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Package gocql implements a fast and robust Cassandra driver for the Go programming language. Pass a list of initial node IP addresses to NewCluster to create a new cluster configuration: Port can be specified as part of the address, the above is equivalent to: It is recommended to use the value set in the Cassandra config for broadcast_address or listen_address, an IP address not a domain name. This is because events from Cassandra will use the configured IP address, which is used to index connected hosts. If the domain name specified resolves to more than 1 IP address then the driver may connect multiple times to the same host, and will not mark the node being down or up from events. Then you can customize more options (see ClusterConfig): The driver tries to automatically detect the protocol version to use if not set, but you might want to set the protocol version explicitly, as it's not defined which version will be used in certain situations (for example during upgrade of the cluster when some of the nodes support different set of protocol versions than other nodes). The driver advertises the module name and version in the STARTUP message, so servers are able to detect the version. If you use replace directive in go.mod, the driver will send information about the replacement module instead. When ready, create a session from the configuration. Don't forget to Close the session once you are done with it: CQL protocol uses a SASL-based authentication mechanism and so consists of an exchange of server challenges and client response pairs. The details of the exchanged messages depend on the authenticator used. To use authentication, set ClusterConfig.Authenticator or ClusterConfig.AuthProvider. PasswordAuthenticator is provided to use for username/password authentication: It is possible to secure traffic between the client and server with TLS. To use TLS, set the ClusterConfig.SslOpts field. SslOptions embeds *tls.Config so you can set that directly. There are also helpers to load keys/certificates from files. Warning: Due to historical reasons, the SslOptions is insecure by default, so you need to set EnableHostVerification to true if no Config is set. Most users should set SslOptions.Config to a *tls.Config. SslOptions and Config.InsecureSkipVerify interact as follows: For example: To route queries to local DC first, use DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy. For example, if the datacenter you want to primarily connect is called dc1 (as configured in the database): The driver can route queries to nodes that hold data replicas based on partition key (preferring local DC). Note that TokenAwareHostPolicy can take options such as gocql.ShuffleReplicas and gocql.NonLocalReplicasFallback. We recommend running with a token aware host policy in production for maximum performance. The driver can only use token-aware routing for queries where all partition key columns are query parameters. For example, instead of use The DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy can be replaced with RackAwareRoundRobinPolicy, which takes two parameters, datacenter and rack. Instead of dividing hosts with two tiers (local datacenter and remote datacenters) it divides hosts into three (the local rack, the rest of the local datacenter, and everything else). RackAwareRoundRobinPolicy can be combined with TokenAwareHostPolicy in the same way as DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy. Create queries with Session.Query. Query values must not be reused between different executions and must not be modified after starting execution of the query. To execute a query without reading results, use Query.Exec: Single row can be read by calling Query.Scan: Multiple rows can be read using Iter.Scanner: See Example for complete example. The driver automatically prepares DML queries (SELECT/INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/BATCH statements) and maintains a cache of prepared statements. CQL protocol does not support preparing other query types. When using CQL protocol >= 4, it is possible to use gocql.UnsetValue as the bound value of a column. This will cause the database to ignore writing the column. The main advantage is the ability to keep the same prepared statement even when you don't want to update some fields, where before you needed to make another prepared statement. Session is safe to use from multiple goroutines, so to execute multiple concurrent queries, just execute them from several worker goroutines. Gocql provides synchronously-looking API (as recommended for Go APIs) and the queries are executed asynchronously at the protocol level. Null values are are unmarshalled as zero value of the type. If you need to distinguish for example between text column being null and empty string, you can unmarshal into *string variable instead of string. See Example_nulls for full example. The driver reuses backing memory of slices when unmarshalling. This is an optimization so that a buffer does not need to be allocated for every processed row. However, you need to be careful when storing the slices to other memory structures. When you want to save the data for later use, pass a new slice every time. A common pattern is to declare the slice variable within the scanner loop: The driver supports paging of results with automatic prefetch, see ClusterConfig.PageSize, Session.SetPrefetch, Query.PageSize, and Query.Prefetch. It is also possible to control the paging manually with Query.PageState (this disables automatic prefetch). Manual paging is useful if you want to store the page state externally, for example in a URL to allow users browse pages in a result. You might want to sign/encrypt the paging state when exposing it externally since it contains data from primary keys. Paging state is specific to the CQL protocol version and the exact query used. It is meant as opaque state that should not be modified. If you send paging state from different query or protocol version, then the behaviour is not defined (you might get unexpected results or an error from the server). For example, do not send paging state returned by node using protocol version 3 to a node using protocol version 4. Also, when using protocol version 4, paging state between Cassandra 