Mastering Golang Microservices - A Practical Guide: Embrace High-Performance with Kitex and Hertz

Learn how to set up, manage, and optimize Golang microservices efficiently with this guide. It offers practical insights into the usage of Kitex and Hertz, two beginner-friendly, high-performance components of the CloudWeGo project.


I. Introduction

The world of software development is fast-paced, and having reliable and efficient tools makes a significant difference. This is where CloudWeGo with two of its major sub-projects - Kitex and Hertz, comes into play. A solution with the potential to transform the way developers navigate the cloud environment, thanks to its robust, open-source technology.

Two of its standout components, Kitex and Hertz, are at the center of our focus in this guide. Kitex is an efficient and powerful RPC framework used for communication between microservices, while Hertz aids in the quick and efficient setup of web services and BFF services. Both are designed to simplify and enhance your development efforts.

Our mission in this guide is simple: to facilitate your understanding of CloudWeGo, its powerful features, and how to harness them in your projects with a clear step-by-step handbook. Whether you are a seasoned developer familiar with open-source technology or a newcomer exploring cloud development, this guide is designed to cater to your needs.

Once done reading, you will be comfortable setting up CloudWeGo, initiating and developing a project, implementing testing, debugging, deploying your applications, and more. We’ll also share some of the best practices when using CloudWeGo to ensure that you are maximizing the potential of the CloudWeGo open-source ecosystem. Let’s dive in!

II. Getting Started With CloudWeGo

As key components of CloudWeGo, Kitex & Hertz, are crucial to getting started. Ensuring you have a suitably configured environment with Golang is a pre-requisite. If you are working on a Windows platform, make sure the version of Kitex is v0.5.2 or higher. Hertz, on the other hand, is compatible across Linux, macOS, and Windows systems.

Installing the CLI tool requires confirmation that the GOPATH environment variable is correctly defined and accessible. This is followed by installing Kitex, Thriftgo, and Hertz. The correct setup can be verified by running their respective versions. If you encounter any problems, your troubleshooting should involve a check on the setup of the Golang development environment.

Kitex & Hertz


Before diving into CloudWeGo development with Kitex & Hertz, make sure you have set up the Golang development environment. Please follow the Install Go guide if you haven’t already.

We highly recommend using the latest version of Golang, ensuring compatibility with three most recent minor release versions (currently >= v1.16).

Additionally, make sure that GO111MODULE is set to ON.

Install the CLI tool

Let’s start by installing the CLI tools we will be working with. Ensure the GOPATH environment variable is properly defined (e.g., export GOPATH=~/go), then add $GOPATH/bin to the PATH environment variable (e.g., export PATH=$GOPATH/bin:$PATH). Make sure that GOPATH is accessible.

Next, install Kitex (go install, Thriftgo (for Thrift protocol - go install, and Hertz (go install

Now, if you run kitex --version, thriftgo --version, and hz --version, you should see output indicating the versions of each CLI tool:

$ kitex --version
$ thriftgo --version
thriftgo x.x.x
$ hz --version

Note: If you encounter any issues during the installation, it’s likely due to gaps in the setup of the Golang development environment. Usually, you can quickly find a solution by searching for the error message online.

III. Creating A Sample Project


Get the example

  1. You can simply click here to download the example.
  2. Or you can clone the sample repository git clone

Run the example

Run with go
  1. Change to the hello directory. Hello is a simple example of Kitex using the Thrift protocol. cd kitex-examples/hello
  2. Run server go run .
  3. Run client open another terminal and go run ./client.
Run with Docker
  1. Go to the examples directory cd kitex-examples
  2. Build the example project docker build -t kitex-examples.
  3. Run the server docker run --network host kitex-examples ./hello-server
  4. Run the client Open another terminal and run docker run --network host kitex-examples ./hello-client

Congratulations! You now have successfully used Kitex to complete an RPC.


Quick Start

To create a sample project with Hertz, start by creating the hertz_demo folder in the current directory and navigate to that directory. Then, create the main.go file and add the following code: package main

import (


func main() {
    h := server.Default()

    h.GET("/ping", func(c context.Context, ctx *app.RequestContext) {
        ctx.JSON(consts.StatusOK, app.H{"message": "pong"})


Next, generate the go.mod file (go mod init hertz_demo), then tidy & get dependencies (go mod tidy).

