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V Documentation

(See https://modules.vlang.io/ for documentation of V's standard library)


V is a statically typed compiled programming language designed for building maintainable software.

It's similar to Go and its design has also been influenced by Oberon, Rust, Swift, Kotlin, and Python.

V is a very simple language. Going through this documentation will take you about a weekend, and by the end of it you will have pretty much learned the entire language.

The language promotes writing simple and clear code with minimal abstraction.

Despite being simple, V gives the developer a lot of power. Anything you can do in other languages, you can do in V.

Installing V from source

The best way to get the latest and greatest V, is to install it from source. It is easy, and it takes only a few seconds:

git clone https://github.com/vlang/v
cd v
# HINT: Using Windows?: run make.bat in the cmd.exe shell

For more details, see the Installing V section in the README.md.

Upgrading V to latest version

If V is already installed on a machine, it can be upgraded to its latest version by using the V's built-in self-updater. To do so, run the command v up.

Packaging V for distribution

See the notes on how to prepare a package for V .

Getting started

You can let V automatically set up the bare-bones structure of a project for you by using any of the following commands in a terminal:

Table of Contents

Hello World

fn main() {
    println('hello world')

Save this snippet into a file named hello.v. Now do: v run hello.v.

That is assuming you have symlinked your V with v symlink, as described here. If you haven't yet, you have to type the path to V manually.

Congratulations - you just wrote and executed your first V program!

You can compile a program without execution with v hello.v. See v help for all supported commands.

From the example above, you can see that functions are declared with the fn keyword. The return type is specified after the function name. In this case main doesn't return anything, so there is no return type.

As in many other languages (such as C, Go, and Rust), main is the entry point of your program.

println is one of the few built-in functions. It prints the value passed to it to standard output.

fn main() declaration can be skipped in one file programs. This is useful when writing small programs, "scripts", or just learning the language. For brevity, fn main() will be skipped in this tutorial.

This means that a "hello world" program in V is as simple as

println('hello world')

Note If you do not explicitly use fn main() {}, you need to make sure that all your declarations come before any variable assignment statements or top level function calls, since V will consider everything after the first assignment/function call as part of your implicit main function.

Running a project folder with several files

Suppose you have a folder with several .v files in it, where one of them contains your main() function, and the other files have other helper functions. They may be organized by topic, but still not yet structured enough to be their own separate reusable modules, and you want to compile them all into one program.

In other languages, you would have to use includes or a build system to enumerate all files, compile them separately to object files, then link them into one final executable.

In V however, you can compile and run the whole folder of .v files together, using just v run .. Passing parameters also works, so you can do: v run . --yourparam some_other_stuff

The above will first compile your files into a single program (named after your folder/project), and then it will execute the program with --yourparam some_other_stuff passed to it as CLI parameters.

Your program can then use the CLI parameters like this:

import os


Note After a successful run, V will delete the generated executable. If you want to keep it, use v -keepc run . instead, or just compile manually with v . .

Note Any V compiler flags should be passed before the run command. Everything after the source file/folder, will be passed to the program as is - it will not be processed by V.


// This is a single line comment.
This is a multiline comment.
   /* It can be nested. */


fn main() {
    println(add(77, 33))
    println(sub(100, 50))

fn add(x int, y int) int {
    return x + y

fn sub(x int, y int) int {
    return x - y

Again, the type comes after the argument's name.

Just like in Go and C, functions cannot be overloaded. This simplifies the code and improves maintainability and readability.


Functions can be used before their declaration: add and sub are declared after main, but can still be called from main. This is true for all declarations in V and eliminates the need for header files or thinking about the order of files and declarations.

Returning multiple values

fn foo() (int, int) {
    return 2, 3

a, b := foo()
println(a) // 2
println(b) // 3
c, _ := foo() // ignore values using `_`

Symbol visibility

pub fn public_function() {

fn private_function() {

Functions are private (not exported) by default. To allow other modules to use them, prepend pub. The same applies to structs, constants and types.

Note pub can only be used from a named module. For information about creating a module, see Modules.


name := 'Bob'
age := 20
large_number := i64(9999999999)

Variables are declared and initialized with :=. This is the only way to declare variables in V. This means that variables always have an initial value.

The variable's type is inferred from the value on the right hand side. To choose a different type, use type conversion: the expression T(v) converts the value v to the type T.

Unlike most other languages, V only allows defining variables in functions. By default V does not allow global variables. See more details.

For consistency across different code bases, all variable and function names must use the snake_case style, as opposed to type names, which must use PascalCase.

Mutable variables

mut age := 20
age = 21

To change the value of the variable use =. In V, variables are immutable by default. To be able to change the value of the variable, you have to declare it with mut.

Try compiling the program above after removing mut from the first line.

Initialization vs assignment

Note the (important) difference between := and =. := is used for declaring and initializing, = is used for assigning.

fn main() {
    age = 21

This code will not compile, because the variable age is not declared. All variables need to be declared in V.

fn main() {
    age := 21

The values of multiple variables can be changed in one line. In this way, their values can be swapped without an intermediary variable.

mut a := 0
mut b := 1
println('${a}, ${b}') // 0, 1
a, b = b, a
println('${a}, ${b}') // 1, 0

Declaration errors

In development mode the compiler will warn you that you haven't used the variable (you'll get an "unused variable" warning). In production mode (enabled by passing the -prod flag to v – v -prod foo.v) it will not compile at all (like in Go).

fn main() {
    a := 10
    if true {
        a := 20 // error: redefinition of `a`
    // warning: unused variable `a`

Unlike most languages, variable shadowing is not allowed. Declaring a variable with a name that is already used in a parent scope will cause a compilation error.

V Types

Primitive types



i8    i16  int  i64      i128 (soon)
u8    u16  u32  u64      u128 (soon)

rune // represents a Unicode code point

f32 f64

isize, usize // platform-dependent, the size is how many bytes it takes to reference any location in memory

voidptr // this one is mostly used for [C interoperability](#v-and-c)

any // similar to C's void* and Go's interface{}

Note Unlike C and Go, int is always a 32 bit integer.

There is an exception to the rule that all operators in V must have values of the same type on both sides. A small primitive type on one side can be automatically promoted if it fits completely into the data range of the type on the other side. These are the allowed possibilities:

   i8 → i16 → int → i64
                  ↘     ↘
                    f32 → f64
                  ↗     ↗
   u8 → u16 → u32 → u64 ⬎
      ↘     ↘     ↘      ptr
   i8 → i16 → int → i64 ⬏

An int value for example can be automatically promoted to f64 or i64 but not to u32. (u32 would mean loss of the sign for negative values). Promotion from int to f32, however, is currently done automatically (but can lead to precision loss for large values).

Literals like 123 or 4.56 are treated in a special way. They do not lead to type promotions, however they default to int and f64 respectively, when their type has to be decided:

u := u16(12)
v := 13 + u    // v is of type `u16` - no promotion
x := f32(45.6)
y := x + 3.14  // y is of type `f32` - no promotion
a := 75        // a is of type `int` - default for int literal
b := 14.7      // b is of type `f64` - default for float literal
c := u + a     // c is of type `int` - automatic promotion of `u`'s value
d := b + x     // d is of type `f64` - automatic promotion of `x`'s value


name := 'Bob'
assert name.len == 3       // will print 3
assert name[0] == u8(66) // indexing gives a byte, u8(66) == `B`
assert name[1..3] == 'ob'  // slicing gives a string 'ob'

// escape codes
windows_newline := '\r\n'      // escape special characters like in C
assert windows_newline.len == 2

// arbitrary bytes can be directly specified using `\x##` notation where `#` is
// a hex digit aardvark_str := '\x61ardvark' assert aardvark_str == 'aardvark'
assert '\xc0'[0] == u8(0xc0)

// or using octal escape `\###` notation where `#` is an octal digit
aardvark_str2 := '\141ardvark'
assert aardvark_str2 == 'aardvark'

// Unicode can be specified directly as `\u####` where # is a hex digit
// and will be converted internally to its UTF-8 representation
star_str := '\u2605' // ★
assert star_str == '★'
assert star_str == '\xe2\x98\x85' // UTF-8 can be specified this way too.

In V, a string is a read-only array of bytes. All Unicode characters are encoded using UTF-8:

s := 'hello 🌎' // emoji takes 4 bytes
assert s.len == 10

arr := s.bytes() // convert `string` to `[]u8`
assert arr.len == 10

s2 := arr.bytestr() // convert `[]u8` to `string`
assert s2 == s

String values are immutable. You cannot mutate elements:

mut s := 'hello 🌎'
s[0] = `H` // not allowed

error: cannot assign to s[i] since V strings are immutable

Note that indexing a string will produce a u8 (byte), not a rune nor another string. Indexes correspond to bytes in the string, not Unicode code points. If you want to convert the u8 to a string, use the .ascii_str() method on the u8:

country := 'Netherlands'
println(country[0]) // Output: 78
println(country[0].ascii_str()) // Output: N

Both single and double quotes can be used to denote strings. For consistency, vfmt converts double quotes to single quotes unless the string contains a single quote character.

For raw strings, prepend r. Escape handling is not done for raw strings:

s := r'hello\nworld' // the `\n` will be preserved as two characters
println(s) // "hello\nworld"

Strings can be easily converted to integers:

s := '42'
n := s.int() // 42

// all int literals are supported
assert '0xc3'.int() == 195
assert '0o10'.int() == 8
assert '0b1111_0000_1010'.int() == 3850
assert '-0b1111_0000_1010'.int() == -3850

For more advanced string processing and conversions, refer to the vlib/strconv module.

String interpolation

Basic interpolation syntax is pretty simple - use ${ before a variable name and } after. The variable will be converted to a string and embedded into the literal:

name := 'Bob'
println('Hello, ${name}!') // Hello, Bob!

It also works with fields: 'age = ${user.age}'. You may also use more complex expressions: 'can register = ${user.age > 13}'.

Format specifiers similar to those in C's printf() are also supported. f, g, x, o, b, etc. are optional and specify the output format. The compiler takes care of the storage size, so there is no hd or llu.

To use a format specifier, follow this pattern:


See Format Placeholder Specification for more information.

x := 123.4567
println('[${x:.2}]') // round to two decimal places => [123.46]
println('[${x:10}]') // right-align with spaces on the left => [   123.457]
println('[${int(x):-10}]') // left-align with spaces on the right => [123       ]
println('[${int(x):010}]') // pad with zeros on the left => [0000000123]
println('[${int(x):b}]') // output as binary => [1111011]
println('[${int(x):o}]') // output as octal => [173]
println('[${int(x):X}]') // output as uppercase hex => [7B]

println('[${10.0000:.2}]') // remove insignificant 0s at the end => [10]
println('[${10.0000:.2f}]') // do show the 0s at the end, even though they do not change the number => [10.00]

String operators

name := 'Bob'
bobby := name + 'by' // + is used to concatenate strings
println(bobby) // "Bobby"
mut s := 'hello '
s += 'world' // `+=` is used to append to a string
println(s) // "hello world"

All operators in V must have values of the same type on both sides. You cannot concatenate an integer to a string:

age := 10
println('age = ' + age) // not allowed

error: infix expr: cannot use int (right expression) as string

We have to either convert age to a string:

age := 11
println('age = ' + age.str())

or use string interpolation (preferred):

age := 12
println('age = ${age}')

See all methods of string and related modules strings, strconv.


A rune represents a single Unicode character and is an alias for u32. To denote them, use ` (backticks) :

rocket := `🚀`

A rune can be converted to a UTF-8 string by using the .str() method.

rocket := `🚀`
assert rocket.str() == '🚀'

A rune can be converted to UTF-8 bytes by using the .bytes() method.

rocket := `🚀`
assert rocket.bytes() == [u8(0xf0), 0x9f, 0x9a, 0x80]

Hex, Unicode, and Octal escape sequences also work in a rune literal:

assert `\x61` == `a`
assert `\141` == `a`
assert `\u0061` == `a`

// multibyte literals work too
assert `\u2605` == `★`
assert `\u2605`.bytes() == [u8(0xe2), 0x98, 0x85]
assert `\xe2\x98\x85`.bytes() == [u8(0xe2), 0x98, 0x85]
assert `\342\230\205`.bytes() == [u8(0xe2), 0x98, 0x85]

Note that rune literals use the same escape syntax as strings, but they can only hold one unicode character. Therefore, if your code does not specify a single Unicode character, you will receive an error at compile time.

Also remember that strings are indexed as bytes, not runes, so beware:

rocket_string := '🚀'
assert rocket_string[0] != `🚀`
assert 'aloha!'[0] == `a`

A string can be converted to runes by the .runes() method.

hello := 'Hello World 👋'
hello_runes := hello.runes() // [`H`, `e`, `l`, `l`, `o`, ` `, `W`, `o`, `r`, `l`, `d`, ` `, `👋`]
assert hello_runes.string() == hello


a := 123

This will assign the value of 123 to a. By default a will have the type int.

You can also use hexadecimal, binary or octal notation for integer literals:

a := 0x7B
b := 0b01111011
c := 0o173

All of these will be assigned the same value, 123. They will all have type int, no matter what notation you used.

V also supports writing numbers with _ as separator:

num := 1_000_000 // same as 1000000
three := 0b0_11 // same as 0b11
float_num := 3_122.55 // same as 3122.55
hexa := 0xF_F // same as 255
oct := 0o17_3 // same as 0o173

If you want a different type of integer, you can use casting:

a := i64(123)
b := u8(42)
c := i16(12345)

Assigning floating point numbers works the same way:

f := 1.0
f1 := f64(3.14)
f2 := f32(3.14)

If you do not specify the type explicitly, by default float literals will have the type of f64.

