Golang: Rune

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

What's Rune

“Rune” means Unicode codepoint. (think of it as a character.) It is a jargon golang invented.

When you see the word “rune”, you can think of it as any or all of the following:

[see Golang: Basic Types]

Purpose of Rune

The purpose of rune is similar to character type in some other languages.

What's Codepoint

Unicode gives each character a integer id. This integer id is called codepoint.

Note, not all codepoint are character as we think of. For example, space, newline, tab, right-to-left mark, combining character accents, are all codepoints.

Unicode Standard Notation for Codepoint

Unicode has a standard notation for codepoint, starting with U+ followed by its codepoint in hexadecimal. E.g.

Rune Literal

A “rune literal” is a syntax to represent one Unicode character. Like this:

'c' → rune literal. Where the c is 1 single Unicode character. (but may be presented by escape sequence)

All of the following are rune values.

To see all backslash escapes, see Golang: String Backslash Escape

Print a rune in decimal, hex, and standard unicode notations

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {

	// print a rune in decimal, hex, and standard unicode notations

	var capA = 'A'

	fmt.Printf("%d %x %U\n", capA, capA, capA) // 65 41 U+0041

Print Rune

Rune is codepoint, thus is a integer.

The following Printf formats work with integer:

package main

import "fmt"

// print rune in different formats

func main() {
	var x = '😂'

	fmt.Printf("%c\n", x) // 😂
	fmt.Printf("%q\n", x) // '😂'
	fmt.Printf("%U\n", x) // U+1F602

	fmt.Printf("%b\n", x) // 11111011000000010
	fmt.Printf("%o\n", x) // 373002
	fmt.Printf("%d\n", x) // 128514
	fmt.Printf("%x\n", x) // 1f602

Rune Sequence?

Value of rune type is just a single char.

For a sequence of chars, you use slice type instead. (Slice is a variable length array.) A slice of rune is common, and can be converted to string.

[see Golang: Slice]

[see Golang: String, Byte Slice, Rune Slice]


The Go Programming Language Specification - The Go Programming Language#String_literals

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  1. Compile, Run
  2. Source Encoding
  3. Package, Import
  4. Comment
  5. Print
  6. String
  7. String Functions
  8. Print String
  9. String Backslash Escape
  10. Rune
  11. Variable
  12. Zero Value
  13. Constant
  14. If Then Else
  15. Switch/Case
  16. Loop
  17. Basic Types
  18. Array
  19. Slice
  20. Map
  21. Struct
  22. Function
  23. Closure
  24. Pointer
  25. String, Byte Slice, Rune Slice
  26. regexp
  27. Read File
  28. Write to File
  29. Walk Dir
  30. Check File Exist
  31. System Call
  32. Get Script Path
  33. Defer
  34. Random Number


  1. Match Any Regexp
  2. Find String
  3. Find Replace
  4. Validate Links
  5. Generate Sitemap


  1. Go Spec