Subcommands like tinygo flash and tinygo version.

TinyGo tries to be similar to the main go command in usage. It consists of the following main subcommands:


Compile the given program. The output binary is specified using the -o parameter. The generated file type depends on the extension:

.o Create a relocatable object file. You can use this option if you don’t want to use the TinyGo build system or want to do other custom things.

.ll Create textual LLVM IR, after optimization. This is mainly useful for debugging.

.bc Create LLVM bitcode, after optimization. This may be useful for debugging or for linking into other programs using LTO.

.hex Create an Intel HEX file to flash it to a microcontroller.

.bin Similar, but create a binary file.

.wasm Compile and link a WebAssembly file.

(all other) Compile and link the program into a regular executable. For microcontrollers, it is common to use the .elf file extension to indicate a linked ELF file is generated. For Linux, it is common to build binaries with no extension at all.


Run the program, either directly on the host or in an emulated environment (depending on -target).


Flash the program to a microcontroller. Some common flags are described below.

-target={name}: Specifies the type of microcontroller that is used. The name of the microcontroller is given on the individual pages for each board type listed under Microcontrollers. For example, arduino-nano, d1mini, xiao.

-monitor: Start the serial monitor (see below) immediately after flashing. However, some microcontrollers need a split second or two to configure the serial port after flashing, and using the -monitor flag can fail because the serial monitor starts too quickly. In that case, use the tinygo monitor command explicitly.


Start the serial monitor on the serial port that is connected to the microcontroller. If there is only a single board attached to the host computer, the default values for various options should be sufficient. In other situations, particularly if you have multiple microcontrollers attached, some parameters may need to be overridden using the following flags:

-port={port}: If there are multiple microcontroller attached, an error message will display a list of potential serial ports. The appropriate port can be specified by this flag. On Linux, the port will be something like /dev/ttyUSB0 or /dev/ttyACM1. On MacOS, the port will look like /dev/cu.usbserial-1420. On Windows, the port will be something like COM1 or COM31.

-baudrate={rate}: The default baud rate is 115200. Boards using the AVR processor (e.g. Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega 2560) use 9600 instead.

-target={name}: If you have more than one microcontrollers attached, you can sometimes just specify the target name and let tinygo monitor figure out the port. Sometimes, this does not work and you have to explicitly use the -port flag.

The serial monitor intercepts several control characters for its own use instead of sending them to the microcontroller:

  • Control-C: terminates the tinygo monitor
  • Control-Z: suspends the tinygo monitor and drops back into shell
  • Control-\: terminates the tinygo monitor with a stack trace
  • Control-S: flow control, suspends output to the console
  • Control-Q: flow control, resumes output to the console
  • Control-@: thrown away by tinygo monitor

Note: If you are using os.Stdin on the microcontroller, you may find that a CR character on the host computer (also known as Enter, ^M, or \r) is transmitted to the microcontroller without conversion, so os.Stdin returns a \r character instead of the expected \n (also known as ^J, NL, or LF) to indicate end-of-line. You may be able to get around this problem by hitting Control-J in tinygo monitor to transmit the \n end-of-line character.


Compile the program, optionally flash it to a microcontroller if it is a remote target, and drop into a GDB shell. From there you can set breakpoints, start the program with run or continue (run for a local program, continue for on-chip debugging), single-step, show a backtrace, break and resume the program with Ctrl-C/continue, etc. You may need to install extra tools (like openocd and arm-none-eabi-gdb) to be able to do this. Also, you may need a dedicated debugger to be able to debug certain boards if no debugger is integrated. Some boards (like the BBC micro:bit and most professional evaluation boards) have an integrated debugger.


Clean the cache directory, normally stored in $HOME/.cache/tinygo. This is not normally needed.


Print a short summary of the available commands, plus a list of command flags.


Print the version of the command and the version of the used $GOROOT.


Print a list of environment variables that affect TinyGo (as a shell script). If one or more variable names are given as arguments, env prints the value of each on a new line.