Since v1.12.0-pro, GoReleaser can split and merge its release process.

This means that you can run the builds for each platform in its own machine, and then merge the results and publish later.

This can be useful if you need CGO, or if your build process takes too long.

In this post we’ll set up an example using GitHub Actions and a sample project.

GoReleaser config

By default, GoReleaser will split by GOOS, so, if you run goreleaser release --split in a Linux machine, it’ll build all targets where GOOS is Linux.

You might want one worker per actual target, and you do that by adding this to your .goreleaser.yml:

# goreleaser.yaml
partial:
  by: target

Now, running goreleaser release --split will build only the targets matching the current GOOS and GOARCH.

GitHub Actions

Now, we need to set up our pipeline.

Here’s the full .github/workflows/release.yml:

# .github/workflows/release.yml
name: goreleaser

on:
  push:
    tags: ['v*']

permissions:
  contents: write
  id-token: write
  packages: write

jobs:
  prepare:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        GOOS: [linux, windows, darwin]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
        with:
          fetch-depth: 0
      - uses: actions/setup-go@v3
        with:
          go-version: 1.19
          cache: true
      - shell: bash
        run: echo "sha_short=$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)" >> $GITHUB_ENV
      - id: cache
        uses: actions/cache@v3
        with:
          path: dist/${{ matrix.GOOS }}
          key: ${{ matrix.GOOS }}-${{ env.sha_short }}
      - uses: goreleaser/goreleaser-action@v3
        if: steps.cache.outputs.cache-hit != 'true'
        with:
          distribution: goreleaser-pro
          version: latest
          args: release --rm-dist --split
        env:
          GGOOS: ${{ matrix.GOOS }}
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GH_PAT }}
          GORELEASER_KEY: ${{ secrets.GORELEASER_KEY }}
  release:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    needs: prepare
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
        with:
          fetch-depth: 0
      - uses: actions/setup-go@v3
        with:
          go-version: 1.19
          cache: true

      # copy the cashes from prepare
      - shell: bash
        run: echo "sha_short=$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)" >> $GITHUB_ENV
      - uses: actions/cache@v3
        with:
          path: dist/linux
          key: linux-${{ env.sha_short }}
      - uses: actions/cache@v3
        with:
          path: dist/darwin
          key: darwin-${{ env.sha_short }}
      - uses: actions/cache@v3
        with:
          path: dist/windows
          key: windows-${{ env.sha_short }}


      # release
      - uses: goreleaser/goreleaser-action@v3
        with:
          distribution: goreleaser-pro
          version: latest
          args: continue --merge
        env:
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GH_PAT }}
          GORELEASER_KEY: ${{ secrets.GORELEASER_KEY }}

This workflow will:

  • run one prepare job for linux, windows and darwin
    • it runs goreleaser release --rm-dist --split
    • the artifacts are then stored at dist/$GOOS, and we copy them to the cache using the current commit SHA as key
  • finally, it runs the release job
    • it copies the dist folders from previous runs into ./dist
    • and then runs goreleaser release continue --merge

And that should give you this result:

GitHub actions Run workflow

GitHub actions Run workflow

Takeaways

In this example we don’t need CGO, that’s why we run everything on ubuntu-latest, and pass the GOOS to the goreleaser-action via GGOOS (GoReleaser GOOS).

If you need CGO, you can change the workflow to something like this:

# .github/workflows/release.yml

# ...

jobs:
  prepare:
    strategy:
      matrix:
        os: [ubuntu-latest, macos-latest, windows-latest]
    runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}

# ...

Finally, if you set partial.by=target, you’d need even more configuration.

You can also use it with the new nightlies feature, with Docker and everything else.

If you want to see a full working example, check out this repository. Also worth checking out the documentation.