Float literals can also be declared as a power of ten:

f0 := 42e1 // 420
f1 := 123e-2 // 1.23
f2 := 456e+2 // 45600


An array is a collection of data elements of the same type. An array literal is a list of expressions surrounded by square brackets. An individual element can be accessed using an index expression. Indexes start from 0:

mut nums := [1, 2, 3]
println(nums) // `[1, 2, 3]`
println(nums[0]) // `1`
println(nums[1]) // `2`

nums[1] = 5
println(nums) // `[1, 5, 3]`

An element can be appended to the end of an array using the push operator <<. It can also append an entire array.

mut nums := [1, 2, 3]
nums << 4
println(nums) // "[1, 2, 3, 4]"

// append array
nums << [5, 6, 7]
println(nums) // "[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]"
mut names := ['John']
names << 'Peter'
names << 'Sam'
// names << 10  <-- This will not compile. `names` is an array of strings.

val in array returns true if the array contains val. See in operator.

names := ['John', 'Peter', 'Sam']
println('Alex' in names) // "false"

Array Fields

There are two fields that control the "size" of an array:

mut nums := [1, 2, 3]
println(nums.len) // "3"
println(nums.cap) // "3" or greater
nums = [] // The array is now empty
println(nums.len) // "0"

data is a field (of type voidptr) with the address of the first element. This is for low-level unsafe code.

Note Fields are read-only and can't be modified by the user.

Array Initialization

The type of an array is determined by the first element:

The user can explicitly specify the type for the first element: [u8(16), 32, 64, 128]. V arrays are homogeneous (all elements must have the same type). This means that code like [1, 'a'] will not compile.

The above syntax is fine for a small number of known elements but for very large or empty arrays there is a second initialization syntax:

mut a := []int{len: 10000, cap: 30000, init: 3}

This creates an array of 10000 int elements that are all initialized with 3. Memory space is reserved for 30000 elements. The parameters len, cap and init are optional; len defaults to 0 and init to the default initialization of the element type (0 for numerical type, '' for string, etc). The run time system makes sure that the capacity is not smaller than len (even if a smaller value is specified explicitly):

arr := []int{len: 5, init: -1}
// `arr == [-1, -1, -1, -1, -1]`, arr.cap == 5

// Declare an empty array:
users := []int{}

Setting the capacity improves performance of pushing elements to the array as reallocations can be avoided:

mut numbers := []int{cap: 1000}
println(numbers.len) // 0
// Now appending elements won't reallocate
for i in 0 .. 1000 {
    numbers << i

Note The above code uses a range for statement.

You can initialize the array by accessing the index variable which gives the index as shown here:

count := []int{len: 4, init: index}
assert count == [0, 1, 2, 3]

mut square := []int{len: 6, init: index * index}
// square == [0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25]

Array Types

An array can be of these types:

Types Example Definition
Number []int,[]i64
String []string
Rune []rune
Boolean []bool
Array [][]int
Struct []MyStructName
Channel []chan f64
Function []MyFunctionType []fn (int) bool
Interface []MyInterfaceName
Sum Type []MySumTypeName
Generic Type []T
Map []map[string]f64
Enum []MyEnumType
Alias []MyAliasTypeName
Thread []thread int
Reference []&f64
Shared []shared MyStructType

Example Code:

This example uses Structs and Sum Types to create an array which can handle different types (e.g. Points, Lines) of data elements.

struct Point {
    x int
    y int

struct Line {
    p1 Point
    p2 Point

type ObjectSumType = Line | Point

mut object_list := []ObjectSumType{}
object_list << Point{1, 1}
object_list << Line{
    p1: Point{3, 3}
    p2: Point{4, 4}
object_list: [ObjectSumType(Point{
    x: 1
    y: 1
}), ObjectSumType(Line{
    p1: Point{
        x: 3
        y: 3
    p2: Point{
        x: 4
        y: 4

Multidimensional Arrays

Arrays can have more than one dimension.

2d array example:

mut a := [][]int{len: 2, init: []int{len: 3}}
a[0][1] = 2
println(a) // [[0, 2, 0], [0, 0, 0]]

3d array example:

mut a := [][][]int{len: 2, init: [][]int{len: 3, init: []int{len: 2}}}
a[0][1][1] = 2
println(a) // [[[0, 0], [0, 2], [0, 0]], [[0, 0], [0, 0], [0, 0]]]

Array methods

All arrays can be easily printed with println(arr) and converted to a string with s := arr.str().

Copying the data from the array is done with .clone():

nums := [1, 2, 3]
nums_copy := nums.clone()

Arrays can be efficiently filtered and mapped with the .filter() and .map() methods:

nums := [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
even := nums.filter(it % 2 == 0)
println(even) // [2, 4, 6]
// filter can accept anonymous functions
even_fn := nums.filter(fn (x int) bool {
    return x % 2 == 0
words := ['hello', 'world']
upper := words.map(it.to_upper())
println(upper) // ['HELLO', 'WORLD']
// map can also accept anonymous functions
upper_fn := words.map(fn (w string) string {
    return w.to_upper()
println(upper_fn) // ['HELLO', 'WORLD']

it is a builtin variable which refers to the element currently being processed in filter/map methods.

Additionally, .any() and .all() can be used to conveniently test for elements that satisfy a condition.

nums := [1, 2, 3]
println(nums.any(it == 2)) // true
println(nums.all(it >= 2)) // false

There are further built-in methods for arrays:

See all methods of array

See also vlib/arrays.

Sorting Arrays

Sorting arrays of all kinds is very simple and intuitive. Special variables a and b are used when providing a custom sorting condition.

mut numbers := [1, 3, 2]
numbers.sort() // 1, 2, 3
numbers.sort(a > b) // 3, 2, 1
struct User {
    age  int
    name string

mut users := [User{21, 'Bob'}, User{20, 'Zarkon'}, User{25, 'Alice'}]
users.sort(a.age < b.age) // sort by User.age int field
users.sort(a.name > b.name) // reverse sort by User.name string field

V also supports custom sorting, through the sort_with_compare array method. Which expects a comparing function which will define the sort order. Useful for sorting on multiple fields at the same time by custom sorting rules. The code below sorts the array ascending on name and descending age.

struct User {
    age  int
    name string

mut users := [User{21, 'Bob'}, User{65, 'Bob'}, User{25, 'Alice'}]

custom_sort_fn := fn (a &User, b &User) int {
    // return -1 when a comes before b
    // return 0, when both are in same order
    // return 1 when b comes before a
    if a.name == b.name {
        if a.age < b.age {
            return 1
        if a.age > b.age {
            return -1
        return 0
    if a.name < b.name {
        return -1
    } else if a.name > b.name {
        return 1
    return 0

Array Slices

A slice is a part of a parent array. Initially it refers to the elements between two indices separated by a .. operator. The right-side index must be greater than or equal to the left side index.

If a right-side index is absent, it is assumed to be the array length. If a left-side index is absent, it is assumed to be 0.

nums := [0, 10, 20, 30, 40]
println(nums[1..4]) // [10, 20, 30]
println(nums[..4]) // [0, 10, 20, 30]
println(nums[1..]) // [10, 20, 30, 40]

In V slices are arrays themselves (they are not distinct types). As a result all array operations may be performed on them. E.g. they can be pushed onto an array of the same type:

array_1 := [3, 5, 4, 7, 6]
mut array_2 := [0, 1]
array_2 << array_1[..3]
println(array_2) // `[0, 1, 3, 5, 4]`

A slice is always created with the smallest possible capacity cap == len (see cap above) no matter what the capacity or length of the parent array is. As a result it is immediately reallocated and copied to another memory location when the size increases thus becoming independent from the parent array (copy on grow). In particular pushing elements to a slice does not alter the parent:

mut a := [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
mut b := a[2..4]
b[0] = 7 // `b[0]` is referring to `a[2]`
println(a) // `[0, 1, 7, 3, 4, 5]`
b << 9
// `b` has been reallocated and is now independent from `a`
println(a) // `[0, 1, 7, 3, 4, 5]` - no change
println(b) // `[7, 3, 9]`

Appending to the parent array may or may not make it independent from its child slices. The behaviour depends on the parent's capacity and is predictable:

mut a := []int{len: 5, cap: 6, init: 2}
mut b := unsafe { a[1..4] }
a << 3
// no reallocation - fits in `cap`
b[2] = 13 // `a[3]` is modified
a << 4
// a has been reallocated and is now independent from `b` (`cap` was exceeded)
b[1] = 3 // no change in `a`
println(a) // `[2, 2, 2, 13, 2, 3, 4]`
println(b) // `[2, 3, 13]`

You can call .clone() on the slice, if you do want to have an independent copy right away:

mut a := [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
mut b := a[2..4].clone()
b[0] = 7 // Note: `b[0]` is NOT referring to `a[2]`, as it would have been, without the .clone()
println(a) // [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
println(b) // [7, 3]
Slices with negative indexes

V supports array and string slices with negative indexes. Negative indexing starts from the end of the array towards the start, for example -3 is equal to array.len - 3. Negative slices have a different syntax from normal slices, i.e. you need to add a gate between the array name and the square bracket: a#[..-3]. The gate specifies that this is a different type of slice and remember that the result is "locked" inside the array. The returned slice is always a valid array, though it may be empty:

a := [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
println(a#[-3..]) // [7, 8, 9]
println(a#[-20..]) // [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
println(a#[-20..-8]) // [0, 1]
println(a#[..-3]) // [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

// empty arrays
println(a#[-20..-10]) // []
println(a#[20..10]) // []
println(a#[20..30]) // []

Array method chaining

You can chain the calls of array methods like .filter() and .map() and use the it built-in variable to achieve a classic map/filter functional paradigm:

// using filter, map and negatives array slices
files := ['pippo.jpg', '01.bmp', '_v.txt', 'img_02.jpg', 'img_01.JPG']
filtered := files.filter(it#[-4..].to_lower() == '.jpg').map(it.to_upper())
// ['PIPPO.JPG', 'IMG_02.JPG', 'IMG_01.JPG']

Fixed size arrays

V also supports arrays with fixed size. Unlike ordinary arrays, their length is constant. You cannot append elements to them, nor shrink them. You can only modify their elements in place.

However, access to the elements of fixed size arrays is more efficient, they need less memory than ordinary arrays, and unlike ordinary arrays, their data is on the stack, so you may want to use them as buffers if you do not want additional heap allocations.

Most methods are defined to work on ordinary arrays, not on fixed size arrays. You can convert a fixed size array to an ordinary array with slicing:

mut fnums := [3]int{} // fnums is a fixed size array with 3 elements.
fnums[0] = 1
fnums[1] = 10
fnums[2] = 100
println(fnums) // => [1, 10, 100]
println(typeof(fnums).name) // => [3]int

fnums2 := [1, 10, 100]! // short init syntax that does the same (the syntax will probably change)

anums := fnums[..] // same as `anums := fnums[0..fnums.len]`
println(anums) // => [1, 10, 100]
println(typeof(anums).name) // => []int

Note that slicing will cause the data of the fixed size array to be copied to the newly created ordinary array.


mut m := map[string]int{} // a map with `string` keys and `int` values
m['one'] = 1
m['two'] = 2
println(m['one']) // "1"
println(m['bad_key']) // "0"
println('bad_key' in m) // Use `in` to detect whether such key exists
println(m.keys()) // ['one', 'two']

Maps can have keys of type string, rune, integer, float or voidptr.

The whole map can be initialized using this short syntax:

numbers := {
    'one': 1
    'two': 2

If a key is not found, a zero value is returned by default:

sm := {
    'abc': 'xyz'
val := sm['bad_key']
println(val) // ''
intm := {
    1: 1234
    2: 5678
s := intm[3]
println(s) // 0

It's also possible to use an or {} block to handle missing keys:

mm := map[string]int{}
val := mm['bad_key'] or { panic('key not found') }

You can also check, if a key is present, and get its value, if it was present, in one go:

m := {
    'abc': 'def'
if v := m['abc'] {
    println('the map value for that key is: ${v}')

The same option check applies to arrays:

arr := [1, 2, 3]
large_index := 999
val := arr[large_index] or { panic('out of bounds') }
// you can also do this, if you want to *propagate* the access error:
val2 := arr[333]!

V also supports nested maps:

mut m := map[string]map[string]int{}
m['greet'] = {
    'Hello': 1
m['place'] = {
    'world': 2
m['code']['orange'] = 123

Maps are ordered by insertion, like dictionaries in Python. The order is a guaranteed language feature. This may change in the future.

See all methods of map and maps.

Module imports

For information about creating a module, see Modules.

Modules can be imported using the import keyword:

import os

fn main() {
    // read text from stdin
    name := os.input('Enter your name: ')
    println('Hello, ${name}!')

This program can use any public definitions from the os module, such as the input function. See the standard library documentation for a list of common modules and their public symbols.

By default, you have to specify the module prefix every time you call an external function. This may seem verbose at first, but it makes code much more readable and easier to understand - it's always clear which function from which module is being called. This is especially useful in large code bases.

Cyclic module imports are not allowed, like in Go.

Selective imports

You can also import specific functions and types from modules directly:

import os { input }

fn main() {
    // read text from stdin
    name := input('Enter your name: ')
    println('Hello, ${name}!')

Note This will import the module as well. Also, this is not allowed for constants - they must always be prefixed.

You can import several specific symbols at once:

import os { input, user_os }

name := input('Enter your name: ')
println('Name: ${name}')
current_os := user_os()
println('Your OS is ${current_os}.')

Module import aliasing

Any imported module name can be aliased using the as keyword:

Note This example will not compile unless you have created mymod/sha256.v

import crypto.sha256
import mymod.sha256 as mysha256

fn main() {
    v_hash := sha256.sum('hi'.bytes()).hex()
    my_hash := mysha256.sum('hi'.bytes()).hex()
    assert my_hash == v_hash

You cannot alias an imported function or type. However, you can redeclare a type.

import time
import math

type MyTime = time.Time

fn (mut t MyTime) century() int {
    return int(1.0 + math.trunc(f64(t.year) * 0.009999794661191))

fn main() {
    mut my_time := MyTime{
        year: 2020
        month: 12
        day: 25
    println('Century: ${my_time.century()}')

Statements & expressions


a := 10
b := 20
if a < b {
    println('${a} < ${b}')
} else if a > b {
    println('${a} > ${b}')
} else {
    println('${a} == ${b}')

if statements are pretty straightforward and similar to most other languages. Unlike other C-like languages, there are no parentheses surrounding the condition and the braces are always required.

if can be used as an expression:

num := 777
s := if num % 2 == 0 { 'even' } else { 'odd' }
// "odd"

Anywhere you can use or {}, you can also use "if unwrapping". This binds the unwrapped value of an expression to a variable when that expression is not none nor an error.

m := {
    'foo': 'bar'

// handle missing keys
if v := m['foo'] {
    println(v) // bar
} else {
    println('not found')
fn res() !int {
    return 42

// functions that return a result type
if v := res() {
struct User {
    name string

arr := [User{'John'}]

// if unwrapping with assignment of a variable
u_name := if v := arr[0] {
} else {
println(u_name) // John

Type checks and casts

You can check the current type of a sum type using is and its negated form !is.

