Routing (using gorilla/mux)

The built-in package net/http has a simple default router, but it may not cover more advanced routing scenarios, especially if your application requires complex URL patterns or parameter extraction. That’s why we use gorilla/mux package for advanced routing.

gorilla/mux is a powerful URL router and dispatcher for Go. It extends the capabilities of the standard net/http package, providing additional features like route variables, subrouters, and middleware support. With gorilla/mux, you can create complex routing structures for your web applications.

Before using gorilla/mux, you need to install it. Open a terminal and run the following command to install:

go get -u

Before installation, you have to run following command:

go mod init <module_name>

It creates a go. mod file that defines the module’s path and sets it up for dependency management.

Basic Routing

Let’s create a simple Go program that uses gorilla/mux for basic routing:

package main
import (
func main() {
    router := mux.NewRouter()
    router.HandleFunc("/", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    	fmt.Fprint(w, "Welcome to the homepage!")
    http.ListenAndServe(":8080", router)

In this example, we create a new gorilla/mux router, define a route for the root path (”/”), and handle the request with a simple message.

Route Variables

gorilla/mux allows you to capture variables from the URL.


router.HandleFunc("/user/{name}", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	vars := mux.Vars(r)
	name := vars["name"]
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "Hello, %s!", name)

In this example, the route /user/{name} captures the name variable from the URL and responds with a personalized greeting.

Route Patterns

gorilla/mux supports flexible route patterns. For example, you can define routes with specific constraints or match patterns:

router.HandleFunc("/articles/{category:[a-z]+}/{id:[0-9]+}", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	vars := mux.Vars(r)
	category := vars["category"]
	id := vars["id"]
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "Category: %s, ID: %s", category, id)

In this example, the route pattern:


ensures that category is lowercase letters, and id is numeric.


gorilla/mux allows you to create subrouters, which can be useful for organizing routes:

apiRouter := router.PathPrefix("/api").Subrouter()
apiRouter.HandleFunc("/users", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	fmt.Fprint(w, "List of users")

apiRouter.HandleFunc("/users/{id}", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	vars := mux.Vars(r)
	id := vars["id"]
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "User ID: %s", id)

In this example, all routes under the /api path are grouped within a subrouter.


gorilla/mux supports middleware, allowing you to execute code before or after handling a request. Here’s a simple middleware example:

func LoggingMiddleware(next http.Handler) http.Handler {
	return http.HandlerFunc(func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
		fmt.Println("Request received:", r.Method, r.URL.Path)
		next.ServeHTTP(w, r)

func main() {
	router := mux.NewRouter()

	// Apply the LoggingMiddleware to all routes

In this example, the LoggingMiddleware logs information about each incoming request.

Handling HTTP Methods

gorilla/mux makes it easy to handle different HTTP methods on the same route:

router.HandleFunc("/articles", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	switch r.Method {
	case http.MethodGet:
		fmt.Fprint(w, "Get articles")
	case http.MethodPost:
		fmt.Fprint(w, "Create a new article")
		http.Error(w, "Method not allowed", http.StatusMethodNotAllowed)

In this example, the route /articles responds differently based on the HTTP method used.