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Go make vs new

Links: 103 Golang Index

  • In golang, both make and new allocate memory, but there are still some differences between them.
  • new() just allocates memory, not initialises memory;
  • make() allocates and initialises memory.
  • The so-called initialisation is to assign an initial value to a type, for example, the character is empty, the integer is 0, and the logical value is false.


  • It works with any datatype.
  • Definition of the new function : func new(Type) *Type
    • The first argument is a type, not a value, and the value returned is a pointer to a newly allocated zero value of that type.
  • The allocated memory will be set to zero, that is, the zero value of the type, that is, the character is empty, the integer is 0, and the logical value is false
  • It doesn't work on channels and map.
type P struct {
    Name string
    Age  int
var a *[2]int
var s *string
var b *bool
var i *int
var ps *P

a = new([2]int)
s = new(string)
b = new(bool)
i = new(int)
ps = new(P) //structure

fmt.Println(a, " ", *a)     // &[0 0]   [0 0]
fmt.Println(s, " ", *s)     // 0xc00000e1e0 ""
fmt.Println(b, " ", *b)     // 0xc00001a07a   false
fmt.Println(i, " ", *i)     // 0xc00001a090   0
fmt.Println(ps, " ", *ps)   // &{ 0}   { 0}


  • It works with only with slice, channels and maps.
  • func make(t Type, size ...IntegerType) Type

    • Like new(), the first argument is a type, not a value.
    • Unlike new(), make() return type is the same as the type of its argument, not a pointer to it.
  • Slice:

    • The size specifies the length.
    • The capacity of the slice is equal to its length.
    • A second integer argument may be provided to specify a different capacity; it must be not be smaller than the length.
    • For example, make([]int, 0, 10) allocates an underlying array of size 10 and returns a slice of length 0 and capacity 10 that is backed by this underlying array.
    • func make([]type, length, capacity) []type : for slice
  • Map:
    • An empty map is allocated with enough space to hold the specified number of elements.
    • The size may be omitted, in which case a small starting size is allocated.
  • Channel:
    • The channel's buffer is initialised with the specified buffer capacity.
    • If zero, or the size is omitted, the channel is unbuffered.
mm :=make(map[string]string)
mm["name"] = "lc"

mss :=make([]int,2)
mss[0] = 100

ch :=make(chan int,1)
ch <-100


make() vs new()

b := new([]int)
fmt.Printf("%d, %T, %v, %#v\n", b, b, b, b)
c := make([]int, 3)
fmt.Printf("%d, %T, %v, %#v\n", c, c, c, c)

// &[], *[]int, &[], &[]int(nil)
// [0 0 0], []int, [0 0 0], []int{0, 0, 0}
  • Since new zeroes the value it returns a nil pointer, zero value of a slice is nil.
nMap := new(map[int][int])
mMap := make(map[int][int])

mMap[0] = 1 // works fine
*(nMap)[0] = 1 // program crashes
// this is because map hasn't been initialised

Last updated: 2022-06-29