This is an instructional implementation of the Raft distributed consensus algorithm in Go. It’s accompanied by a series of blog posts:

Each of the partN directories in this repository is the complete source code for Part N of the blog post series (except Part 0, which is introductory and has no code). There is a lot of duplicated code between the different partN directories – this is a conscious design decision. Rather than abstracting and reusing parts of the implementation, I opted for keeping the code as simple as possible. Each directory is completely self contained and can be read and undestood in isolation. Using a graphical diff tool to see the deltas between the parts can be instructional.

How to use this repository

You can read the code, but I’d also encourage you to run tests and observe the logs they print out. The repository contains a useful tool for visualizing output. Here’s a complete usage example:

$ cd part1
$ go test -v -race -run TestElectionFollowerComesBack |& tee /tmp/raftlog
... logging output
... test should PASS
$ go run ../tools/raft-testlog-viz/main.go < /tmp/raftlog
PASS TestElectionFollowerComesBack map[0:true 1:true 2:true TEST:true] ; entries: 150
... Emitted file:///tmp/TestElectionFollowerComesBack.html


Now open file:///tmp/TestElectionFollowerComesBack.html in your browser. You should see something like this:

Image of log browser

Scroll and read the logs from the servers, noticing state changes (highlighted with colors). Feel free to add your own cm.dlog(...) calls to the code to experiment and print out more details.

Changing and testing the code

Each partN directory is completely independent of the others, and is its own Go module. The Raft code itself has no external dependencies; the only require in its go.mod is for a package that enables goroutine leak testing – it’s only used in tests.

To work on part2, for example:

$ cd part2
... make code changes
$ go test -race ./...

Depending on the part and your machine, the tests can take up to a minute to run. Feel free to enable verbose logging with -v, and/or used the provided dotest.sh script to run specific tests with log visualization.


I’m interested in hearing your opinion or suggestions for the code in this repository. Feel free to open an issue if something is unclear, or if you think you found a bug. Code contributions through PRs are welcome as well.