To run the sample code, simply type go run hertz_demo. If the server is launched successfully, you will see the following message:

2022/05/17 21:47:09.626332 engine.go:567: [Debug] HERTZ: Method=GET    absolutePath=/ping   -- handlerName=main.main.func1 (num=2 handlers)
2022/05/17 21:47:09.629874 transport.go:84: [Info] HERTZ: HTTP server listening on address=[::]:8888

You can test the interface by typing curl If everything is working correctly, you should see the following output:

Using CLI tool hz

You can also use the Hertz CLI tool to generate a sample project outside of the GOPATH. Procedures include creating an IDL file named hello.thrift, generating the sample code, obtaining the dependencies, and subsequently running the sample code. Assuming you are working on a folder outside of GOPATH, create an IDL file called hello.thrift:

namespace go

service HelloService {
    string Hello(1: string name);

Generate or complete the Sample Code using hz new -idl hello.thrift -module hertz_demo.

Note: since you’re currently not in GOPATH, you’ll need to add -module or -mod flag to specify a custom module name. After execution, a scaffolding of the Hertz project is created in the current directory, with a ping interface for testing.

Get dependencies (go mod tidy), then run the sample code (go build -o hertz_demo && ./hertz_demo).

If the server is launched successfully, you will see the same message as before, and you can test the interface using the same curl command. Congratulations, you’ve successfully launched the Hertz Server!

IV. Testing and Debugging Your Project

Testing and debugging your project are essential components whether you are working with Kitex or Hertz. While dealing with Kitex errors, the IsKitexError method in the kerrors package can be used.

The Kitex framework automatically recovers all panics except those occurring within the goroutine created by the business code using the go keyword.


Exception Instruction

Check for Kitex errors using kerrors.IsKitexError(kerrors.ErrInternalException). You can check for a specified error type using errors.Is(err, kerrors.ErrNoResolver). Also, note that you can use IsTimeoutError in kerrors to check whether it’s a timeout error.

To get detailed error messages, all detailed errors are defined by DetailedError in kerrors. You can use errors.As to fetch specified DetailedError.

For example:

import "errors"
import ""
import ""
_, err := echo.NewClient("echo", client.WithResolver(nil))
var de *kerrors.DetailedError
ok := errors.As(err, &de)

DetailedError provides the following methods to fetch a detailed message:

  • ErrorType() error: to get the basic error type
  • Stack() string: to get the stack (currently only works for ErrPanic)

Handling panic

Panic that occurs in the goroutine created by the business code using the go keyword must be recovered by the business code. To ensure the stability of the service, the Kitex framework will automatically recover all other panics.

While checking for recovered panic in your middlewares, you can use ri.Stats().Panicked():

// After calling next(...) in your middleware:
ri := rpcinfo.GetRPCInfo(ctx)
if stats := ri.Stats(); stats != nil {
    if panicked, err := stats.Panicked(); panicked {
      // err is the object kitex get by calling recover()

FAQ & Answers

Q1: Not enough arguments problem when installing the code generation tool

Please try: go mod:GO111MODULE=on go get

Q2: Why does set in IDL become slice in generated codes?

Due to JSON serialization, the official Apache Thrift changed the generation type of set from map to slice starting from v0.11.0. To ensure compatibility, Kitex follows this rule.

Q3: Why is there an underscore after some field names?

The official implementation of Thrift forbids identifiers ending in “Result” and “Args” to avoid naming conflicts. When the type name, service name, and method name in the Thrift file start with “New” or end with “Result” or “Args”, an underscore is automatically added at the end of the name.

Q4: Does the code generated by a new interface overwrite handler.go?

Generated code under kitex_gen/ will be overwritten. However, handler.go of the server will not be overwritten; new methods will be added correspondingly.

Q5: “Not enough arguments in call to iprot.ReadStructBegin when compiling Thrift interface

Kitex is based on Apache Thrift v0.13 and cannot be directly upgraded since there is a breaking change in Apache Thrift v0.14. Such issues usually arise if a new version of Thrift is pulled during upgrades.

We recommend against using -u parameters during upgrades. You can run the following command to fix the version: go mod edit -replace


Error Type & Error Chain

To handle errors more effectively, Hertz has predefined several error types:

  • ErrorTypeBind: Error in binding process
  • ErrorTypeRender: Error in rendering process
  • ErrorTypePrivate: Hertz private errors that business doesn’t need to be aware of
  • ErrorTypePublic: Hertz public errors that require external perception as opposed to Private
  • ErrorTypeAny: Other Error

Users should define corresponding errors according to these error types. In addition to error definition conventions, Hertz also provides ErrorChain capability to make it easier for businesses to bind all errors encountered during request processing to an error chain.

