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Upgrade or Downgrade Go installed with Homebrew.

Upgrade or Downgrade Go installed with Homebrew.

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Nitin Singh

Published on Jan 19, 2021

3 min read

How to upgrade or downgrade Go installed with Homebrew.

While working in cross team environment, I just had the issue that I installed Go 1.14 which messed up my VSCode auto completion and it is also not supported by the CI/CD pipeline I was using. This meant I needed to downgrade to lower Go versions either 1.12/1.13.

This took me a more longer than I’d be willing to expected a fix. Partially because the naming in Homebrew is sometimes a bit hard to follow #11091 .

Here are 3 simple steps involved:

  • Install wanted version,
  • unlink old one,
  • link new one.

Check current version

 ~ go version                                                                                                                                                                                            
go version go1.14.13 darwin/amd64

Install specific go version you want

The available versions are listed in the Hombrew directory. The Example for Go would be here .

~ brew install go@1.12
Updating Homebrew...
==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
Updated 2 taps (homebrew/core and homebrew/cask).
==> Updated Formulae
openssl@1.1 ✔
==> Downloading
Already downloaded: /Users/username/Library/Caches/Homebrew/downloads/6392e5d3faa67a6132d43699cf470ecc764ba42f38cce8cdccb785c587b8bda8--go@1.12-1.12.9.mojave.bottle.tar.gz
==> Pouring go@1.12-1.12.9.mojave.bottle.tar.gz
==> Caveats
go@1.12 is keg-only, which means it was not symlinked into /usr/local,
because this is an alternate version of another formula.

If you need to have go@1.12 first in your PATH run:
  echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/opt/go@1.12/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc

==> Summary
🍺  /usr/local/Cellar/go@1.12/1.12.9: 9,819 files, 452.8MB
~ brew unlink go
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/go/1.14... 3 symlinks removed

As the specific formula we want (go@1.12) is a keg-only formula it must be linked with --force. If you try without it’ll tell you just that. As explained in the FAQ a key-only formula is one that’s only installed into our /usr/local/Cellar directory without being linked automatically.

~ brew link --force go@1.12
Linking /usr/local/Cellar/go@1.12/1.12.9... 3 symlinks created

If you need to have this software first in your PATH instead consider running: echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/opt/go@1.12/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc

Check version

Now that everything is linked correctly it should show the specific version we want:

~ go version
go version go1.12.9 darwin/amd64
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