Create a Basic HTTPS Server (using TLS)

· 200 words · 1 minute read

This post isn't about the benefits or why you should be using https, instead it's just about how to setup and use it with a basic Go web server. Compared with a basic http server there are two main differences. Firstly we need to generate some certificates and secondly we need to change our code to use the certificates and communicate over a TLS connection.

Step 1: Commands to make self-signed certificates

openssl genrsa -out https-server.key 2048
openssl ecparam -genkey -name secp384r1 -out https-server.key

Finally self-sign the certificate and specify information like country, name and email:

openssl req -new -x509 -sha256 -key https-server.key -out https-server.crt -days 3650

Step 2: Update our Go Code

package main

import (

func main() {

    http.HandleFunc("/", ExampleHandler)

    log.Println("** Service Started on Port 8080 **")

    // Use ListenAndServeTLS() instead of ListenAndServe() which accepts two extra parameters. 
    // We need to specify both the certificate file and the key file (which we've named 
    // https-server.crt and https-server.key).
    err := http.ListenAndServeTLS(":8080", "https-server.crt", "https-server.key", nil);
    if err != nil {

func ExampleHandler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    w.Header().Add("Content-Type", "application/json")
    io.WriteString(w, `{"status":"ok"}`)

Note: remember to actually connect to it over https, e.g. https://localhost:8080

Image of Author Edd Turtle

Author:  Edd Turtle

Edd is the Lead Developer at Hoowla, a prop-tech startup, where he spends much of his time working on production-ready Go and PHP code. He loves coding, but also enjoys cycling and camping in his spare time.

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