2.2 and 3.0 is incompatible ( The driver does not check whether the paging state is from the same protocol version/statement. You might want to validate yourself as this could be a problem if you store paging state externally. For example, if you store paging state in a URL, the URLs might become broken when you upgrade your cluster. Call Query.PageState(nil) to fetch just the first page of the query results. Pass the page state returned by Iter.PageState to Query.PageState of a subsequent query to get the next page. If the length of slice returned by Iter.PageState is zero, there are no more pages available (or an error occurred). Using too low values of PageSize will negatively affect performance, a value below 100 is probably too low. While Cassandra returns exactly PageSize items (except for last page) in a page currently, the protocol authors explicitly reserved the right to return smaller or larger amount of items in a page for performance reasons, so don't rely on the page having the exact count of items. See Example_paging for an example of manual paging. There are certain situations when you don't know the list of columns in advance, mainly when the query is supplied by the user. Iter.Columns, Iter.RowData, Iter.MapScan and Iter.SliceMap can be used to handle this case. See Example_dynamicColumns. The CQL protocol supports sending batches of DML statements (INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE) and so does gocql. Use Session.NewBatch to create a new batch and then fill-in details of individual queries. Then execute the batch with Session.ExecuteBatch. Logged batches ensure atomicity, either all or none of the operations in the batch will succeed, but they have overhead to ensure this property. Unlogged batches don't have the overhead of logged batches, but don't guarantee atomicity. Updates of counters are handled specially by Cassandra so batches of counter updates have to use CounterBatch type. A counter batch can only contain statements to update counters. For unlogged batches it is recommended to send only single-partition batches (i.e. all statements in the batch should involve only a single partition). Multi-partition batch needs to be split by the coordinator node and re-sent to correct nodes. With single-partition batches you can send the batch directly to the node for the partition without incurring the additional network hop. It is also possible to pass entire BEGIN BATCH .. APPLY BATCH statement to Query.Exec. There are differences how those are executed. BEGIN BATCH statement passed to Query.Exec is prepared as a whole in a single statement. Session.ExecuteBatch prepares individual statements in the batch. If you have variable-length batches using the same statement, using Session.ExecuteBatch is more efficient. See Example_batch for an example. Query.ScanCAS or Query.MapScanCAS can be used to execute a single-statement lightweight transaction (an INSERT/UPDATE .. IF statement) and reading its result. See example for Query.MapScanCAS. Multiple-statement lightweight transactions can be executed as a logged batch that contains at least one conditional statement. All the conditions must return true for the batch to be applied. You can use Session.ExecuteBatchCAS and Session.MapExecuteBatchCAS when executing the batch to learn about the result of the LWT. See example for Session.MapExecuteBatchCAS. Queries can be marked as idempotent. Marking the query as idempotent tells the driver that the query can be executed multiple times without affecting its result. Non-idempotent queries are not eligible for retrying nor speculative execution. Idempotent queries are retried in case of errors based on the configured RetryPolicy. Queries can be retried even before they fail by setting a SpeculativeExecutionPolicy. The policy can cause the driver to retry on a different node if the query is taking longer than a specified delay even before the driver receives an error or timeout from the server. When a query is speculatively executed, the original execution is still executing. The two parallel executions of the query race to return a result, the first received result will be returned. UDTs can be mapped (un)marshaled from/to map[string]interface{} a Go struct (or a type implementing UDTUnmarshaler, UDTMarshaler, Unmarshaler or Marshaler interfaces). For structs, cql tag can be used to specify the CQL field name to be mapped to a struct field: See Example_userDefinedTypesMap, Example_userDefinedTypesStruct, ExampleUDTMarshaler, ExampleUDTUnmarshaler. It is possible to provide observer implementations that could be used to gather metrics: CQL protocol also supports tracing of queries. When enabled, the database will write information about internal events that happened during execution of the query. You can use Query.Trace to request tracing and receive the session ID that the database used to store the trace information in system_traces.sessions and tables. NewTraceWriter returns an implementation of Tracer that writes the events to a writer. Gathering trace information might be essential for debugging and optimizing queries, but writing traces has overhead, so this feature should not be used on production systems with very high load unless you know what you are doing. Example_batch demonstrates how to execute a batch of statements. Example_dynamicColumns demonstrates how to handle dynamic column list. Example_marshalerUnmarshaler demonstrates how to implement a Marshaler and Unmarshaler. Example_nulls demonstrates how to distinguish between null and zero value when needed. Null values are unmarshalled as zero value of the type. If you need to distinguish for example between text column being null and empty string, you can unmarshal into *string field. Example_paging demonstrates how to manually fetch pages and use page state. See also package documentation about paging. Example_set demonstrates how to use sets. Example_userDefinedTypesMap demonstrates how to work with user-defined types as maps. See also Example_userDefinedTypesStruct and examples for UDTMarshaler and UDTUnmarshaler if you want to map to structs. Example_userDefinedTypesStruct demonstrates how to work with user-defined types as structs. See also examples for UDTMarshaler and UDTUnmarshaler if you need more control/better performance.