You can do it either in an if:

struct Abc {
    val string

struct Xyz {
    foo string

type Alphabet = Abc | Xyz

x := Alphabet(Abc{'test'}) // sum type
if x is Abc {
    // x is automatically cast to Abc and can be used here
if x !is Abc {
    println('Not Abc')

or using match:

match x {
    Abc {
        // x is automatically cast to Abc and can be used here
    Xyz {
        // x is automatically cast to Xyz and can be used here

This works also with struct fields:

struct MyStruct {
    x int

struct MyStruct2 {
    y string

type MySumType = MyStruct | MyStruct2

struct Abc {
    bar MySumType

x := Abc{
    bar: MyStruct{123} // MyStruct will be converted to MySumType type automatically
if x.bar is MyStruct {
    // x.bar is automatically cast
} else if x.bar is MyStruct2 {
    new_var := x.bar as MyStruct2
    // ... or you can use `as` to create a type cast an alias manually:
match x.bar {
    MyStruct {
        // x.bar is automatically cast
    else {}

Mutable variables can change, and doing a cast would be unsafe. However, sometimes it's useful to type cast despite mutability. In such cases the developer must mark the expression with the mut keyword to tell the compiler that they know what they're doing.

It works like this:

mut x := MySumType(MyStruct{123})
if mut x is MyStruct {
    // x is cast to MyStruct even if it's mutable
    // without the mut keyword that wouldn't work
// same with match
match mut x {
    MyStruct {
        // x is cast to MyStruct even if it's mutable
        // without the mut keyword that wouldn't work


os := 'windows'
print('V is running on ')
match os {
    'darwin' { println('macOS.') }
    'linux' { println('Linux.') }
    else { println(os) }

A match statement is a shorter way to write a sequence of if - else statements. When a matching branch is found, the following statement block will be run. The else branch will be run when no other branches match.

number := 2
s := match number {
    1 { 'one' }
    2 { 'two' }
    else { 'many' }

A match statement can also to be used as an if - else if - else alternative:

match true {
    2 > 4 { println('if') }
    3 == 4 { println('else if') }
    2 == 2 { println('else if2') }
    else { println('else') }
// 'else if2' should be printed

or as an unless alternative: unless Ruby

match false {
    2 > 4 { println('if') }
    3 == 4 { println('else if') }
    2 == 2 { println('else if2') }
    else { println('else') }
// 'if' should be printed

A match expression returns the value of the final expression from the matching branch.

enum Color {

fn is_red_or_blue(c Color) bool {
    return match c {
        .red, .blue { true } // comma can be used to test multiple values
        .green { false }

A match statement can also be used to branch on the variants of an enum by using the shorthand .variant_here syntax. An else branch is not allowed when all the branches are exhaustive.

c := `v`
typ := match c {
    `0`...`9` { 'digit' }
    `A`...`Z` { 'uppercase' }
    `a`...`z` { 'lowercase' }
    else { 'other' }
// 'lowercase'

You can also use ranges as match patterns. If the value falls within the range of a branch, that branch will be executed.

Note that the ranges use ... (three dots) rather than .. (two dots). This is because the range is inclusive of the last element, rather than exclusive (as .. ranges are). Using .. in a match branch will throw an error.

const start = 1

const end = 10

c := 2
num := match c {
    start...end {
    else {
// 1000

Constants can also be used in the range branch expressions.

Note match as an expression is not usable in for loop and if statements.

In operator

in allows to check whether an array or a map contains an element. To do the opposite, use !in.

nums := [1, 2, 3]
println(1 in nums) // true
println(4 !in nums) // true

Note in checks if map contains a key, not a value.

m := {
    'one': 1
    'two': 2

println('one' in m) // true
println('three' !in m) // true

It's also useful for writing boolean expressions that are clearer and more compact:

enum Token {

struct Parser {
    token Token

parser := Parser{}
if parser.token == .plus || parser.token == .minus || parser.token == .div || parser.token == .mult {
    // ...
if parser.token in [.plus, .minus, .div, .mult] {
    // ...

V optimizes such expressions, so both if statements above produce the same machine code and no arrays are created.

For loop

V has only one looping keyword: for, with several forms.


This is the most common form. You can use it with an array, map or numeric range.

Array for
numbers := [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
for num in numbers {
names := ['Sam', 'Peter']
for i, name in names {
    println('${i}) ${name}')
    // Output: 0) Sam
    //         1) Peter

The for value in arr form is used for going through elements of an array. If an index is required, an alternative form for index, value in arr can be used.

Note that the value is read-only. If you need to modify the array while looping, you need to declare the element as mutable:

mut numbers := [0, 1, 2]
for mut num in numbers {
println(numbers) // [1, 2, 3]

When an identifier is just a single underscore, it is ignored.

Custom iterators

Types that implement a next method returning an Option can be iterated with a for loop.

struct SquareIterator {
    arr []int
    idx int

fn (mut iter SquareIterator) next() ?int {
    if iter.idx >= iter.arr.len {
        return none
    defer {
    return iter.arr[iter.idx] * iter.arr[iter.idx]

nums := [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
iter := SquareIterator{
    arr: nums
for squared in iter {

The code above prints:

Map for
m := {
    'one': 1
    'two': 2
for key, value in m {
    println('${key} -> ${value}')
    // Output: one -> 1
    //         two -> 2

Either key or value can be ignored by using a single underscore as the identifier.

m := {
    'one': 1
    'two': 2
// iterate over keys
for key, _ in m {
    // Output: one
    //         two
// iterate over values
for _, value in m {
    // Output: 1
    //         2
Range for
// Prints '01234'
for i in 0 .. 5 {

low..high means an exclusive range, which represents all values from low up to but not including high.

Condition for

mut sum := 0
mut i := 0
for i <= 100 {
    sum += i
println(sum) // "5050"

This form of the loop is similar to while loops in other languages. The loop will stop iterating once the boolean condition evaluates to false. Again, there are no parentheses surrounding the condition, and the braces are always required.

Bare for

mut num := 0
for {
    num += 2
    if num >= 10 {
println(num) // "10"

The condition can be omitted, resulting in an infinite loop.

C for

for i := 0; i < 10; i += 2 {
    // Don't print 6
    if i == 6 {

Finally, there's the traditional C style for loop. It's safer than the while form because with the latter it's easy to forget to update the counter and get stuck in an infinite loop.

Here i doesn't need to be declared with mut since it's always going to be mutable by definition.

Labelled break & continue

break and continue control the innermost for loop by default. You can also use break and continue followed by a label name to refer to an outer for loop:

outer: for i := 4; true; i++ {
    for {
        if i < 7 {
            continue outer
        } else {
            break outer

The label must immediately precede the outer loop. The above code prints:



A defer statement defers the execution of a block of statements until the surrounding function returns.

import os

fn read_log() {
    mut ok := false
    mut f := os.open('log.txt') or { panic(err) }
    defer {
    // ...
    if !ok {
        // defer statement will be called here, the file will be closed
    // ...
    // defer statement will be called here, the file will be closed

If the function returns a value the defer block is executed after the return expression is evaluated:

import os

enum State {

// write log file and return number of bytes written

fn write_log(s State) !int {
    mut f := os.create('log.txt')!
    defer {
    if s == .write_log {
        // `f.close()` will be called after `f.write()` has been
        // executed, but before `write_log()` finally returns the
        // number of bytes written to `main()`
        return f.writeln('This is a log file')
    } else if s == .return_error {
        // the file will be closed after the `error()` function
        // has returned - so the error message will still report
        // it as open
        return error('nothing written; file open: ${f.is_opened}')
    // the file will be closed here, too
    return 0

fn main() {
    n := write_log(.return_error) or {
        println('Error: ${err}')
    println('${n} bytes written')

To access the result of the function inside a defer block the $res() expression can be used. $res() is only used when a single value is returned, while on multi-return the $res(idx) is parameterized.

fn (mut app App) auth_middleware() bool {
    defer {
        if !$res() {
            app.response.status_code = 401
            app.response.body = 'Unauthorized'
    header := app.get_header('Authorization')
    if header == '' {
        return false
    return true

fn (mut app App) auth_with_user_middleware() (bool, string) {
    defer {
        if !$res(0) {
            app.response.status_code = 401
            app.response.body = 'Unauthorized'
        } else {
            app.user = $res(1)
    header := app.get_header('Authorization')
    if header == '' {
        return false, ''
    return true, 'TestUser'


V allows unconditionally jumping to a label with goto. The label name must be contained within the same function as the goto statement. A program may goto a label outside or deeper than the current scope. goto allows jumping past variable initialization or jumping back to code that accesses memory that has already been freed, so it requires unsafe.

if x {
    // ...
    if y {
        unsafe {
            goto my_label
    // ...

goto should be avoided, particularly when for can be used instead. Labelled break/continue can be used to break out of a nested loop, and those do not risk violating memory-safety.


struct Point {
    x int
    y int

mut p := Point{
    x: 10
    y: 20
println(p.x) // Struct fields are accessed using a dot
// Alternative literal syntax
p = Point{10, 20}
assert p.x == 10

Heap structs

Structs are allocated on the stack. To allocate a struct on the heap and get a reference to it, use the & prefix:

struct Point {
    x int
    y int

p := &Point{10, 10}
// References have the same syntax for accessing fields

The type of p is &Point. It's a reference to Point. References are similar to Go pointers and C++ references.

struct Foo {
    x int

fa := Foo{1}
mut a := fa
a.x = 2
assert fa.x == 1
assert a.x == 2

// fb := Foo{ 1 }
// mut b := &fb  // error: `fb` is immutable, cannot have a mutable reference to it
// b.x = 2

mut fc := Foo{1}
mut c := &fc
c.x = 2
assert fc.x == 2
assert c.x == 2
println(fc) // Foo{ x: 2 }
println(c) // &Foo{ x: 2 } // Note `&` prefixed.

see also Stack and Heap

Default field values

struct Foo {
    n   int    // n is 0 by default
    s   string // s is '' by default
    a   []int  // a is `[]int{}` by default
    pos int = -1 // custom default value

All struct fields are zeroed by default during the creation of the struct. Array and map fields are allocated. In case of reference value, see here.

It's also possible to define custom default values.

Required fields

struct Foo {
    n int [required]

You can mark a struct field with the [required] attribute, to tell V that that field must be initialized when creating an instance of that struct.

This example will not compile, since the field n isn't explicitly initialized:

_ = Foo{}

Short struct literal syntax

struct Point {
    x int
    y int

mut p := Point{
    x: 10
    y: 20
p = Point{
    x: 30
    y: 4
assert p.y == 4
// array: first element defines type of array
points := [Point{10, 20}, Point{20, 30}, Point{40, 50}]
println(points) // [Point{x: 10, y: 20}, Point{x: 20, y: 30}, Point{x: 40,y: 50}]

Omitting the struct name also works for returning a struct literal or passing one as a function argument.

Struct update syntax

V makes it easy to return a modified version of an object:

struct User {
    name          string
    age           int
    is_registered bool

fn register(u User) User {
    return User{
        is_registered: true

mut user := User{
    name: 'abc'
    age: 23
user = register(user)

Trailing struct literal arguments

V doesn't have default function arguments or named arguments, for that trailing struct literal syntax can be used instead:

struct ButtonConfig {
    text        string
    is_disabled bool
    width       int = 70
    height      int = 20

struct Button {
    text   string
    width  int
    height int

fn new_button(c ButtonConfig) &Button {
    return &Button{
        width: c.width
        height: c.height
        text: c.text

button := new_button(text: 'Click me', width: 100)
// the height is unset, so it's the default value
assert button.height == 20

As you can see, both the struct name and braces can be omitted, instead of:

new_button(ButtonConfig{text:'Click me', width:100})

This only works for functions that take a struct for the last argument.

Note the [params] tag is used to tell V, that the trailing struct parameter can be omitted entirely, so that you can write button := new_button(). Without it, you have to specify at least one of the field names, even if it has its default value, otherwise the compiler will produce this error message, when you call the function with no parameters: error: expected 1 arguments, but got 0.

Access modifiers

Struct fields are private and immutable by default (making structs immutable as well). Their access modifiers can be changed with pub and mut. In total, there are 5 possible options:

struct Foo {
    a int // private immutable (default)
    b int // private mutable
    c int // (you can list multiple fields with the same access modifier)
    d int // public immutable (readonly)
pub mut:
    e int // public, but mutable only in parent module
    // (not recommended to use, that's why the 'global' keyword starts with __)
    f int // public and mutable both inside and outside parent module

Private fields are available only inside the same module, any attempt to directly access them from another module will cause an error during compilation. Public immutable fields are readonly everywhere.

Anonymous structs

V supports anonymous structs: structs that don't have to be declared separately with a struct name.

struct Book {
    author struct {
        name string
        age  int

    title string

book := Book{
    author: struct {
        name: 'Samantha Black'
        age: 24
assert book.author.name == 'Samantha Black'
assert book.author.age == 24

Static type methods

V now supports static type methods like User.new(). These are defined on a struct via fn [Type name].[function name] and allow to organize all functions related to a struct:

struct User {}

fn User.new() User {
    return User{}

user := User.new()

This is an alternative to factory functions like fn new_user() User {} and should be used instead.

Note, that these are not constructors, but simple functions. V doesn't have constructors or classes.

[noinit] structs

V supports [noinit] structs, which are structs that cannot be initialised outside the module they are defined in. They are either meant to be used internally or they can be used externally through factory functions.

For an example, consider the following source in a directory sample:

module sample

pub struct Information {
    data string

pub fn new_information(data string) !Information {
    if data.len == 0 || data.len > 100 {
        return error('data must be between 1 and 100 characters')
    return Information{
        data: data

Note that new_information is a factory function. Now when we want to use this struct outside the module:

import sample

fn main() {
    // This doesn't work when the [noinit] attribute is present:
    // info := sample.Information{
    // 	data: 'Sample information.'
    // }

    // Use this instead:
    info := sample.new_information('Sample information.')!



struct User {
    age int

fn (u User) can_register() bool {
    return u.age > 16

user := User{
    age: 10
println(user.can_register()) // "false"
user2 := User{
    age: 20
println(user2.can_register()) // "true"

V doesn't have classes, but you can define methods on types. A method is a function with a special receiver argument. The receiver appears in its own argument list between the fn keyword and the method name. Methods must be in the same module as the receiver type.

