November 13, 2018

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a pure-Go userland for your Raspberry Pi 3 appliances

repo name gokrazy/gokrazy
repo link
language Go
size (curr.) 206 kB
stars (curr.) 1592
created 2017-02-04
license BSD 3-Clause “New” or “Revised” License

Build Status Go Report Card


gokrazy packs your Go application(s) into an SD card image for the Raspberry Pi 3 which — aside from the Linux kernel and proprietary Raspberry Pi bootloader — only contains Go software.

The motivation is that @stapelberg spends way more time on C software and their various issues than he would like. Hence, he is going Go-only where feasible.



Install the latest Go version if you haven’t already.

Then, use the go tool to download and install gokr-packer:

go get -u

Overwriting an SD card for the Raspberry Pi 3

To re-partition and overwrite the SD card /dev/sdx, use:

gokr-packer -overwrite=/dev/sdx

Then, put the SD card into your Raspberry Pi 3 and power it up! Once the Raspberry Pi 3 has booted (takes about 10 seconds), you should be able to reach the gokrazy web interface at the URL which gokr-packer printed.

Under the hood, gokr-packer

  1. …packed the latest firmware and kernel binaries into the boot file system.

  2. …built the specified Go packages using go install and packed all their binaries into the /user directory of the root file system.

  3. …created a minimal gokrazy init program which supervises all binaries (i.e. restarts them when they exit).

Updating your installation

To update gokrazy, including the firmware and kernel binaries, use:

go get -u

To update your gokrazy installation (running on a Raspberry Pi 3), use:

GOKRAZY_UPDATE=http://gokrazy:mysecretpassword@gokrazy/ gokr-packer

SD card contents

gokrazy uses the following partition table:

num size purpose file system
1 100 MB boot (kernel+firmware) FAT16B
2 500 MB root2 (gokrazy+apps) FAT16B (but see issue #10)
3 500 MB root3 (gokrazy+apps) FAT16B (but see issue #10)
4 rest permanent data ext4

The two root partitions are used alternatingly (to avoid modifying the currently active file system) when updating.

If you’d like to store permanent data (i.e. data which will not be overwritten on the next update), you’ll need to create an ext4 file system on the last partition. If your SD card is /dev/sdx, use mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdx4.


Changing program behavior for gokrazy

gokr-packer sets the “gokrazy” build tag for conditional compilation.

You can find an example commit which implements a gokrazy-specific controller that triggers the main program logic every weekday at 10:00 at

Changing init behavior

Assuming the application you’d like to create on gokrazy lives in the repository, this is how you can make gokrazy dump the generated init package’s source:

mkdir -p $(go env GOPATH)/src/
gokr-packer \
  -overwrite_init=$(go env GOPATH)/src/ \

(Note that the package must result in a binary called “init”.)

Then, edit the package to your liking. When done, pack an image with your own init package:

gokr-packer \ \
  -overwrite=/dev/sdx \

Repository structure

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