Synchronization using Channels in Go Programming Language

Concurrency is an essential aspect of Go programming language, and the synchronization of goroutines is crucial for writing correct and efficient concurrent code. While Go provides several synchronization primitives, one of the most powerful and idiomatic ways to achieve synchronization in Go is by using channels.

Channels in Go are communication primitives that allow goroutines to send and receive data between each other. Channels provide a safe and efficient way to orchestrate the execution and coordination of goroutines, ensuring synchronization and preventing race conditions.

Basics of Channels

Channels in Go can be created using the make built-in function, which takes the type of data to be transmitted as a parameter. You can create a channel of integers using the following syntax:

ch := make(chan int)

To send a value into a channel, you use the <- operator followed by the channel variable:

ch <- 42

Conversely, to receive a value from a channel, you use the same <- operator but on the left side:

value := <- ch

Both the sender and receiver must be ready to perform their respective operations on the channel; otherwise, they will block until the other side is ready. This inherent blocking nature of channels helps in synchronizing goroutines and ensuring that communication only happens when both parties are ready.

Synchronization with Channels

Channels can be employed as a tool for synchronization between goroutines by using their blocking nature. Consider the following example:

package main

import (

func worker(i int, ch chan bool) {
    fmt.Printf("Worker %d started\n", i)
    fmt.Printf("Worker %d finished\n", i)
    ch <- true

func main() {
    ch := make(chan bool)

    for i := 1; i <= 5; i++ {
        go worker(i, ch)

    // Waiting for all workers to finish
    for i := 1; i <= 5; i++ {

    fmt.Println("All workers completed")

In this example, the worker function represents some computational work that takes a second to complete. To synchronize the completion of all five workers, we create a channel, ch, of type bool. Each worker routine sends a true value into the channel when finished. In the main function, we use a loop to receive values from the channel five times, effectively waiting for each worker to complete before moving forward.

Through this approach, the main goroutine is synchronized with all the worker goroutines, ensuring that the program waits for all the work to be done before exiting.

Unbuffered vs. Buffered Channels

Go channels can be either unbuffered or buffered. Unbuffered channels provide synchronization guarantees as we have seen so far. However, sending or receiving on an unbuffered channel causes the goroutine to block until the communication is complete.

On the other hand, buffered channels allow a certain number of values to be sent or received without blocking. Buffered channels provide additional flexibility and can be useful when the ordering of operations is not critical, or when slight decoupling of peer goroutines is desired.

Buffered channels can be created by passing an additional capacity parameter to the make function:

ch := make(chan int, 10)

In the example above, ch is a buffered channel with a capacity of 10, meaning it can hold up to 10 values without causing a goroutine to block.


Channels are an essential tool for achieving synchronization in Go programming language. By leveraging the blocking nature of channels, goroutines can be effectively orchestrated to perform concurrent tasks safely and efficiently.

Whether employing unbuffered channels for strict synchronization guarantees or utilizing buffered channels for more flexibility, synchronization using channels is a fundamental technique in concurrent Go programming. It enables developers to write robust and maintainable code, ensuring proper coordination and communication between goroutines.

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