In this example, the can_register method has a receiver of type User named u. The convention is not to use receiver names like self or this, but a short, preferably one letter long, name.

Embedded structs

V supports embedded structs.

struct Size {
    width  int
    height int

fn (s &Size) area() int {
    return s.width * s.height

struct Button {
    title string

With embedding, the struct Button will automatically have get all the fields and methods from the struct Size, which allows you to do:

mut button := Button{
    title: 'Click me'
    height: 2

button.width = 3
assert button.area() == 6
assert button.Size.area() == 6

output :

    Size: Size{
        width: 3
        height: 2
    title: 'Click me'

Unlike inheritance, you cannot type cast between structs and embedded structs (the embedding struct can also has its own fields, and it can also embed multiple structs).

If you need to access embedded structs directly, use an explicit reference like button.Size.

Conceptually, embedded structs are similar to mixins in OOP, NOT base classes.

You can also initialize an embedded struct:

mut button := Button{
    Size: Size{
        width: 3
        height: 2

or assign values:

button.Size = Size{
    width: 4
    height: 5

If multiple embedded structs have methods or fields with the same name, or if methods or fields with the same name are defined in the struct, you can call methods or assign to variables in the embedded struct like button.Size.area(). When you do not specify the embedded struct name, the method of the outermost struct will be targeted.


Just like structs, unions support embedding.

struct Rgba32_Component {
    r u8
    g u8
    b u8
    a u8

union Rgba32 {
    value u32

clr1 := Rgba32{
    value: 0x008811FF

clr2 := Rgba32{
    Rgba32_Component: Rgba32_Component{
        a: 128

sz := sizeof(Rgba32)
unsafe {
    println('Size: ${sz}B,clr1.b: ${clr1.b},clr2.b: ${clr2.b}')

Output: Size: 4B, clr1.b: 136, clr2.b: 0

Union member access must be performed in an unsafe block.

Note Embedded struct arguments are not necessarily stored in the order listed.

Functions 2

Immutable function args by default

In V function arguments are immutable by default, and mutable args have to be marked on call.

Since there are also no globals, that means that the return values of the functions, are a function of their arguments only, and their evaluation has no side effects (unless the function uses I/O).

Function arguments are immutable by default, even when references are passed.

Note However, V is not a purely functional language.

There is a compiler flag to enable global variables (-enable-globals), but this is intended for low-level applications like kernels and drivers.

Mutable arguments

It is possible to modify function arguments by declaring them with the keyword mut:

struct User {
    name string
    is_registered bool

fn (mut u User) register() {
    u.is_registered = true

mut user := User{}
println(user.is_registered) // "false"
println(user.is_registered) // "true"

In this example, the receiver (which is just the first argument) is explicitly marked as mutable, so register() can change the user object. The same works with non-receiver arguments:

fn multiply_by_2(mut arr []int) {
    for i in 0 .. arr.len {
        arr[i] *= 2

mut nums := [1, 2, 3]
multiply_by_2(mut nums)
// "[2, 4, 6]"

Note that you have to add mut before nums when calling this function. This makes it clear that the function being called will modify the value.

It is preferable to return values instead of modifying arguments, e.g. user = register(user) (or user.register()) instead of register(mut user). Modifying arguments should only be done in performance-critical parts of your application to reduce allocations and copying.

For this reason V doesn't allow the modification of arguments with primitive types (e.g. integers). Only more complex types such as arrays and maps may be modified.

Variable number of arguments

V supports functions that receive an arbitrary, variable amounts of arguments, denoted with the ... prefix. Below, a ...int refers to an arbitrary amount of parameters that will be collected into an array named a.

fn sum(a ...int) int {
    mut total := 0
    for x in a {
        total += x
    return total

println(sum()) // 0
println(sum(1)) // 1
println(sum(2, 3)) // 5
// using array decomposition
a := [2, 3, 4]
println(sum(...a)) // <-- using prefix ... here. output: 9
b := [5, 6, 7]
println(sum(...b)) // output: 18

Anonymous & higher order functions

fn sqr(n int) int {
    return n * n

fn cube(n int) int {
    return n * n * n

fn run(value int, op fn (int) int) int {
    return op(value)

fn main() {
    // Functions can be passed to other functions
    println(run(5, sqr)) // "25"
    // Anonymous functions can be declared inside other functions:
    double_fn := fn (n int) int {
        return n + n
    println(run(5, double_fn)) // "10"
    // Functions can be passed around without assigning them to variables:
    res := run(5, fn (n int) int {
        return n + n
    println(res) // "10"
    // You can even have an array/map of functions:
    fns := [sqr, cube]
    println(fns[0](10)) // "100"
    fns_map := {
        'sqr':  sqr
        'cube': cube
    println(fns_map['cube'](2)) // "8"


V supports closures too. This means that anonymous functions can inherit variables from the scope they were created in. They must do so explicitly by listing all variables that are inherited.

my_int := 1
my_closure := fn [my_int] () {
my_closure() // prints 1

Inherited variables are copied when the anonymous function is created. This means that if the original variable is modified after the creation of the function, the modification won't be reflected in the function.

mut i := 1
func := fn [i] () int {
    return i
println(func() == 1) // true
i = 123
println(func() == 1) // still true

However, the variable can be modified inside the anonymous function. The change won't be reflected outside, but will be in the later function calls.

fn new_counter() fn () int {
    mut i := 0
    return fn [mut i] () int {
        return i

c := new_counter()
println(c()) // 1
println(c()) // 2
println(c()) // 3

If you need the value to be modified outside the function, use a reference.

mut i := 0
mut ref := &i
print_counter := fn [ref] () {

print_counter() // 0
i = 10
print_counter() // 10

Parameter evaluation order

The evaluation order of the parameters of function calls is NOT guaranteed. Take for example the following program:

fn f(a1 int, a2 int, a3 int) {
    dump(a1 + a2 + a3)

fn main() {
    f(dump(100), dump(200), dump(300))

V currently does not guarantee that it will print 100, 200, 300 in that order. The only guarantee is that 600 (from the body of f) will be printed after all of them.

This may change in V 1.0 .


struct Foo {}

fn (foo Foo) bar_method() {
    // ...

fn bar_function(foo Foo) {
    // ...

If a function argument is immutable (like foo in the examples above) V can pass it either by value or by reference. The compiler will decide, and the developer doesn't need to think about it.

You no longer need to remember whether you should pass the struct by value or by reference.

You can ensure that the struct is always passed by reference by adding &:

struct Foo {
    abc int

fn (foo &Foo) bar() {

foo is still immutable and can't be changed. For that, (mut foo Foo) must be used.

In general, V's references are similar to Go pointers and C++ references. For example, a generic tree structure definition would look like this:

struct Node[T] {
    val   T
    left  &Node[T]
    right &Node[T]

To dereference a reference, use the * operator, just like in C.


const (
    pi    = 3.14
    world = '世界'


Constants are declared with const. They can only be defined at the module level (outside of functions). Constant values can never be changed. You can also declare a single constant separately:

const e = 2.71828

V constants are more flexible than in most languages. You can assign more complex values:

struct Color {
    r int
    g int
    b int

fn rgb(r int, g int, b int) Color {
    return Color{
        r: r
        g: g
        b: b

const (
    numbers = [1, 2, 3]
    red     = Color{
        r: 255
        g: 0
        b: 0
    // evaluate function call at compile time*
    blue = rgb(0, 0, 255)


* WIP - for now function calls are evaluated at program start-up

Global variables are not normally allowed, so this can be really useful.


Constants can be made public with pub const:

module mymodule

pub const golden_ratio = 1.61803

fn calc() {

The pub keyword is only allowed before the const keyword and cannot be used inside a const ( ) block.

Outside from module main all constants need to be prefixed with the module name.

Required module prefix

When naming constants, snake_case must be used. In order to distinguish consts from local variables, the full path to consts must be specified. For example, to access the PI const, full math.pi name must be used both outside the math module, and inside it. That restriction is relaxed only for the main module (the one containing your fn main()), where you can use the unqualified name of constants defined there, i.e. numbers, rather than main.numbers.

vfmt takes care of this rule, so you can type println(pi) inside the math module, and vfmt will automatically update it to println(math.pi).

Builtin functions

Some functions are builtin like println. Here is the complete list:

fn print(s string) // prints anything on stdout
fn println(s string) // prints anything and a newline on stdout

fn eprint(s string) // same as print(), but uses stderr
fn eprintln(s string) // same as println(), but uses stderr

fn exit(code int) // terminates the program with a custom error code
fn panic(s string) // prints a message and backtraces on stderr, and terminates the program with error code 1
fn print_backtrace() // prints backtraces on stderr

Note Although the print functions take a string, V accepts other printable types too. See below for details.

There is also a special built-in function called dump.


println is a simple yet powerful builtin function, that can print anything: strings, numbers, arrays, maps, structs.

struct User {
    name string
    age  int

println(1) // "1"
println('hi') // "hi"
println([1, 2, 3]) // "[1, 2, 3]"
println(User{ name: 'Bob', age: 20 }) // "User{name:'Bob', age:20}"

See also Array methods.

Printing custom types

If you want to define a custom print value for your type, simply define a str() string method:

struct Color {
    r int
    g int
    b int

pub fn (c Color) str() string {
    return '{${c.r}, ${c.g}, ${c.b}}'

red := Color{
    r: 255
    g: 0
    b: 0

Dumping expressions at runtime

You can dump/trace the value of any V expression using dump(expr). For example, save this code sample as factorial.v, then run it with v run factorial.v:

fn factorial(n u32) u32 {
    if dump(n <= 1) {
        return dump(1)
    return dump(n * factorial(n - 1))

fn main() {

You will get:

[factorial.v:2] n <= 1: false
[factorial.v:2] n <= 1: false
[factorial.v:2] n <= 1: false
[factorial.v:2] n <= 1: false
[factorial.v:2] n <= 1: true
[factorial.v:3] 1: 1
[factorial.v:5] n * factorial(n - 1): 2
[factorial.v:5] n * factorial(n - 1): 6
[factorial.v:5] n * factorial(n - 1): 24
[factorial.v:5] n * factorial(n - 1): 120

Note that dump(expr) will trace both the source location, the expression itself, and the expression value.


Every file in the root of a folder is part of the same module. Simple programs don't need to specify module name, in which case it defaults to 'main'.

See symbol visibility, Access modifiers.

Create modules

V is a very modular language. Creating reusable modules is encouraged and is quite easy to do. To create a new module, create a directory with your module's name containing .v files with code:

cd ~/code/modules
mkdir mymodule
vim mymodule/myfile.v
// myfile.v
module mymodule

// To export a function we have to use `pub`
pub fn say_hi() {
    println('hello from mymodule!')

All items inside a module can be used between the files of a module regardless of whether or not they are prefaced with the pub keyword.

// myfile2.v
module mymodule

pub fn say_hi_and_bye() {
    say_hi() // from myfile.v
    println('goodbye from mymodule')

You can now use mymodule in your code:

import mymodule

fn main() {

init functions

If you want a module to automatically call some setup/initialization code when it is imported, you can use a module init function:

fn init() {
    // your setup code here ...

The init function cannot be public - it will be called automatically. This feature is particularly useful for initializing a C library.

Type Declarations

Type aliases

To define a new type NewType as an alias for ExistingType, do type NewType = ExistingType.
This is a special case of a sum type declaration.


enum Color as u8 {

mut color := Color.red
// V knows that `color` is a `Color`. No need to use `color = Color.green` here.
color = .green
println(color) // "green"
match color {
    .red { println('the color was red') }
    .green { println('the color was green') }
    .blue { println('the color was blue') }

The enum type can be any integer type, but can be omitted, if it is int: enum Color {.

Enum match must be exhaustive or have an else branch. This ensures that if a new enum field is added, it's handled everywhere in the code.

Enum fields cannot re-use reserved keywords. However, reserved keywords may be escaped with an @.

enum Color {

color := Color.@none

Integers may be assigned to enum fields.

enum Grocery {
    orange = 5

g1 := int(Grocery.apple)
g2 := int(Grocery.orange)
g3 := int(Grocery.pear)
println('Grocery IDs: ${g1}, ${g2}, ${g3}')

Output: Grocery IDs: 0, 5, 6.

Operations are not allowed on enum variables; they must be explicitly cast to int.

Enums can have methods, just like structs.

enum Cycle {

fn (c Cycle) next() Cycle {
    match c {
        .one {
            return .two
        .two {
            return .three
        .three {
            return .one

mut c := Cycle.one
for _ in 0 .. 10 {
    c = c.next()



Function Types

You can use type aliases for naming specific function signatures - for example:

type Filter = fn (string) string

This works like any other type - for example, a function can accept an argument of a function type:

type Filter = fn (string) string

fn filter(s string, f Filter) string {
    return f(s)

V has duck-typing, so functions don't need to declare compatibility with a function type - they just have to be compatible:

fn uppercase(s string) string {
    return s.to_upper()

// now `uppercase` can be used everywhere where Filter is expected

Compatible functions can also be explicitly cast to a function type:

my_filter := Filter(uppercase)

The cast here is purely informational - again, duck-typing means that the resulting type is the same without an explicit cast:

my_filter := uppercase

You can pass the assigned function as an argument:

println(filter('Hello world', my_filter)) // prints `HELLO WORLD`

And you could of course have passed it directly as well, without using a local variable:

println(filter('Hello world', uppercase))

And this works with anonymous functions as well:

println(filter('Hello world', fn (s string) string {
    return s.to_upper()

You can see the complete example here.


// interface-example.1
struct Dog {
    breed string

fn (d Dog) speak() string {
    return 'woof'

struct Cat {
    breed string

fn (c Cat) speak() string {
    return 'meow'

// unlike Go, but like TypeScript, V's interfaces can define both fields and methods.
interface Speaker {
    breed string
    speak() string

fn main() {
    dog := Dog{'Leonberger'}
    cat := Cat{'Siamese'}

    mut arr := []Speaker{}
    arr << dog
    arr << cat
    for item in arr {
        println('a ${item.breed} says: ${item.speak()}')

Implement an interface

A type implements an interface by implementing its methods and fields. There is no explicit declaration of intent, no "implements" keyword.