The corresponding API for this is RequestContext.Error(err). Calling this API will tie the err to its corresponding request context. To get all the errors bound by the request context, use RequestContext.Errors.

FAQ & Answers

Q1: High Memory Usage

Connections not Closing due to Client Non-standard Usage: If the client initiates a large number of connections without closing them, there can be a significant waste of resources over time, causing high memory usage problems. To resolve this, configure idleTimeout reasonably. Hertz Server will close the connection to ensure the server’s stability after the timeout. The default configuration is three minutes.

Q2: Vast Request/Response

If the request and response are vast, the data will enter memory, causing significant pressure, especially when stream and chunk are not used. To resolve this, for very vast requests cases, use a combination of streaming and go net.

Q3: Common Error Code Checking

The following error codes are commonly reported by the framework:

  • 404 (Access to the wrong port or No routes matched)
  • 417 (The server returns false after executing the custom ContinueHandler)
  • 500 (Throwing the panic in middleware or in handlerFunc)

For more details and solutions on these and other error codes, please refer to the Kitex User Guide.

Context Guide

Hertz also provides a standard context.Content and a request context as input arguments in the function in the HandleFunc Design. The handler/middleware function signature is:

type HandlerFunc func(c context.Context, ctx *app.RequestContext)

Metadata Storage

Both contexts (c and ctx) have the ability to store values. The choice of which one to use depends on the life cycle of the stored value and the selected context should match. The ctx is primarily used to store request-level variables, which are recycled after the request ends.

It is characterized by high query efficiency (the bottom is map), unsafe coroutines and doesn’t implement the context.Context Interface. The c is passed as the context between middleware/handler. It has all the semantics of context.Content, is safe for coroutines, and all that requires the context.Content interface as input arguments can just pass c directly.

V. Observability

Monitoring your application is critical. Both Kitex and Hertz provide a Tracer interface that can be implemented for efficient application monitoring. You can make the most of the numerous instrumentation controls and logging capabilities on offer.

Note: As a framework, it runs with business services. Once the code of services is built, it can be deployed at virtual machines, bare metal machines, or Docker containers as it should be.


Configuration and options

For more details, please check server option, client option, and call option.

Instrumentation Control

Kitex supports flexible enabling of basic and fine-grained Instrumentation. This includes a stats level, client tracing stats level control, server tracing stats level control, and more. For more details, please refer to the Kitex User Guide.


Kitex supports default logger implementation, injection of custom loggers, and redirection of default logger output. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Kitex User Guide.


Kitex’s OpenTelemetry extension provides support for tracing. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Kitex User Guide.


The framework doesn’t provide any monitoring, but it provides a Tracer interface. This interface can be implemented by yourself and be injected via WithTracer Option. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Kitex User Guide.


Configuration and options

For more details, please check the configuration instructions.


Hertz supports flexible enabling of basic and fine-grained Instrumentation. This includes a stats level, stats level control, and more. For more details, please refer to the Hertz User Guide.


Hertz provides a default way to print logs in the standard output. It also provides several global functions, such as hlog.Info, hlog.Errorf, hlog.CtxTracef, and more, which are implemented in pkg/common/hlog, to call the corresponding methods of the default logger. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Hertz User Guide.


In microservices, link tracing is a very important capability, which plays an important role in quickly locating problems, analyzing business bottlenecks, and restoring the link status of a request. Hertz provides the capability of link tracking and also supports user-defined link tracking. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Hertz User Guide.


The framework doesn’t provide any monitoring, but it provides a Tracer interface. This interface can be implemented by yourself and be injected via WithTracer Option. For more details, instructions, and examples, please refer to the Hertz User Guide.

VI. Best Practices for Developing with CloudWeGo

For a real-world application of Kitex and Hertz, you can explore projects like Bookinfo, Easy Note, and Book Shop. Each of these scenarios demonstrate different business scenarios and use-cases for various CloudWeGo subprojects.

Whether you’re dealing with merchant or consumer management, notes maintenance, or integrating different middleware, these projects provide valuable insights into the powerful capabilities of Kitex and Hertz in different contexts.

This guide provides a comprehensive exploration of CloudWeGo’s powerful capabilities, particularly its subprojects, Kitex and Hertz. You now have a solid understanding of how to harness these tools effectively in your development projects.

As you continue delving into CloudWeGo, remember to mix the tool’s powerful features with your creativity for impressive results in your software development journey.

Stay curious, keep exploring, and stay tuned for our upcoming Rust-focused Volo guide, which will introduce you to yet another exciting aspect of CloudWeGo. Happy coding!