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Package gocql implements a fast and robust Cassandra client for the Go programming language.

Project Website:
API documentation:

Supported Versions

The following matrix shows the versions of Go and Cassandra that are tested with the integration test suite as part of the CI build:


Gocql has been tested in production against many versions of Cassandra. Due to limits in our CI setup we only test against the latest 2 GA releases.

Sunsetting Model

In general, the gocql team will focus on supporting the current and previous versions of Go. gocql may still work with older versions of Go, but official support for these versions will have been sunset.


go get


  • Modern Cassandra client using the native transport
  • Automatic type conversions between Cassandra and Go
    • Support for all common types including sets, lists and maps
    • Custom types can implement a Marshaler and Unmarshaler interface
    • Strict type conversions without any loss of precision
    • Built-In support for UUIDs (version 1 and 4)
  • Support for logged, unlogged and counter batches
  • Cluster management
    • Automatic reconnect on connection failures with exponential falloff
    • Round robin distribution of queries to different hosts
    • Round robin distribution of queries to different connections on a host
    • Each connection can execute up to n concurrent queries (whereby n is the limit set by the protocol version the client chooses to use)
    • Optional automatic discovery of nodes
    • Policy based connection pool with token aware and round-robin policy implementations
  • Support for password authentication
  • Iteration over paged results with configurable page size
  • Support for TLS/SSL
  • Optional frame compression (using snappy)
  • Automatic query preparation
  • Support for query tracing
  • Support for Cassandra 2.1+ binary protocol version 3
    • Support for up to 32768 streams
    • Support for tuple types
    • Support for client side timestamps by default
    • Support for UDTs via a custom marshaller or struct tags
  • Support for Cassandra 3.0+ binary protocol version 4
  • An API to access the schema metadata of a given keyspace


While the driver strives to be highly performant, there are cases where it is difficult to test and verify. The driver is built with maintainability and code readability in mind first and then performance and features, as such every now and then performance may degrade, if this occurs please report and issue and it will be looked at and remedied. The only time the driver copies data from its read buffer is when it Unmarshal's data into supplied types.