An interface can have a mut: section. Implementing types will need to have a mut receiver, for methods declared in the mut: section of an interface.

// interface-example.2
module main

interface Foo {
    write(string) string

// => the method signature of a type, implementing interface Foo should be:
// `fn (s Type) write(a string) string`

interface Bar {
    write(string) string

// => the method signature of a type, implementing interface Bar should be:
// `fn (mut s Type) write(a string) string`

struct MyStruct {}

// MyStruct implements the interface Foo, but *not* interface Bar
fn (s MyStruct) write(a string) string {
    return a

fn main() {
    s1 := MyStruct{}
    // fn2(s1) -> compile error, since MyStruct does not implement Bar

fn fn1(s Foo) {

// fn fn2(s Bar) { // does not match
//      println(s.write('Foo'))
// }

Casting an interface

We can test the underlying type of an interface using dynamic cast operators.

Note Dynamic cast converts variable s into a pointer inside the if statemnts in this example:

// interface-example.3 (continued from interface-example.1)
interface Something {}

fn announce(s Something) {
    if s is Dog {
        println('a ${s.breed} dog') // `s` is automatically cast to `Dog` (smart cast)
    } else if s is Cat {
        println('a cat speaks ${s.speak()}')
    } else {
        println('something else')

fn main() {
    dog := Dog{'Leonberger'}
    cat := Cat{'Siamese'}
// interface-example.4
interface IFoo {

interface IBar {

// implements only IFoo
struct SFoo {}

fn (sf SFoo) foo() {}

// implements both IFoo and IBar
struct SFooBar {}

fn (sfb SFooBar) foo() {}

fn (sfb SFooBar) bar() {
    dump('This implements IBar')

fn main() {
    mut arr := []IFoo{}
    arr << SFoo{}
    arr << SFooBar{}

    for a in arr {
        // In order to execute instances that implements IBar.
        if a is IBar {

For more information, see Dynamic casts.

Interface method definitions

Also unlike Go, an interface can have its own methods, similar to how structs can have their methods. These 'interface methods' do not have to be implemented, by structs which implement that interface. They are just a convenient way to write i.some_function() instead of some_function(i), similar to how struct methods can be looked at, as a convenience for writing s.xyz() instead of xyz(s).

Note This feature is NOT a "default implementation" like in C#.

For example, if a struct cat is wrapped in an interface a, that has implemented a method with the same name speak, as a method implemented by the struct, and you do a.speak(), only the interface method is called:

interface Adoptable {}

fn (a Adoptable) speak() string {
    return 'adopt me!'

struct Cat {}

fn (c Cat) speak() string {
    return 'meow!'

struct Dog {}

fn main() {
    cat := Cat{}
    assert dump(cat.speak()) == 'meow!'
    a := Adoptable(cat)
    assert dump(a.speak()) == 'adopt me!' // call Adoptable's `speak`
    if a is Cat {
        // Inside this `if` however, V knows that `a` is not just any
        // kind of Adoptable, but actually a Cat, so it will use the
        // Cat `speak`, NOT the Adoptable `speak`:
        dump(a.speak()) // meow!
    b := Adoptable(Dog{})
    assert dump(b.speak()) == 'adopt me!' // call Adoptable's `speak`
    // if b is Dog {
    // 	dump(b.speak()) // error: unknown method or field: Dog.speak
    // }

Embedded interface

Interfaces support embedding, just like structs:

pub interface Reader {
    read(mut buf []u8) ?int

pub interface Writer {
    write(buf []u8) ?int

// ReaderWriter embeds both Reader and Writer.
// The effect is the same as copy/pasting all of the
// Reader and all of the Writer methods/fields into
// ReaderWriter.
pub interface ReaderWriter {

Sum types

A sum type instance can hold a value of several different types. Use the type keyword to declare a sum type:

struct Moon {}

struct Mars {}

struct Venus {}

type World = Mars | Moon | Venus

sum := World(Moon{})
assert sum.type_name() == 'Moon'

The built-in method type_name returns the name of the currently held type.

With sum types you could build recursive structures and write concise but powerful code on them.

// V's binary tree
struct Empty {}

struct Node {
    value f64
    left  Tree
    right Tree

type Tree = Empty | Node

// sum up all node values

fn sum(tree Tree) f64 {
    return match tree {
        Empty { 0 }
        Node { tree.value + sum(tree.left) + sum(tree.right) }

fn main() {
    left := Node{0.2, Empty{}, Empty{}}
    right := Node{0.3, Empty{}, Node{0.4, Empty{}, Empty{}}}
    tree := Node{0.5, left, right}
    println(sum(tree)) // 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.4 + 0.5 = 1.4

Dynamic casts

To check whether a sum type instance holds a certain type, use sum is Type. To cast a sum type to one of its variants you can use sum as Type:

struct Moon {}

struct Mars {}

struct Venus {}

type World = Mars | Moon | Venus

fn (m Mars) dust_storm() bool {
    return true

fn main() {
    mut w := World(Moon{})
    assert w is Moon
    w = Mars{}
    // use `as` to access the Mars instance
    mars := w as Mars
    if mars.dust_storm() {
        println('bad weather!')

as will panic if w doesn't hold a Mars instance. A safer way is to use a smart cast.

Smart casting

if w is Mars {
    assert typeof(w).name == 'Mars'
    if w.dust_storm() {
        println('bad weather!')

w has type Mars inside the body of the if statement. This is known as flow-sensitive typing. If w is a mutable identifier, it would be unsafe if the compiler smart casts it without a warning. That's why you have to declare a mut before the is expression:

if mut w is Mars {
    assert typeof(w).name == 'Mars'
    if w.dust_storm() {
        println('bad weather!')

Otherwise w would keep its original type.

This works for both simple variables and complex expressions like user.name

Matching sum types

You can also use match to determine the variant:

struct Moon {}

struct Mars {}

struct Venus {}

type World = Mars | Moon | Venus

fn open_parachutes(n int) {

fn land(w World) {
    match w {
        Moon {} // no atmosphere
        Mars {
            // light atmosphere
        Venus {
            // heavy atmosphere

match must have a pattern for each variant or have an else branch.

struct Moon {}
struct Mars {}
struct Venus {}

type World = Moon | Mars | Venus

fn (m Moon) moon_walk() {}
fn (m Mars) shiver() {}
fn (v Venus) sweat() {}

fn pass_time(w World) {
    match w {
        // using the shadowed match variable, in this case `w` (smart cast)
        Moon { w.moon_walk() }
        Mars { w.shiver() }
        else {}

Option/Result types and error handling

Option types are for types which may represent none. Result types may represent an error returned from a function.

Option types are declared by prepending ? to the type name: ?Type. Result types use !: !Type.

struct User {
    id   int
    name string

struct Repo {
    users []User

fn (r Repo) find_user_by_id(id int) !User {
    for user in r.users {
        if user.id == id {
            // V automatically wraps this into a result or option type
            return user
    return error('User ${id} not found')

// A version of the function using an option
fn (r Repo) find_user_by_id2(id int) ?User {
    for user in r.users {
        if user.id == id {
            return user
    return none

fn main() {
    repo := Repo{
        users: [User{1, 'Andrew'}, User{2, 'Bob'}, User{10, 'Charles'}]
    user := repo.find_user_by_id(10) or { // Option/Result types must be handled by `or` blocks
    println(user.id) // "10"
    println(user.name) // "Charles"

    user2 := repo.find_user_by_id2(10) or { return }

V used to combine Option and Result into one type, now they are separate.

The amount of work required to "upgrade" a function to an option/result function is minimal; you have to add a ? or ! to the return type and return none or an error (respectively) when something goes wrong.

This is the primary mechanism for error handling in V. They are still values, like in Go, but the advantage is that errors can't be unhandled, and handling them is a lot less verbose. Unlike other languages, V does not handle exceptions with throw/try/catch blocks.

err is defined inside an or block and is set to the string message passed to the error() function.

user := repo.find_user_by_id(7) or {
    println(err) // "User 7 not found"

Handling options/results

There are four ways of handling an option/result. The first method is to propagate the error:

import net.http

fn f(url string) !string {
    resp := http.get(url)!
    return resp.body

http.get returns !http.Response. Because ! follows the call, the error will be propagated to the caller of f. When using ? after a function call producing an option, the enclosing function must return an option as well. If error propagation is used in the main() function it will panic instead, since the error cannot be propagated any further.

The body of f is essentially a condensed version of:

    resp := http.get(url) or { return err }
    return resp.body

The second method is to break from execution early:

user := repo.find_user_by_id(7) or { return }

Here, you can either call panic() or exit(), which will stop the execution of the entire program, or use a control flow statement (return, break, continue, etc) to break from the current block.

Note break and continue can only be used inside a for loop.

V does not have a way to forcibly "unwrap" an option (as other languages do, for instance Rust's unwrap() or Swift's !). To do this, use or { panic(err) } instead.

The third method is to provide a default value at the end of the or block. In case of an error, that value would be assigned instead, so it must have the same type as the content of the Option being handled.

fn do_something(s string) !string {
    if s == 'foo' {
        return 'foo'
    return error('invalid string')

a := do_something('foo') or { 'default' } // a will be 'foo'
b := do_something('bar') or { 'default' } // b will be 'default'

The fourth method is to use if unwrapping:

import net.http

if resp := http.get('https://google.com') {
    println(resp.body) // resp is a http.Response, not an option
} else {

Above, http.get returns a !http.Response. resp is only in scope for the first if branch. err is only in scope for the else branch.

Custom error types

V gives you the ability to define custom error types through the IError interface. The interface requires two methods: msg() string and code() int. Every type that implements these methods can be used as an error.

When defining a custom error type it is recommended to embed the builtin Error default implementation. This provides an empty default implementation for both required methods, so you only have to implement what you really need, and may provide additional utility functions in the future.

struct PathError {
    path string

fn (err PathError) msg() string {
    return 'Failed to open path: ${err.path}'

fn try_open(path string) ! {
    // V automatically casts this to IError
    return PathError{
        path: path

fn main() {
    try_open('/tmp') or { panic(err) }


struct Repo[T] {
    db DB

struct User {
    id   int
    name string

struct Post {
    id   int
    user_id int
    title string
    body string

fn new_repo[T](db DB) Repo[T] {
    return Repo[T]{db: db}

// This is a generic function. V will generate it for every type it's used with.
fn (r Repo[T]) find_by_id(id int) ?T {
    table_name := T.name // in this example getting the name of the type gives us the table name
    return r.db.query_one[T]('select * from ${table_name} where id = ?', id)

db := new_db()
users_repo := new_repo[User](db) // returns Repo[User]
posts_repo := new_repo[Post](db) // returns Repo[Post]
user := users_repo.find_by_id(1)? // find_by_id[User]
post := posts_repo.find_by_id(1)? // find_by_id[Post]

Currently generic function definitions must declare their type parameters, but in future V will infer generic type parameters from single-letter type names in runtime parameter types. This is why find_by_id can omit [T], because the receiver argument r uses a generic type T.

Another example:

fn compare[T](a T, b T) int {
    if a < b {
        return -1
    if a > b {
        return 1
    return 0

// compare[int]
println(compare(1, 0)) // Outputs: 1
println(compare(1, 1)) //          0
println(compare(1, 2)) //         -1
// compare[string]
println(compare('1', '0')) // Outputs: 1
println(compare('1', '1')) //          0
println(compare('1', '2')) //         -1
// compare[f64]
println(compare(1.1, 1.0)) // Outputs: 1
println(compare(1.1, 1.1)) //          0
println(compare(1.1, 1.2)) //         -1


Spawning Concurrent Tasks

V's model of concurrency is going to be very similar to Go's. For now, spawn foo() runs foo() concurrently in a different thread:

import math

fn p(a f64, b f64) { // ordinary function without return value
    c := math.sqrt(a * a + b * b)

fn main() {
    spawn p(3, 4)
    // p will be run in parallel thread
    // It can also be written as follows
    // spawn fn (a f64, b f64) {
    // 	c := math.sqrt(a * a + b * b)
    // 	println(c)
    // }(3, 4)

Note Threads rely on the machine's CPU (number of cores/threads). Be aware that OS threads spawned with spawn have limitations in regard to concurrency, including resource overhead and scalability issues, and might affect performance in cases of high thread count.

There's also a go keyword. Right now go foo() will be automatically renamed via vfmt to spawn foo(), and there will be a way to launch a coroutine with go (a lightweight thread managed by the runtime).

Sometimes it is necessary to wait until a parallel thread has finished. This can be done by assigning a handle to the started thread and calling the wait() method to this handle later:

import math

fn p(a f64, b f64) { // ordinary function without return value
    c := math.sqrt(a * a + b * b)
    println(c) // prints `5`

fn main() {
    h := spawn p(3, 4)
    // p() runs in parallel thread
    // p() has definitely finished

This approach can also be used to get a return value from a function that is run in a parallel thread. There is no need to modify the function itself to be able to call it concurrently.

import math { sqrt }

fn get_hypot(a f64, b f64) f64 { //       ordinary function returning a value
    c := sqrt(a * a + b * b)
    return c

fn main() {
    g := spawn get_hypot(54.06, 2.08) // spawn thread and get handle to it
    h1 := get_hypot(2.32, 16.74) //   do some other calculation here
    h2 := g.wait() //                 get result from spawned thread
    println('Results: ${h1}, ${h2}') //   prints `Results: 16.9, 54.1`

If there is a large number of tasks, it might be easier to manage them using an array of threads.

import time

fn task(id int, duration int) {
    println('task ${id} begin')
    time.sleep(duration * time.millisecond)
    println('task ${id} end')

fn main() {
    mut threads := []thread{}
    threads << spawn task(1, 500)
    threads << spawn task(2, 900)
    threads << spawn task(3, 100)

// Output:
// task 1 begin
// task 2 begin
// task 3 begin
// task 3 end
// task 1 end
// task 2 end
// done

Additionally for threads that return the same type, calling wait() on the thread array will return all computed values.

fn expensive_computing(i int) int {
    return i * i

fn main() {
    mut threads := []thread int{}
    for i in 1 .. 10 {
        threads << spawn expensive_computing(i)
    // Join all tasks
    r := threads.wait()
    println('All jobs finished: ${r}')

// Output: All jobs finished: [1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81]


Channels are the preferred way to communicate between threads. V's channels work basically like those in Go. You can push objects into a channel on one end and pop objects from the other end. Channels can be buffered or unbuffered and it is possible to select from multiple channels.

