First, make sure you have Go 1.11 installed and that GOPATH/bin is on your path.
Let’s review what everything looks like in Go 1.11 without the Athens proxy in the picture:
$ git clone https://github.com/athens-artifacts/walkthrough.git $ cd walkthrough $ GO111MODULE=on go run . go: downloading github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib v1.0.0 The 🦁 says rawr!
$ git clone https://github.com/athens-artifacts/walkthrough.git $ cd walkthrough $ $env:GO111MODULE = "on" $ go run . go: downloading github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib v1.0.0 The 🦁 says rawr!
The end result of running this command is that Go downloaded the package source and packaged it into a module, saving it in the Go Modules local storage.
Now that we have seen Go Modules in action without the Athens proxy, let’s take a look at how the Athens proxy changes the workflow and the output.
Using the most simple installation possible, let’s walk through how to use the Athens proxy, and figure out what is happening at each step.
Before moving on, let’s clear our Go Modules local files so that we can see the Athens proxy in action without any modules locally populated:
sudo rm -fr $(go env GOPATH)/pkg/mod
rm -recurse -force "$(go env GOPATH)\pkg\mod"
Now run the Athens proxy in a background process:
$ mkdir -p $(go env GOPATH)/src/github.com/gomods $ cd $(go env GOPATH)/src/github.com/gomods $ git clone https://github.com/gomods/athens.git $ cd athens $ GO111MODULE=off go run ./cmd/proxy &  25243 INFO Starting application at 127.0.0.1:3000
Note: Building Athens with Go Modules enabled is not yet supported, so we have turned it off in the above example.
$ mkdir "$(go env GOPATH)\src\github.com\gomods" $ cd "$(go env GOPATH)\src\github.com\gomods" $ git clone https://github.com/gomods/athens.git $ cd athens $ $env:GO111MODULE = "off" $ Start-Process -NoNewWindow go "run .\cmd\proxy"  25243 INFO Starting application at 127.0.0.1:3000
The Athens proxy is now running in the background and is listening for requests from localhost (127.0.0.1) on port 3000.
Since we didn’t provide any specific configuration the Athens proxy is using in-memory storage, which is only suitable for trying out the Athens proxy for a short period of time, as you will quickly run out of memory and the storage doesn’t persist between restarts.
In order to run the Athens Proxy using docker, we need first to create a directory that will store the persitant modules.
In the example below, the new directory is named
athens-storage and is located in our userspace (i.e.
Then we need to set the
ATHENS_DISK_STORAGE_ROOT environment variables when we run the Docker container.
export ATHENS_STORAGE=$HOME/athens-storage mkdir -p $ATHENS_STORAGE docker run -d -v $ATHENS_STORAGE:/var/lib/athens \ -e ATHENS_DISK_STORAGE_ROOT=/var/lib/athens \ -e ATHENS_STORAGE_TYPE=disk \ --name athens-proxy \ --restart always \ -p 3000:3000 \ gomods/athens:latest
$env:ATHENS_STORAGE = "$(Join-Path $HOME athens-storage)" md -Path $env:ATHENS_STORAGE docker run -d -v "$($env:ATHENS-STORAGE):/var/lib/athens" ` -e ATHENS_DISK_STORAGE_ROOT=/var/lib/athens ` -e ATHENS_STORAGE_TYPE=disk ` --name athens-proxy ` --restart always ` -p 3000:3000 ` gomods/athens:latest
Next, you will need to enable the Go Modules feature and configure Go to use the Athens proxy!
export GO111MODULE=on export GOPROXY=http://127.0.0.1:3000
$env:GO111MODULE = "on" $env:GOPROXY = "http://127.0.0.1:3000"
GO111MODULE environment variable controls the Go Modules feature in Go 1.11 only.
Possible values are:
on: Always use Go Modules
auto(default): Only use Go Modules when a go.mod file is present, or the go command is run from outside the GOPATH
off: Never use Go Modules
GOPROXY environment variable tells the
go binary that instead of talking to
the version control system, such as github.com, directly when resolving your package
dependencies, instead it should communicate with a proxy. The Athens proxy implements
the Go Download Protocol, and is responsible for listing available
versions for a package in addition to providing a zip of particular package versions.
Now, you when you build and run this example application,
go will fetch dependencies via Athens!
$ cd ../walkthrough $ go run . go: finding github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib v1.0.0 handler: GET /github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib/@v/v1.0.0.info  handler: GET /github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib/@v/v1.0.0.mod  go: downloading github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib v1.0.0 handler: GET /github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib/@v/v1.0.0.zip  The 🦁 says rawr!
The output from
go run . includes attempts to find the github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib dependency. Since the
proxy was run in the background, you should also see output from Athens indicating that it is handling requests for the dependency.
Let’s break down what is happening here:
At this point the Go Modules feature comes into play because we have it enabled. Instead of looking in the GOPATH for the package, Go reads our go.mod file and sees that we want a particular version of that package, v1.0.0.
module github.com/athens-artifacts/walkthrough require github.com/athens-artifacts/samplelib v1.0.0
Go first checks for email@example.com in the Go Modules local storage, located in GOPATH/pkg/mod. If that version of the package is already local storage, then Go will use it and stop looking. But since this is our first time running this, our local storage is empty and Go keeps looking.
Go requests firstname.lastname@example.org from our proxy because it is set in the GOPROXY environment variable.
The Athens proxy checks its own storage (in this case is in-memory) for the package and doesn’t find it. So it retrieves it from github.com and then saves it for subsequent requests.
Go downloads the module zip and puts it in the Go Modules local storage GOPATH/pkg/mod.
Go will use the module and build our application!
Subsequent calls to
go run . will be much less verbose:
$ go run . The 🦁 says rawr!
No additional output is printed because Go found email@example.com in the Go Module local storage and did not need to request it from the Athens proxy.
Lastly, quitting from the Athens proxy. This cannot be done directly because we are starting the Athens proxy in the background, thus we must kill it by finding it’s process ID and killing it manually.
lsof -i @localhost:3000 kill -9 <<PID>>
netstat -ano | findstr :3000 (local host Port number) taskkill /PID typeyourPIDhere /F
Now that you have seen Athens in Action: