Go stdlib net/rpc with context.Context support

go get



This is a fork of the stdlib net/rpc which is frozen. It adds support for context.Context on the client and server, including propagating cancellation.

The API is exactly the same, except Client.Call takes a context.Context, and Server methods are expected to take a context.Context as the first argument. Additionally the wire protocol is unchanged, so is backwards compatible with net/rpc clients.

DialHTTPPathTimeout function is also added. A future release of rpc may update all Dial functions to instead take a context.

ClientTrace functionality is also added. This is for hooking into the rpc client to enable tracing.

Why use net/rpc

There are many alternatives for RPC in Go, the most popular being GRPC. However, net/rpc has the following nice properties:

  • Nice API
  • No need for IDL
  • Good performance

The nice API is subjective. However, the API is small, simple and composable. which makes it quite powerful. IDL tools are things like GRPC requiring protoc to generate go code from the protobuf files. net/rpc has no third party dependencies nor code generation step, simplify the use of it. A benchmark done on the 6 Sep 2016 indicated net/rpc was 4x faster than GRPC. This is an outdated benchmark, but is an indication at the surprisingly good performance net/rpc provides.

For more discussion on the pros and cons of net/rpc see the issue proposal: freeze net/rpc.


Last forked from commit 292a771 on 16 June 2020.

Cancellation implemented via the rpc call _goRPC_.Cancel.