Syntax and Usage

Channels have the type chan objtype. An optional buffer length can specified as the cap field in the declaration:

ch := chan int{} // unbuffered - "synchronous"
ch2 := chan f64{cap: 100} // buffer length 100

Channels do not have to be declared as mut. The buffer length is not part of the type but a field of the individual channel object. Channels can be passed to threads like normal variables:

fn f(ch chan int) {
    // ...

fn main() {
    ch := chan int{}
    spawn f(ch)
    // ...

Objects can be pushed to channels using the arrow operator. The same operator can be used to pop objects from the other end:

// make buffered channels so pushing does not block (if there is room in the buffer)
ch := chan int{cap: 1}
ch2 := chan f64{cap: 1}
n := 5
// push
ch <- n
ch2 <- 7.3
mut y := f64(0.0)
m := <-ch // pop creating new variable
y = <-ch2 // pop into existing variable

A channel can be closed to indicate that no further objects can be pushed. Any attempt to do so will then result in a runtime panic (with the exception of select and try_push() - see below). Attempts to pop will return immediately if the associated channel has been closed and the buffer is empty. This situation can be handled using an or {} block (see Handling options/results).

ch := chan int{}
ch2 := chan f64{}
// ...
// ...
m := <-ch or {
    println('channel has been closed')

// propagate error
y := <-ch2 ?

Channel Select

The select command allows monitoring several channels at the same time without noticeable CPU load. It consists of a list of possible transfers and associated branches of statements - similar to the match command:

import time

fn main() {
    ch := chan f64{}
    ch2 := chan f64{}
    ch3 := chan f64{}
    mut b := 0.0
    c := 1.0
    // ... setup spawn threads that will send on ch/ch2
    spawn fn (the_channel chan f64) {
        time.sleep(5 * time.millisecond)
        the_channel <- 1.0
    spawn fn (the_channel chan f64) {
        time.sleep(1 * time.millisecond)
        the_channel <- 1.0
    spawn fn (the_channel chan f64) {
        _ := <-the_channel

    select {
        a := <-ch {
            // do something with `a`
            eprintln('> a: ${a}')
        b = <-ch2 {
            // do something with predeclared variable `b`
            eprintln('> b: ${b}')
        ch3 <- c {
            // do something if `c` was sent
            time.sleep(5 * time.millisecond)
            eprintln('> c: ${c} was send on channel ch3')
        500 * time.millisecond {
            // do something if no channel has become ready within 0.5s
            eprintln('> more than 0.5s passed without a channel being ready')
    eprintln('> done')

The timeout branch is optional. If it is absent select waits for an unlimited amount of time. It is also possible to proceed immediately if no channel is ready in the moment select is called by adding an else { ... } branch. else and <timeout> are mutually exclusive.

The select command can be used as an expression of type bool that becomes false if all channels are closed:

if select {
    ch <- a {
        // ...
} {
    // channel was open
} else {
    // channel is closed

Special Channel Features

For special purposes there are some builtin fields and methods:

struct Abc {
    x int

a := 2.13
ch := chan f64{}
res := ch.try_push(a) // try to perform `ch <- a`
l := ch.len // number of elements in queue
c := ch.cap // maximum queue length
is_closed := ch.closed // bool flag - has `ch` been closed
mut b := Abc{}
ch2 := chan Abc{}
res2 := ch2.try_pop(mut b) // try to perform `b = <-ch2`

The try_push/pop() methods will return immediately with one of the results .success, .not_ready or .closed - dependent on whether the object has been transferred or the reason why not. Usage of these methods and fields in production is not recommended - algorithms based on them are often subject to race conditions. Especially .len and .closed should not be used to make decisions. Use or branches, error propagation or select instead (see Syntax and Usage and Channel Select above).

Shared Objects

Data can be exchanged between a thread and the calling thread via a shared variable. Such variables should be created as shared and passed to the thread as such, too. The underlying struct contains a hidden mutex that allows locking concurrent access using rlock for read-only and lock for read/write access.

struct St {
    x int // data to be shared

fn (shared b St) g() {
    lock b {
        // read/modify/write b.x

fn main() {
    shared a := St{
        x: 10
    spawn a.g()
    // ...
    rlock a {
        // read a.x

Shared variables must be structs, arrays or maps.


Because of the ubiquitous nature of JSON, support for it is built directly into V.

V generates code for JSON encoding and decoding. No runtime reflection is used. This results in much better performance.

Decoding JSON

import json

struct Foo {
    x int

struct User {
    // Adding a [required] attribute will make decoding fail, if that
    // field is not present in the input.
    // If a field is not [required], but is missing, it will be assumed
    // to have its default value, like 0 for numbers, or '' for strings,
    // and decoding will not fail.
    name string [required]
    age  int
    // Use the `skip` attribute to skip certain fields
    foo Foo [skip]
    // If the field name is different in JSON, it can be specified
    last_name string [json: lastName]

data := '{ "name": "Frodo", "lastName": "Baggins", "age": 25 }'
user := json.decode(User, data) or {
    eprintln('Failed to decode json, error: ${err}')
// You can also decode JSON arrays:
sfoos := '[{"x":123},{"x":456}]'
foos := json.decode([]Foo, sfoos)!

The json.decode function takes two arguments: the first is the type into which the JSON value should be decoded and the second is a string containing the JSON data.

Encoding JSON

import json

struct User {
    name  string
    score i64

mut data := map[string]int{}
user := &User{
    name: 'Pierre'
    score: 1024

data['x'] = 42
data['y'] = 360

println(json.encode(data)) // {"x":42,"y":360}
println(json.encode(user)) // {"name":"Pierre","score":1024}

The json module also supports anonymous struct fields, which helps with complex JSON apis with lots of levels.



fn foo(mut v []int) {
    v[0] = 1

mut v := [20]
foo(mut v)
assert v[0] < 4

An assert statement checks that its expression evaluates to true. If an assert fails, the program will usually abort. Asserts should only be used to detect programming errors. When an assert fails it is reported to stderr, and the values on each side of a comparison operator (such as <, ==) will be printed when possible. This is useful to easily find an unexpected value. Assert statements can be used in any function, not just test ones, which is handy when developing new functionality, to keep your invariants in check.

Note All assert statements are removed, when you compile your program with the -prod flag.

Asserts with an extra message

This form of the assert statement, will print the extra message when it fails. Note that you can use any string expression there - string literals, functions returning a string, strings that interpolate variables, etc.

fn test_assertion_with_extra_message_failure() {
    for i in 0 .. 100 {
        assert i * 2 - 45 < 75 + 10, 'assertion failed for i: ${i}'

Asserts that do not abort your program

When initially prototyping functionality and tests, it is sometimes desirable to have asserts that do not stop the program, but just print their failures. That can be achieved by tagging your assert containing functions with an [assert_continues] tag, for example running this program:

fn abc(ii int) {
    assert ii == 2

for i in 0 .. 4 {

... will produce this output:

assert_continues_example.v:3: FAIL: fn main.abc: assert ii == 2
   left value: ii = 0
   right value: 2
assert_continues_example.v:3: FAIL: fn main.abc: assert ii == 2
   left value: ii = 1
  right value: 2
assert_continues_example.v:3: FAIL: fn main.abc: assert ii == 2
   left value: ii = 3
  right value: 2

Note V also supports a command line flag -assert continues, which will change the behaviour of all asserts globally, as if you had tagged every function with [assert_continues].

Test files

// hello.v
module main

fn hello() string {
    return 'Hello world'

fn main() {
// hello_test.v
module main

fn test_hello() {
    assert hello() == 'Hello world'

To run the test file above, use v hello_test.v. This will check that the function hello is producing the correct output. V executes all test functions in the file.

Note All _test.v files (both external and internal ones), are compiled as separate programs. In other words, you may have as many _test.v files, and tests in them as you like, they will not affect the compilation of your other code in .v files normally at all, but only when you do explicitly v file_test.v or v test ..

In the example above, test_hello is an internal test that can call the private function hello() because hello_test.v has module main, just like hello.v, i.e. both are part of the same module. Note also that since module main is a regular module like the others, internal tests can be used to test private functions in your main program .v files too.

You can also define these special test functions in a test file:

If a test function has an error return type, any propagated errors will fail the test:

import strconv

fn test_atoi() ! {
    assert strconv.atoi('1')! == 1
    assert strconv.atoi('one')! == 1 // test will fail

Running tests

To run test functions in an individual test file, use v foo_test.v.

To test an entire module, use v test mymodule. You can also use v test . to test everything inside your current folder (and subfolders). You can pass the -stats option to see more details about the individual tests run.

You can put additional test data, including .v source files in a folder, named testdata, right next to your _test.v files. V's test framework will ignore such folders, while scanning for tests to run. This is useful, if you want to put .v files with invalid V source code, or other tests, including known failing ones, that should be run in a specific way/options by a parent _test.v file.

Note The path to the V compiler, is available through @VEXE, so a _test.v file, can easily run other test files like this:

import os

fn test_subtest() {
    res := os.execute('${os.quoted_path(@VEXE)} other_test.v')
    assert res.exit_code == 1
    assert res.output.contains('other_test.v does not exist')

Memory management

V avoids doing unnecessary allocations in the first place by using value types, string buffers, promoting a simple abstraction-free code style.

There are 4 ways to manage memory in V.

The default is a minimal and a well performing tracing GC.

The second way is autofree, it can be enabled with -autofree. It takes care of most objects (~90-100%): the compiler inserts necessary free calls automatically during compilation. Remaining small percentage of objects is freed via GC. The developer doesn't need to change anything in their code. "It just works", like in Python, Go, or Java, except there's no heavy GC tracing everything or expensive RC for each object.

For developers willing to have more low level control, memory can be managed manually with -gc none.

Arena allocation is available via v -prealloc.


You can take advantage of V's autofree engine and define a free() method on custom data types:

struct MyType {}

fn (data &MyType) free() {
    // ...

Just as the compiler frees C data types with C's free(), it will statically insert free() calls for your data type at the end of each variable's lifetime.

Autofree can be enabled with an -autofree flag.

For developers willing to have more low level control, autofree can be disabled with -manualfree, or by adding a [manualfree] on each function that wants manage its memory manually. (See attributes).

Note Autofree is still WIP. Until it stabilises and becomes the default, please avoid using it. Right now allocations are handled by a minimal and well performing GC until V's autofree engine is production ready.


import strings

fn draw_text(s string, x int, y int) {
    // ...

fn draw_scene() {
    // ...
    name1 := 'abc'
    name2 := 'def ghi'
    draw_text('hello ${name1}', 10, 10)
    draw_text('hello ${name2}', 100, 10)
    draw_text(strings.repeat(`X`, 10000), 10, 50)
    // ...

The strings don't escape draw_text, so they are cleaned up when the function exits.

In fact, with the -prealloc flag, the first two calls won't result in any allocations at all. These two strings are small, so V will use a preallocated buffer for them.

struct User {
    name string

fn test() []int {
    number := 7 // stack variable
    user := User{} // struct allocated on stack
    numbers := [1, 2, 3] // array allocated on heap, will be freed as the function exits
    numbers2 := [4, 5, 6] // array that's being returned, won't be freed here
    return numbers2

Stack and Heap

Stack and Heap Basics

Like with most other programming languages there are two locations where data can be stored:

V's default approach

Due to performance considerations V tries to put objects on the stack if possible but allocates them on the heap when obviously necessary. Example:

struct MyStruct {
    n int

struct RefStruct {
    r &MyStruct

fn main() {
    q, w := f()
    println('q: ${q.r.n}, w: ${w.n}')

fn f() (RefStruct, &MyStruct) {
    a := MyStruct{
        n: 1
    b := MyStruct{
        n: 2
    c := MyStruct{
        n: 3
    e := RefStruct{
        r: &b
    x := a.n + c.n
    println('x: ${x}')
    return e, &c

Here a is stored on the stack since its address never leaves the function f(). However a reference to b is part of e which is returned. Also a reference to c is returned. For this reason b and c will be heap allocated.

Things become less obvious when a reference to an object is passed as function argument:

struct MyStruct {
    n int

fn main() {
    mut q := MyStruct{
        n: 7
    w := MyStruct{
        n: 13
    x := q.f(&w) // references of `q` and `w` are passed
    println('q: ${q}\nx: ${x}')

fn (mut a MyStruct) f(b &MyStruct) int {
    a.n += b.n
    x := a.n * b.n
    return x

Here the call q.f(&w) passes references to q and w because a is mut and b is of type &MyStruct in f()'s declaration, so technically these references are leaving main(). However the lifetime of these references lies inside the scope of main() so q and w are allocated on the stack.

Manual Control for Stack and Heap

In the last example the V compiler could put q and w on the stack because it assumed that in the call q.f(&w) these references were only used for reading and modifying the referred values – and not to pass the references themselves somewhere else. This can be seen in a way that the references to q and w are only borrowed to f().

Things become different if f() is doing something with a reference itself:

struct RefStruct {
    r &MyStruct

// see discussion below
struct MyStruct {
    n int

fn main() {
    m := MyStruct{}
    mut r := RefStruct{
        r: &m
    println('r: ${r}')

fn (mut r RefStruct) g() {
    s := MyStruct{
        n: 7
    r.f(&s) // reference to `s` inside `r` is passed back to `main() `

fn (mut r RefStruct) f(s &MyStruct) {
    r.r = s // would trigger error without `[heap]`

Here f() looks quite innocent but is doing nasty things – it inserts a reference to s into r. The problem with this is that s lives only as long as g() is running but r is used in main() after that. For this reason the compiler would complain about the assignment in f() because s "might refer to an object stored on stack". The assumption made in g() that the call r.f(&s) would only borrow the reference to s is wrong.

A solution to this dilemma is the [heap] attribute at the declaration of struct MyStruct. It instructs the compiler to always allocate MyStruct-objects on the heap. This way the reference to s remains valid even after g() returns. The compiler takes into consideration that MyStruct objects are always heap allocated when checking f() and allows assigning the reference to s to the r.r field.

