You’re not stuck. You just need to add printlns!

Sometimes you get a cryptic error message when you “go build” like:

go: reading at revision v1.2.2: unknown revision v1.2.2

And there just isn’t the -v or -vv or -vvv verbose debug option you need.

Time to goto the source.

First step, grep for the string “unknown revision”.

go-src/src $ grep -R "unknown revision" .

./cmd/go/internal/modfetch/codehost/codehost.go: return "unknown revision " + e.Rev

Next step, lets change that error message slighty to prove I’ve found the right place. I added an explanation point to the string:

"unknown revision! " + e.Rev

And pure joy after it compiles go, and my go build now shows me this error WITH the new explanation point. That means I’m in. I have control now of what it will print as I trace further up the source from this line.

I keep adding fmt.Println(“got here!”) all over the place. I can now create my own -vvv verbose mode with anything I want.

I find myself deep inside some func called “loadRefs” with this nice hint:

rerr.HelpText = "If this is a private repository, see for additional information."

Is my thing a private repository? Why yes it is. Turns out I was missing:

[url "ssh://"] 	insteadOf =

in ~/.gitconfig

This blog post brought to you by programmers that say, “I’m stuck.” You’re not stuck. You just need to add printlns!