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Talal Yousif
Talal Yousif

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Excluding files from code coverage in GO

It's not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where you would like to make an exception for some code from being included in code coverage; perhaps it's auto-generated code or perhaps it's a wrapper of a third party API. Unfortunately, unlike many other languages, there is no built-in way to do this in Go (Hopefully not for too long). In this article, we go over a simple workaround to achieve this goal.

First things first, a quick recap. Code coverage can be generated using the go cover tool. From the docs, usage of the tool is described as:

Usage of 'go tool cover':
Given a coverage profile produced by 'go test':
go test -coverprofile=c.out
Open a web browser displaying annotated source code:
go tool cover -html=c.out

As such, we first run our tests using:

go test ./... -coverprofile=coverage.out
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Subsequently, we generate code coverage using:

go tool cover -html=coverage.out
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I like to run the commands one after the other in one call, like so:

go test ./... -coverprofile=coverage.out && go tool cover -html=coverage.out
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The workaround

It's simple. Code coverage is generated based on the coverprofile which is no more than a plain text file annotating which lines of each code file are covered and which are not. Remove all lines about a file from the coverprofile and it won't be included in the code coverage report. As simple as that.

Here is what a coverprofile looks like

Screenshot of a coverprofile

It wouldn't be ideal if we have to manually manipulate the coverprofile every time we want to generate code coverage. A better way would be to automate this process. For that, We need to do 2 things. The first is a file that holds paths to files to be excluded from code coverage. File paths in this file should include the full package name. I created a file named "exclude-from-code-coverage.txt". Here is a snippet of what it looks like

Screenshot of exclude-from-code-coverage.txt

The second is a script that removes files in exclude-from-code-coverage.txt from the coverprofile. This simple script (named does just that:

while read p || [ -n "$p" ] 
sed -i '' "/${p//\//\\/}/d" ./coverage.out 
done < ./exclude-from-code-coverage.txt
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And finally, tying it all together:

go test ./... -coverprofile=coverage.out && ./ && go tool cover -html=coverage.out
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Let's break it down:

  1. The first command, go test ./... -coverprofile=coverage.out runs the tests and generates the coverprofile.
  2. The second command, ./, removes files we want to exclude from code coverage from the coverprofile.
  3. The third command, go tool cover -html=coverage.out, generated the code coverage report.

Discussion (3)

talalyousif profile image
Talal Yousif Author

One last thing to note, that I find interesting, is that one way to exclude a file from coverage natively would be to not have tests on the whole package. What I mean by this is: if you have a package called api and you have 3 files under this package, api_one.go, api_two.go and api_three.go. If you have no test files, then package api will not be counted towards the overall code coverage nor will it be considered to have 0% coverage. However, if you add a test file api_one_test.go, then your package will be included in the overall coverage percentage and it will have a coverage percentage value.

marcello_h profile image

go test -count=1 -coverprofile coverage.out -coverpkg=./... ./...
cat coverage.out | grep -v "mock" | grep -v "othername" >

pritamlipu1 profile image
pritamlipu1 • Edited on

go test ./store/... ./server/... -race -v -coverprofile="coverage.out"
where store and server are 2 packages.
Note: "..." is to add subfolders as well.