How to Recursively Traverse Directories in Go

1. Introduction

Traversing directories recursively is a common task in file system manipulation, often required when you need to process files and directories within a directory tree. In Go, this can be accomplished by using the path/filepath package, which provides the Walk function. This blog post will demonstrate how to recursively traverse directories in Go.


Recursive traversal of directories in Go involves executing a function for every file and directory in a directory tree. The filepath.Walk function walks the file tree rooted at a particular directory, calling a user-defined function for each file or directory, including nested ones.

2. Program Steps

1. Define a function that will be called for each entry in the directory tree.

2. Use filepath.Walk to recursively traverse directories.

3. Handle any errors that might occur during traversal.

3. Code Program

package main

import (

// visit function is called for each file or directory found recursively by filepath.Walk
func visit(path string, info os.DirEntry, err error) error {
	if err != nil {
		fmt.Println("Error visiting path:", path, err)
		return err
	fmt.Println("Visited:", path)
	return nil

func main() {
	// The root directory from which the traversal will start
	root := "."

	// Step 2: Use filepath.Walk to traverse directories
	err := filepath.WalkDir(root, visit)
	if err != nil {
		// Step 3: Handle any errors
		fmt.Printf("An error occurred while walking through directory: %s\n", err)


Visited: .
Visited: ./file1.txt
Visited: ./subdir
Visited: ./subdir/file2.txt
// ...additional lines as per the directory tree...


1. package main - The package declaration for the Go program.

2. import statements - Bringing in the necessary packages: fmt for printing, os for file system operations, and path/filepath for recursive directory traversal.

3. visit is the function that will be called for each file or directory found by filepath.WalkDir. It prints the path of the visited file or directory.

4. An error parameter in the visit function allows error handling for each file or directory visited.

5. root is a string variable that defines the starting point of the directory traversal.

6. filepath.WalkDir is called with the root directory and the visit function. It walks the directory tree recursively and calls visit for each entry.

7. If an error occurs during traversal, it is printed to the console.

8. The output shows each visited file and directory starting from the root directory. The actual output will depend on the directory structure where the program is run.