There is a pattern often seen in other programming languages:

fn (mut a MyStruct) f() &MyStruct {
    // do something with a
    return &a // would return address of borrowed object

Here f() is passed a reference a as receiver that is passed back to the caller and returned as result at the same time. The intention behind such a declaration is method chaining like y = x.f().g(). However, the problem with this approach is that a second reference to a is created – so it is not only borrowed and MyStruct has to be declared as [heap].

In V the better approach is:

struct MyStruct {
    n int

fn (mut a MyStruct) f() {
    // do something with `a`

fn (mut a MyStruct) g() {
    // do something else with `a`

fn main() {
    x := MyStruct{} // stack allocated
    mut y := x
    // instead of `mut y := x.f().g()

This way the [heap] attribute can be avoided – resulting in better performance.

However, stack space is very limited as mentioned above. For this reason the [heap] attribute might be suitable for very large structures even if not required by use cases like those mentioned above.

There is an alternative way to manually control allocation on a case to case basis. This approach is not recommended but shown here for the sake of completeness:

struct MyStruct {
    n int

struct RefStruct {
    r &MyStruct

// simple function - just to overwrite stack segment previously used by `g()`

fn use_stack() {
    x := 7.5
    y := 3.25
    z := x + y
    println('${x} ${y} ${z}')

fn main() {
    m := MyStruct{}
    mut r := RefStruct{
        r: &m
    use_stack() // to erase invalid stack contents
    println('r: ${r}')

fn (mut r RefStruct) g() {
    s := &MyStruct{ // `s` explicitly refers to a heap object
        n: 7
    // change `&MyStruct` -> `MyStruct` above and `r.f(s)` -> `r.f(&s)` below
    // to see data in stack segment being overwritten

fn (mut r RefStruct) f(s &MyStruct) {
    r.r = unsafe { s } // override compiler check

Here the compiler check is suppressed by the unsafe block. To make s be heap allocated even without [heap] attribute the struct literal is prefixed with an ampersand: &MyStruct{...}.

This last step would not be required by the compiler but without it the reference inside r becomes invalid (the memory area pointed to will be overwritten by use_stack()) and the program might crash (or at least produce an unpredictable final output). That's why this approach is unsafe and should be avoided!


(This is still in an alpha state)

V has a built-in ORM (object-relational mapping) which supports SQLite, MySQL and Postgres, but soon it will support MS SQL and Oracle.

V's ORM provides a number of benefits:

import db.sqlite

// sets a custom table name. Default is struct name (case-sensitive)
[table: 'customers']
struct Customer {
    id        int    [primary; sql: serial] // a field named `id` of integer type must be the first field
    name      string [nonull]
    nr_orders int
    country   string [nonull]

db := sqlite.connect('customers.db')!

// You can create tables from your struct declarations. For example the next query will issue SQL similar to this:
//      `name` TEXT NOT NULL,
//      `nr_orders` INTEGER,
//      `country` TEXT NOT NULL
// )
sql db {
    create table Customer

// insert a new customer:
new_customer := Customer{
    name: 'Bob'
    country: 'uk'
    nr_orders: 10
sql db {
    insert new_customer into Customer

us_customer := Customer{
    name: 'Martin'
    country: 'us'
    nr_orders: 5
sql db {
    insert us_customer into Customer

// update a customer:
sql db {
    update Customer set nr_orders = nr_orders + 1 where name == 'Bob'

// select count(*) from customers
nr_customers := sql db {
    select count from Customer
println('number of all customers: ${nr_customers}')

// V's syntax can be used to build queries:
uk_customers := sql db {
    select from Customer where country == 'uk' && nr_orders > 0
println('We found a total of ${uk_customers.len} customers, that match the query.')
for customer in uk_customers {
    println('customer: ${customer.id}, ${customer.name}, ${customer.country}, ${customer.nr_orders}')

// delete a customer
sql db {
    delete from Customer where name == 'Bob'

For more examples and the docs, see vlib/orm.

Writing Documentation

The way it works is very similar to Go. It's very simple: there's no need to write documentation separately for your code, vdoc will generate it from docstrings in the source code.

Documentation for each function/type/const must be placed right before the declaration:

// clearall clears all bits in the array
fn clearall() {

The comment must start with the name of the definition.

Sometimes one line isn't enough to explain what a function does, in that case comments should span to the documented function using single line comments:

// copy_all recursively copies all elements of the array by their value,
// if `dupes` is false all duplicate values are eliminated in the process.
fn copy_all(dupes bool) {
    // ...

By convention it is preferred that comments are written in present tense.

An overview of the module must be placed in the first comment right after the module's name.

To generate documentation use vdoc, for example v doc net.http.

Newlines in Documentation Comments

Comments spanning multiple lines are merged together using spaces, unless


v fmt

You don't need to worry about formatting your code or setting style guidelines. v fmt takes care of that:

v fmt file.v

It's recommended to set up your editor, so that v fmt -w runs on every save. A vfmt run is usually pretty cheap (takes <30ms).

Always run v fmt -w file.v before pushing your code.

Disabling the formatting locally

To disable formatting for a block of code, wrap it with // vfmt off and // vfmt on comments.

// Not affected by fmt
// vfmt off

... your code here ...

// vfmt on

// Affected by fmt
... your code here ...

v shader

You can use GPU shaders with V graphical apps. You write your shaders in an annotated GLSL dialect and use v shader to compile them for all supported target platforms.

v shader /path/to/project/dir/or/file.v

Currently you need to include a header and declare a glue function before using the shader in your code.


V has good support for profiling your programs: v -profile profile.txt run file.v That will produce a profile.txt file, which you can then analyze.

The generated profile.txt file will have lines with 4 columns: a) how many times a function was called b) how much time in total a function took (in ms) c) how much time on average, a call to a function took (in ns) d) the name of the v function

You can sort on column 3 (average time per function) using: sort -n -k3 profile.txt|tail

You can also use stopwatches to measure just portions of your code explicitly:

import time

fn main() {
    sw := time.new_stopwatch()
    println('Hello world')
    println('Greeting the world took: ${sw.elapsed().nanoseconds()}ns')

Package management

A V module is a single folder with .v files inside. A V package can contain one or more V modules. A V package should have a v.mod file at its top folder, describing the contents of the package.

V packages are installed normally in your ~/.vmodules folder. That location can be overridden by setting the env variable VMODULES.

Package commands

You can use the V frontend to do package operations, just like you can use it for compiling code, formatting code, vetting code etc.

v [package_command] [param]

where a package command can be one of:

   install           Install a package from VPM.
   remove            Remove a package that was installed from VPM.
   search            Search for a package from VPM.
   update            Update an installed package from VPM.
   upgrade           Upgrade all the outdated packages.
   list              List all installed packages.
   outdated          Show installed packages that need updates.

You can install packages already created by someone else with VPM:

v install [package]


v install ui

Packages can be installed directly from git or mercurial repositories.

v install [--once] [--git|--hg] [url]


v install --git https://github.com/vlang/markdown

Sometimes you may want to install the dependencies ONLY if those are not installed:

v install --once [package]

Removing a package with v:

v remove [package]


v remove ui

Updating an installed package from VPM:

v update [package]


v update ui

Or you can update all your packages:

v update

To see all the packages you have installed, you can use:

v list


> v list
Installed packages:

To see all the packages that need updates:

v outdated


> v outdated
Package are up to date.

Publish package

  1. Put a v.mod file inside the toplevel folder of your package (if you created your package with the command v new mypackage or v init you already have a v.mod file).

    v new mypackage
    Input your project description: My nice package.
    Input your project version: (0.0.0) 0.0.1
    Input your project license: (MIT)
    Initialising ...

    Example v.mod:

    Module {
        name: 'mypackage'
        description: 'My nice package.'
        version: '0.0.1'
        license: 'MIT'
        dependencies: []

    Minimal file structure:


    The name of your package should be used with the module directive at the top of all files in your package. For mypackage.v:

    module mypackage
    pub fn hello_world() {
        println('Hello World!')
  2. Create a git repository in the folder with the v.mod file (this is not required if you used v new or v init):

    git init
    git add .
    git commit -m "INIT"
  3. Create a public repository on github.com.

  4. Connect your local repository to the remote repository and push the changes.

  5. Add your package to the public V package registry VPM: https://vpm.vlang.io/new

    You will have to login with your Github account to register the package. Warning: Currently it is not possible to edit your entry after submitting. Check your package name and github url twice as this cannot be changed by you later.

  6. The final package name is a combination of your github account and the package name you provided e.g. mygithubname.mypackage.

Optional: tag your V package with vlang and vlang-package on github.com to allow for a better search experience.

Advanced Topics


V has several attributes that modify the behavior of functions and structs.

An attribute is a compiler instruction specified inside [] right before a function/struct/enum declaration and applies only to the following declaration.

// [flag] enables Enum types to be used as bitfields

enum BitField {

fn main() {
    assert 1 == int(BitField.read)
    assert 2 == int(BitField.write)
    mut bf := BitField.read
    assert bf.has(.read | .other) // test if *at least one* of the flags is set
    assert !bf.all(.read | .other) // test if *all* of the flags is set
    bf.set(.write | .other)
    assert bf.has(.read | .write | .other)
    assert bf.all(.read | .write | .other)
    assert bf == BitField.read | .write
    assert bf.all(.read | .write)
    assert !bf.has(.other)

Struct field deprecations:

module abc

// Note that only *direct* accesses to Xyz.d in *other modules*, will produce deprecation notices/warnings:
pub struct Xyz {
pub mut:
    a int
    d int [deprecated: 'use Xyz.a instead'; deprecated_after: '2999-03-01']
    // the tags above, will produce a notice, since the deprecation date is in the far future

Function/method deprecations:

// Calling this function will result in a deprecation warning

fn old_function() {

// It can also display a custom deprecation message

[deprecated: 'use new_function() instead']
fn legacy_function() {}

// You can also specify a date, after which the function will be
// considered deprecated. Before that date, calls to the function
// will be compiler notices - you will see them, but the compilation
// is not affected. After that date, calls will become warnings,
// so ordinary compiling will still work, but compiling with -prod
// will not (all warnings are treated like errors with -prod).
// 6 months after the deprecation date, calls will be hard
// compiler errors.

[deprecated: 'use new_function2() instead']
[deprecated_after: '2021-05-27']
fn legacy_function2() {}
// This function's calls will be inlined.
fn inlined_function() {

// This function's calls will NOT be inlined.
fn function() {

// This function will NOT return to its callers.
// Such functions can be used at the end of or blocks,
// just like exit/1 or panic/1. Such functions can not
// have return types, and should end either in for{}, or
// by calling other `[noreturn]` functions.
fn forever() {
    for {}

// The following struct must be allocated on the heap. Therefore, it can only be used as a
// reference (`&Window`) or inside another reference (`&OuterStruct{ Window{...} }`).
// See section "Stack and Heap"
struct Window {

// V will not generate this function and all its calls if the provided flag is false.
// To use a flag, use `v -d flag`
[if debug]
fn foo() {

fn bar() {
    foo() // will not be called if `-d debug` is not passed

// The memory pointed to by the pointer arguments of this function will not be
// freed by the garbage collector (if in use) before the function returns
fn C.my_external_function(voidptr, int, voidptr) int

// Calls to following function must be in unsafe{} blocks.
// Note that the code in the body of `risky_business()` will still be
// checked, unless you also wrap it in `unsafe {}` blocks.
// This is useful, when you want to have an `[unsafe]` function that
// has checks before/after a certain unsafe operation, that will still
// benefit from V's safety features.
fn risky_business() {
    // code that will be checked, perhaps checking pre conditions
    unsafe {
        // code that *will not be* checked, like pointer arithmetic,
        // accessing union fields, calling other `[unsafe]` fns, etc...
        // Usually, it is a good idea to try minimizing code wrapped
        // in unsafe{} as much as possible.
        // See also [Memory-unsafe code](#memory-unsafe-code)
    // code that will be checked, perhaps checking post conditions and/or
    // keeping invariants

// V's autofree engine will not take care of memory management in this function.
// You will have the responsibility to free memory manually yourself in it.
fn custom_allocations() {

// For C interop only, tells V that the following struct is defined with `typedef struct` in C
struct C.Foo {

// Used to add a custom calling convention to a function, available calling convention: stdcall, fastcall and cdecl.
// This list also applies for type aliases (see below).
[callconv: "stdcall"]
fn C.DefWindowProc(hwnd int, msg int, lparam int, wparam int)

// Used to add a custom calling convention to a function type aliases.
[callconv: "fastcall"]
type FastFn = fn (int) bool

// Windows only:
// Without this attribute all graphical apps will have the following behavior on Windows:
// If run from a console or terminal; keep the terminal open so all (e)println statements can be viewed.
// If run from e.g. Explorer, by double-click; app is opened, but no terminal is opened, and no
// (e)println output can be seen.
// Use it to force-open a terminal to view output in, even if the app is started from Explorer.
// Valid before main() only.
fn main() {

Conditional compilation

Compile time pseudo variables

V also gives your code access to a set of pseudo string variables, that are substituted at compile time:

That allows you to do the following example, useful while debugging/logging/tracing your code:

eprintln('file: ' + @FILE + ' | line: ' + @LINE + ' | fn: ' + @MOD + '.' + @FN)

Another example, is if you want to embed the version/name from v.mod inside your executable:

import v.vmod
vm := vmod.decode( @VMOD_FILE ) or { panic(err) }
eprintln('${vm.name} ${vm.version}\n ${vm.description}')

Compile time reflection

$ is used as a prefix for compile time (also referred to as 'comptime') operations.

Having built-in JSON support is nice, but V also allows you to create efficient serializers for any data format. V has compile time if and for constructs:

struct User {
    name string
    age  int

fn main() {
    $for field in User.fields {
        $if field.typ is string {
            println('${field.name} is of type string')

// Output:
// name is of type string

See examples/compiletime/reflection.v for a more complete example.

