Golang Basics - Types

Variables in Go are static, and strongly typed. Go has a few primitive types, of which all other types are derived. They are:


There are multiple integer types, depending on the number of bits, and whether it's signed or not:

// Signed integers
int     int8    int16   int32   int64

// Unsigned integers
uint    uint8   uint16  uint32  uint64  uintptr

// Integer aliases
byte    rune

The signed and unsigned integer types store integers that contain the number of bits denoted by the type. For example, int32 is a 32 bit integer. The int and uint types store integers with the nuber of bits dependent on the system for which the code is compiled.

The byte type is an alias for uint8. Since it represents 8 bits, it can also be represented by an 8-bit integer value.

The rune type is used to represent individual characters, or code points, in a string. Since each code point can be represented by 32 bits, it can be aliased to int32.

You can read more about runes on the official blog

Float and complex values

You can denote 32-bit and 64-bit floating point numbers by using the float32 and float64 types respectively.

Go also has provisions for complex values (x + iy) with the complex64 and complex128 types which hold pairs of float32 and float64 values for the real and imaginary parts of the complex number.

// The default type when declared with `:=` is float64
pi := 3.1412

// A float32 type can be initialized like this
var pi32 float32 = 3.1412

// Default complex type is `complex128`
cmpx := 2 + 3i

// A complex64 type can be initialized like this
var cmpx64 complex64 = 2 + 3i

Integers and float types that are not assigned a value defualt to 0


A string is in effect a collection of characters (in Go terms these are called runes), and denoted by the type string.

A string literal can be defined with " or ` :

name := "John Doe"

var anotherName string
anotherName = "Jane Doe"

description := `A string constructed with backticks can have new-lines included:
...Like this!`

A string without an assigned value defaults to an empty string ""

Boolean types

The bool type is used to denote the boolean values: true and false

flag := true

var toggle bool

A boolean without an assigned value defaults to false

📖 Read next: Structs

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