zero")
    return a / b, nil

func main() {
    result, err := divide(10, 2)
    if err != nil {
        fmt.Println("Error occurred:", err)
    } else {
        fmt.Println("Result:", result)

In this example, the divide function divides two float64 numbers and returns the result, along with an error. If the divisor is zero, it returns an error with a custom message using the errors.New function. In the main function, we check if an error occurs and handle it accordingly.

Besides using the error interface, Go also provides the panic and recover mechanisms for exceptional cases. However, these should be used sparingly and only for critical errors that the program cannot recover from.

For more advanced error handling and reporting, you can leverage third-party libraries like github.com/pkg/errors or github.com/go-errors/errors. These libraries offer additional features such as stack trace capturing and error wrapping.


Logging and error reporting are essential components of any robust software application. In Go, the built-in log package offers a simple logging solution, while various third-party libraries provide more advanced features. Error handling in Go revolves around the error interface, allowing easy propagation of errors throughout the codebase. By understanding and utilizing the logging and error reporting capabilities in Go, you can build reliable and maintainable software applications.

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