For troubleshooting purposes it’s useful to embed a unique version info into each artifact you build. The following approach has proven to be very robust when developing e.g. Go programs.

The following build command instructs the Go linker to embed the version info into the resulting executable (file


set -e

source ./
LDFLAGS="-w -s -X main.VersionInfo=$(get_version_info)"
go build -ldflags "$LDFLAGS" -o $BINARY

The get_version_info function is implemented in the file:



function get_version_info {

    local COMMIT_COUNT_TOWARDS_HEAD=$(git rev-list --count HEAD)
    local BRANCH_NAME=$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD)
    local SHORT_COMMIT_HASH=$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)

    local DIRTY_LABEL=""
    if [ $(git status --porcelain | wc -l) -ne 0 ]; then


The version info consists of the following parts

  • COMMIT_COUNT_TOWARDS_HEAD: The number of commits leading from the initial commit to the current HEAD. This enables a developer to estimate the age of a version. A high number indicates a young version, whereas a lower number indicates an old version.

  • BRANCH_NAME: The name of the current branch ;-)

  • SHORT_COMMIT_HASH: The abbreviated version of the Git commit hash.

  • DIRTY_LABEL: A label / flag which indicates if the current working copy was dirty during the build.


  • 10-master-a22f7da-dirty
  • 10-master-a22f7da
  • 1113-fix-caching-issue-3feab24

You can then access the version info string using the VersionInfo variable in e.g. main.go:

package main


var VersionInfo string

func main() {

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