Some tips for getting more performance from the driver:

  • Use the TokenAware policy
  • Use many goroutines when doing inserts, the driver is asynchronous but provides a synchronous API, it can execute many queries concurrently
  • Tune query page size
  • Reading data from the network to unmarshal will incur a large amount of allocations, this can adversely affect the garbage collector, tune GOGC
  • Close iterators after use to recycle byte buffers

Important Default Keyspace Changes

gocql no longer supports executing "use " statements to simplify the library. The user still has the ability to define the default keyspace for connections but now the keyspace can only be defined before a session is created. Queries can still access keyspaces by indicating the keyspace in the query:

SELECT * FROM example2.table;

Example of correct usage:

	cluster := gocql.NewCluster("", "", "")
	cluster.Keyspace = "example"
	session, err := cluster.CreateSession()

Example of incorrect usage:

	cluster := gocql.NewCluster("", "", "")
	cluster.Keyspace = "example"
	session, err := cluster.CreateSession()

	if err = session.Query("use example2").Exec(); err != nil {

This will result in an err being returned from the session.Query line as the user is trying to execute a "use" statement.


See package documentation.

Data Binding

There are various ways to bind application level data structures to CQL statements:

  • You can write the data binding by hand, as outlined in the Tweet example. This provides you with the greatest flexibility, but it does mean that you need to keep your application code in sync with your Cassandra schema.
  • You can dynamically marshal an entire query result into an []map[string]interface{} using the SliceMap() API. This returns a slice of row maps keyed by CQL column names. This method requires no special interaction with the gocql API, but it does require your application to be able to deal with a key value view of your data.
  • As a refinement on the SliceMap() API you can also call MapScan() which returns map[string]interface{} instances in a row by row fashion.
  • The Bind() API provides a client app with a low level mechanism to introspect query meta data and extract appropriate field values from application level data structures.
  • The gocqlx package is an idiomatic extension to gocql that provides usability features. With gocqlx you can bind the query parameters from maps and structs, use named query parameters (:identifier) and scan the query results into structs and slices. It comes with a fluent and flexible CQL query builder that supports full CQL spec, including BATCH statements and custom functions.
  • Building on top of the gocql driver, cqlr adds the ability to auto-bind a CQL iterator to a struct or to bind a struct to an INSERT statement.
  • Another external project that layers on top of gocql is cqlc which generates gocql compliant code from your Cassandra schema so that you can write type safe CQL statements in Go with a natural query syntax.
  • gocassa is an external project that layers on top of gocql to provide convenient query building and data binding.
  • gocqltable provides an ORM-style convenience layer to make CRUD operations with gocql easier.


The following community maintained tools are known to integrate with gocql:

  • gocqlx is a gocql extension that automates data binding, adds named queries support, provides flexible query builders and plays well with gocql.
  • journey is a migration tool with Cassandra support.
  • negronicql is gocql middleware for Negroni.
  • cqlr adds the ability to auto-bind a CQL iterator to a struct or to bind a struct to an INSERT statement.
  • cqlc generates gocql compliant code from your Cassandra schema so that you can write type safe CQL statements in Go with a natural query syntax.
  • gocassa provides query building, adds data binding, and provides easy-to-use "recipe" tables for common query use-cases.
  • gocqltable is a wrapper around gocql that aims to simplify common operations.
  • gockle provides simple, mockable interfaces that wrap gocql types
  • scylladb is a fast Apache Cassandra-compatible NoSQL database
  • go-cql-driver is an CQL driver conforming to the built-in database/sql interface. It is good for simple use cases where the database/sql interface is wanted. The CQL driver is a wrapper around this project.

Other Projects

  • gocqldriver is the predecessor of gocql based on Go's database/sql package. This project isn't maintained anymore, because Cassandra wasn't a good fit for the traditional database/sql API. Use this package instead.


For some reason, when you Google golang cassandra, this project doesn't feature very highly in the result list. But if you Google go cassandra, then we're a bit higher up the list. So this is note to try to convince Google that golang is an alias for Go.


Copyright (c) 2012-2016 The gocql Authors. All rights reserved. Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be found in the LICENSE file.


Last updated on 28 Aug 2023

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