January 15, 2019

790 words 4 mins read



Goby - Yet another programming language written in Go

repo name goby-lang/goby
repo link https://github.com/goby-lang/goby
language Go
size (curr.) 6432 kB
stars (curr.) 3017
created 2017-02-08
license MIT License


Discord Build Status GoDoc Go Report Card codecov Readme Score Snap Status Open Source Helpers Reviewed by Hound

Goby is an object-oriented interpreter language deeply inspired by Ruby as well as its core implementation by 100% pure Go. Moreover, it has standard libraries to provide several features such as the Plugin system. Note that we do not intend to reproduce whole of the honorable works of Ruby syntax/implementation/libraries.

The expected use case for Goby would be backend development. With this goal, it equips (but not limited to) the following features:

  • thread/channel mechanism powered by Go’s goroutine
  • Builtin database library (currently only support PostgreSQL adapter)
  • JSON support
  • Plugin system that can load existing Go packages dynamically (Only for Linux and MacOS right now)
  • Accessing Go objects from Goby directly

Note: Goby had formerly been known as “Rooby”, which was renamed in May 2017.

Table of contents

Demo screen and sample Goby app

Click to see the demo below (powered by asciinema and GIPHY).

New! Check-out our sample app built with Goby. Source code is also available here.



Goby has several aspects: language specification, design of compiler and vm, implementation (just one for now), library, and the whole of them. See more

We are optimizing and expanding Goby all the time. Toward the first release, we’ve been focusing on implementing Goby first.

Major Features

  • Plugin system
    • Allows using Go libraries (packages) dynamically
    • Allows calling Go’s methods from Goby directly (only on Linux for now)
  • Builtin multi-threaded server and DB library
  • REPL (run goby -i)

Here’s a complete list of all the features.

Current roadmap

See wiki: Current roadmap


Confirmed Goby runs on Mac OS and Linux for now. Try Goby on Windows and let us know the result.

A. Via Homebrew (binary installation for Mac OS)

Note: Please check the latest release before installing Goby via Homebrew

brew tap goby-lang/goby
brew install goby

In the case, $GOBY_ROOT is automatically configured.

B. From Source

Try this if you’d like to contribute Goby! Skip 1 if you already have Golang in your environment.

  1. Prepare Golang environment
    • Install Golang >= 1.12
    • Make sure $GOPATH in your shell’s config file( like .bashrc) is correct
    • Add your $GOPATH/bin to $PATH
    • Add export GO111MODULE=on to your shell profile
  2. Run go get github.com/goby-lang/goby
  3. Set the Goby project’s exact root path $GOBY_ROOT manually, which should be:

C. Installation on a Linux system

In order to install Go, Goby and PostgreSQL on a Linux system, see the wiki page.

Verifying Goby installation

  1. Run goby -v to see the version.
  2. Run goby -i to launch igb REPL.
  3. Type require "uri" in igb.

FYI: You can just run brew test goby to check Homebrew installation.

If you have any issue installing Goby, please let us know via GitHub issues

Using Docker

Goby has official docker image as well. You can try the Plugin System using docker.

Syntax highlighting

The Goby syntax is currently a subset of the Ruby one, with an exception (get_block), therefore, it’s possible to attain syntax highlighting on any platform/editor by simply switching it to Ruby for the currently opened file.

Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3 users can use the Only Goby package, by typing the following in a terminal:

git clone git@github.com:saveriomiroddi/only-goby-for-sublime-text "$HOME/.config/sublime-text-3/Packages/only-goby-for-sublime-text"

this will automatically apply the Goby syntax highlighting to the .gb files.


Vim users can use the vim-goby-syntax-highlighting definition, by typing the following in a terminal:

mkdir -p "$HOME/.vim/syntax"
wget -O "$HOME/.vim/syntax/goby.vim" https://raw.githubusercontent.com/saveriomiroddi/vim-goby-syntax-highlighting/master/goby.vim
echo 'au BufNewFile,BufRead *.gb    setf goby' >> "$HOME/.vim/filetype.vim"

this will automatically apply the Goby syntax highlighting to the .gb files.


SpaceVim users can load the lang#goby layer by adding following configuration:

  name = "lang#goby"

Sample codes

More sample Goby codes can be found in sample directory.

Joining to Goby

Join us on Slack!

See the guideline.


  • @st0012
  • @hachi8833
  • @saveriomiroddi


Support Us


Support us with a monthly donation and help us continue our activities. [Become a backer]


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JetBrains Goland

Supporting Goby by sending your first PR! See contribution guideline


The followings are the essential resources to create Goby; I highly recommend you to check them first if you’d be interested in building your own languages:

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