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May 21st 2020
Last Modified


Rebuild and re-run your Go applications when files change.

This project was inspired by The lack of updates and response from the maintainer, non-idiomatic codebase, numerous bugs, and lack of detailed reporting made the project a dead end for me to use. Enter refresh.

This simple command line application will watch your files, trigger a build of your Go binary and restart the application for you.


$ go get

Getting Started

First you’ll want to create a refresh.yml configuration file:

$ refresh init

If you want the config file in a different directory:

$ refresh init -c path/to/config.yml

Set it up the way you want, but I believe the defaults really speak for themselves, and will probably work for 90% of the use cases out there.


Once you have your configuration all set up, all you need to do is run it:

$ refresh run

That’s it! Now, as you change your code the binary will be re-built and re-started for you.

HTTP Handler

Refresh is nice enough to ship with an http.Handler that you can wrap around your requests. Why would you want to do that? Well, if there is an error doing a build, the built in http.Handler will print the error in your browser in giant text so you’ll know that there was a problem, and where to fix it (hopefully).

m := http.NewServeMux()
err = http.ListenAndServe(":3000", web.ErrorChecker(m))

Configuration Settings

# The root of your application relative to your configuration file.
app_root: .
# List of folders you don't want to watch. The more folders you ignore, the 
# faster things will be.
  - vendor
  - log
  - tmp
# List of file extensions you want to watch for changes.
  - .go
# The directory you want to build your binary in.
build_path: /tmp
# `fsnotify` can trigger many events at once when you change a file. To minimize
# unnecessary builds, a delay is used to ignore extra events.
build_delay: 200ms
# If you have a specific sub-directory of your project you want to build.
build_target_path : "./cmd/cli"
# What you would like to name the built binary.
binary_name: refresh-build
# Extra command line flags you want passed to the built binary when running it.
command_flags: ["--env", "development"]
# Extra environment variables you want defined when the built binary is run.
command_env: ["PORT=1234"]
# If you want colors to be used when printing out log messages.
enable_colors: true