dep - Picking Version From GOPATH

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This post is about a feature in golang/dep that could be used by developers who are not using vendor directory to vendor their dependencies, but depend on the version of the dependencies checked out in their GOPATH.

dep provides a subcommand, dep init, for initializing a go project to use dep. It creates two files, a manifest file, called Gopkg.toml, and a lock file, called Gopkg.lock. These files contain details about all the dependencies analyzed by dep while initializing.

By default, init would reach out to the network and check for the latest available version of the dependencies of the project and set some default constraints for those dependencies in the manifest. But this behavior might not work for everyone. For those who do not use vendor directory to keep their dependencies or any other vendoring tools, and depend on the checked out version of the projects in their GOPATH, init provides a flag to make thing easy.

dep init -gopath can be used to tell dep to initialize the project, but check GOPATH to get the version of the projects. This would still download the whole VCS source of the projects and store in dep’s cache, but it would set the constraints to what was in the projects in GOPATH. It doesn’t reuse the source of the projects in GOPATH, only hints from the VCS to figure out the version of the projects. And when it can’t find the project in GOPATH, it would fallback to the default behavior and look for the latest available version of the project.

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