Compile time code

$if condition

fn main() {
    // Support for multiple conditions in one branch
    $if ios || android {
        println('Running on a mobile device!')
    $if linux && x64 {
        println('64-bit Linux.')
    // Usage as expression
    os := $if windows { 'Windows' } $else { 'UNIX' }
    println('Using ${os}')
    // $else-$if branches
    $if tinyc {
    } $else $if clang {
    } $else $if gcc {
    } $else {
        println('different compiler')
    $if test {
    // v -cg ...
    $if debug {
    // v -prod ...
    $if prod {
        println('production build')
    // v -d option ...
    $if option ? {
        println('custom option')

If you want an if to be evaluated at compile time it must be prefixed with a $ sign. Right now it can be used to detect an OS, compiler, platform or compilation options. $if debug is a special option like $if windows or $if x32, it's enabled if the program is compiled with v -g or v -cg. If you're using a custom ifdef, then you do need $if option ? {} and compile withv -d option. Full list of builtin options:

OS Compilers Platforms Other
windows, linux, macos gcc, tinyc amd64, arm64, aarch64 debug, prod, test
mac, darwin, ios, clang, mingw i386, arm32 js, glibc, prealloc
android, mach, dragonfly msvc x64, x32 no_bounds_checking, freestanding
gnu, hpux, haiku, qnx cplusplus little_endian, big_endian no_segfault_handler, no_backtrace
solaris, termux no_main, 'fast_math'


import os
fn main() {
    embedded_file := $embed_file('v.png')
    os.write_file('exported.png', embedded_file.to_string())!

V can embed arbitrary files into the executable with the $embed_file(<path>) compile time call. Paths can be absolute or relative to the source file.

When you do not use -prod, the file will not be embedded. Instead, it will be loaded the first time your program calls embedded_file.data() at runtime, making it easier to change in external editor programs, without needing to recompile your executable.

When you compile with -prod, the file will be embedded inside your executable, increasing your binary size, but making it more self contained and thus easier to distribute. In this case, embedded_file.data() will cause no IO, and it will always return the same data.

$embed_file supports compression of the embedded file when compiling with -prod. Currently only one compression type is supported: zlib

import os
fn main() {
    embedded_file := $embed_file('v.png', .zlib) // compressed using zlib
    os.write_file('exported.png', embedded_file.to_string())!

$embed_file returns EmbedFileData which could be used to obtain the file contents as string or []u8.

$tmpl for embedding and parsing V template files

V has a simple template language for text and html templates, and they can easily be embedded via $tmpl('path/to/template.txt'):

fn build() string {
    name := 'Peter'
    age := 25
    numbers := [1, 2, 3]
    return $tmpl('1.txt')

fn main() {


name: @name

age: @age

numbers: @numbers

@for number in numbers


name: Peter

age: 25

numbers: [1, 2, 3]


See more details


module main

fn main() {
    compile_time_env := $env('ENV_VAR')

V can bring in values at compile time from environment variables. $env('ENV_VAR') can also be used in top-level #flag and #include statements: #flag linux -I $env('JAVA_HOME')/include.

$compile_error and $compile_warn

These two comptime functions are very useful for displaying custom errors/warnings during compile time.

Both receive as their only argument a string literal that contains the message to display:

// x.v
module main

$if linux {
    $compile_error('Linux is not supported')

fn main() {

$ v run x.v
x.v:4:5: error: Linux is not supported
    2 |
    3 | $if linux {
    4 |     $compile_error('Linux is not supported')
      |     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    5 | }
    6 |

Compile time types

Compile time types group multiple types into a general higher-level type. This is useful in functions with generic parameters, where the input type must have a specific property, for example the .len attribute in arrays.

V supports the following compile time types:

Environment specific files

If a file has an environment-specific suffix, it will only be compiled for that environment.

Here is a more complete example: main.v:

module main
fn main() { println(message) }


module main
const ( message = 'Hello world' )


module main
const ( message = 'Hello linux' )


module main
const ( message = 'Hello windows' )

With the example above:

A combinatorial _d_customflag_linux.c.v postfix will not work. If you do need a custom flag file, that has platform dependent code, use the postfix _d_customflag.v, and then use platform dependent compile time conditional blocks inside it, i.e. $if linux {} etc.

See also Cross Compilation.

Memory-unsafe code

Sometimes for efficiency you may want to write low-level code that can potentially corrupt memory or be vulnerable to security exploits. V supports writing such code, but not by default.

V requires that any potentially memory-unsafe operations are marked intentionally. Marking them also indicates to anyone reading the code that there could be memory-safety violations if there was a mistake.

Examples of potentially memory-unsafe operations are:

To mark potentially memory-unsafe operations, enclose them in an unsafe block:

// allocate 2 uninitialized bytes & return a reference to them
mut p := unsafe { malloc(2) }
p[0] = `h` // Error: pointer indexing is only allowed in `unsafe` blocks
unsafe {
    p[0] = `h` // OK
    p[1] = `i`
p++ // Error: pointer arithmetic is only allowed in `unsafe` blocks
unsafe {
    p++ // OK
assert *p == `i`

Best practice is to avoid putting memory-safe expressions inside an unsafe block, so that the reason for using unsafe is as clear as possible. Generally any code you think is memory-safe should not be inside an unsafe block, so the compiler can verify it.

If you suspect your program does violate memory-safety, you have a head start on finding the cause: look at the unsafe blocks (and how they interact with surrounding code).

Note This is work in progress.

Structs with reference fields

Structs with references require explicitly setting the initial value to a reference value unless the struct already defines its own initial value.

Zero-value references, or nil pointers, will NOT be supported in the future, for now data structures such as Linked Lists or Binary Trees that rely on reference fields that can use the value 0, understanding that it is unsafe, and that it can cause a panic.

struct Node {
    a &Node
    b &Node = unsafe { nil } // Auto-initialized to nil, use with caution!

// Reference fields must be initialized unless an initial value is declared.
// Zero (0) is OK but use with caution, it's a nil pointer.
foo := Node{
    a: 0
bar := Node{
    a: &foo
baz := Node{
    a: 0
    b: 0
qux := Node{
    a: &foo
    b: &bar

sizeof and __offsetof

struct Foo {
    a int
    b int

assert sizeof(Foo) == 8
assert __offsetof(Foo, a) == 0
assert __offsetof(Foo, b) == 4

Limited operator overloading

Operator overloading defines the behavior of certain binary operators for certain types.

struct Vec {
    x int
    y int

fn (a Vec) str() string {
    return '{${a.x}, ${a.y}}'

fn (a Vec) + (b Vec) Vec {
    return Vec{a.x + b.x, a.y + b.y}

fn (a Vec) - (b Vec) Vec {
    return Vec{a.x - b.x, a.y - b.y}

fn main() {
    a := Vec{2, 3}
    b := Vec{4, 5}
    mut c := Vec{1, 2}

    println(a + b) // "{6, 8}"
    println(a - b) // "{-2, -2}"
    c += a
    //^^ autogenerated from + overload
    println(c) // "{3, 5}"

Operator overloading goes against V's philosophy of simplicity and predictability. But since scientific and graphical applications are among V's domains, operator overloading is an important feature to have in order to improve readability:

a.add(b).add(c.mul(d)) is a lot less readable than a + b + c * d.

Operator overloading is possible for the following binary operators: +, -, *, /, %, <, ==.

Implicitly generated overloads


To improve safety and maintainability, operator overloading is limited.

Type restrictions

Other restrictions

Performance tuning

The generated C code is usually fast enough, when you compile your code with -prod. There are some situations though, where you may want to give additional hints to the compiler, so that it can further optimize some blocks of code.

Note These are rarely needed, and should not be used, unless you profile your code, and then see that there are significant benefits for them. To cite gcc's documentation: "programmers are notoriously bad at predicting how their programs actually perform".

[inline] - you can tag functions with [inline], so the C compiler will try to inline them, which in some cases, may be beneficial for performance, but may impact the size of your executable.

[direct_array_access] - in functions tagged with [direct_array_access] the compiler will translate array operations directly into C array operations - omitting bounds checking. This may save a lot of time in a function that iterates over an array but at the cost of making the function unsafe - unless the boundaries will be checked by the user.

if _likely_(bool expression) { this hints the C compiler, that the passed boolean expression is very likely to be true, so it can generate assembly code, with less chance of branch misprediction. In the JS backend, that does nothing.

if _unlikely_(bool expression) { similar to _likely_(x), but it hints that the boolean expression is highly improbable. In the JS backend, that does nothing.

Memory usage optimization

V offers these attributes related to memory usage that can be applied to a structure type: [packed] and [minify]. These attributes affect memory layout of a structure, potentially leading to reduced cache/memory usage and improved performance.


The [packed] attribute can be added to a structure to create an unaligned memory layout, which decreases the overall memory footprint of the structure.

Note Using the [packed] attribute may negatively impact performance or even be prohibited on certain CPU architectures. Only use this attribute if minimizing memory usage is crucial for your program and you're willing to sacrifice performance.


The [minify] attribute can be added to a struct, allowing the compiler to reorder the fields in a way that minimizes internal gaps while maintaining alignment.

Note Using the [minify] attribute may cause issues with binary serialization or reflection. Be mindful of these potential side effects when using this attribute.


V has no special support for atomics, yet, nevertheless it's possible to treat variables as atomics by calling C functions from V. The standard C11 atomic functions like atomic_store() are usually defined with the help of macros and C compiler magic to provide a kind of overloaded C functions. Since V does not support overloading functions by intention there are wrapper functions defined in C headers named atomic.h that are part of the V compiler infrastructure.

There are dedicated wrappers for all unsigned integer types and for pointers. (u8 is not fully supported on Windows) – the function names include the type name as suffix. e.g. C.atomic_load_ptr() or C.atomic_fetch_add_u64().

To use these functions the C header for the used OS has to be included and the functions that are intended to be used have to be declared. Example:

$if windows {
    #include "@VEXEROOT/thirdparty/stdatomic/win/atomic.h"
} $else {
    #include "@VEXEROOT/thirdparty/stdatomic/nix/atomic.h"

// declare functions we want to use - V does not parse the C header
fn C.atomic_store_u32(&u32, u32)
fn C.atomic_load_u32(&u32) u32
fn C.atomic_compare_exchange_weak_u32(&u32, &u32, u32) bool
fn C.atomic_compare_exchange_strong_u32(&u32, &u32, u32) bool

const num_iterations = 10000000

// see section "Global Variables" below
__global (
    atom u32 // ordinary variable but used as atomic

fn change() int {
    mut races_won_by_change := 0
    for {
        mut cmp := u32(17) // addressable value to compare with and to store the found value
        // atomic version of `if atom == 17 { atom = 23 races_won_by_change++ } else { cmp = atom }`
        if C.atomic_compare_exchange_strong_u32(&atom, &cmp, 23) {
        } else {
            if cmp == 31 {
            cmp = 17 // re-assign because overwritten with value of atom
    return races_won_by_change

fn main() {
    C.atomic_store_u32(&atom, 17)
    t := spawn change()
    mut races_won_by_main := 0
    mut cmp17 := u32(17)
    mut cmp23 := u32(23)
    for i in 0 .. num_iterations {
        // atomic version of `if atom == 17 { atom = 23 races_won_by_main++ }`
        if C.atomic_compare_exchange_strong_u32(&atom, &cmp17, 23) {
        } else {
            cmp17 = 17
        desir := if i == num_iterations - 1 { u32(31) } else { u32(17) }
        // atomic version of `for atom != 23 {} atom = desir`
        for !C.atomic_compare_exchange_weak_u32(&atom, &cmp23, desir) {
            cmp23 = 23
    races_won_by_change := t.wait()
    atom_new := C.atomic_load_u32(&atom)
    println('atom: ${atom_new}, #exchanges: ${races_won_by_main + races_won_by_change}')
    // prints `atom: 31, #exchanges: 10000000`)
    println('races won by\n- `main()`: ${races_won_by_main}\n- `change()`: ${races_won_by_change}')

In this example both main() and the spawned thread change() try to replace a value of 17 in the global atom with a value of 23. The replacement in the opposite direction is done exactly 10000000 times. The last replacement will be with 31 which makes the spawned thread finish.

It is not predictable how many replacements occur in which thread, but the sum will always be 10000000. (With the non-atomic commands from the comments the value will be higher or the program will hang – dependent on the compiler optimization used.)

Global Variables

By default V does not allow global variables. However, in low level applications they have their place so their usage can be enabled with the compiler flag -enable-globals. Declarations of global variables must be surrounded with a __global ( ... ) specification – as in the example above.

An initializer for global variables must be explicitly converted to the desired target type. If no initializer is given a default initialization is done. Some objects like semaphores and mutexes require an explicit initialization in place, i.e. not with a value returned from a function call but with a method call by reference. A separate init() function can be used for this purpose – it will be called before main():

import sync

__global (
    sem   sync.Semaphore // needs initialization in `init()`
    mtx   sync.RwMutex // needs initialization in `init()`
    f1    = f64(34.0625) // explicily initialized
    shmap shared map[string]f64 // initialized as empty `shared` map
    f2    f64 // initialized to `0.0`

fn init() {

Be aware that in multi threaded applications the access to global variables is subject to race conditions. There are several approaches to deal with these:

Cross compilation

To cross compile your project simply run

v -os windows .


v -os linux .

Note Cross-compiling a windows binary on a linux machine requires the GNU C compiler for MinGW-w64 (targeting Win64) to first be installed.

For Ubuntu/Debian based distributions:

sudo apt-get install gcc-mingw-w64-x86-64

For Arch based distributions:

sudo pacman -S mingw-w64-gcc

(Cross compiling for macOS is temporarily not possible.)

If you don't have any C dependencies, that's all you need to do. This works even when compiling GUI apps using the ui module or graphical apps using gg.

You will need to install Clang, LLD linker, and download a zip file with libraries and include files for Windows and Linux. V will provide you with a link.


C Backend binaries (Default)

To debug issues in the generated binary (flag: -b c), you can pass these flags:

For best debugging experience if you are writing a low level wrapper for an existing C library, you can pass several of these flags at the same time: v -keepc -cg -showcc yourprogram.v, then just run your debugger (gdb/lldb) or IDE on the produced executable yourprogram.

If you just want to inspect the generated C code, without further compilation, you can also use the -o flag (e.g. -o file.c). This will make V produce the file.c then stop.

If you want to see the generated C source code for just a single C function, for example main, you can use: -printfn main -o file.c.

To debug the V executable itself you need to compile from src with ./v -g -o v cmd/v.

You can debug tests with for example v -g -keepc prog_test.v. The -keepc flag is needed, so that the executable is not deleted, after it was created and ran.

To see a detailed list of all flags that V supports, use v help, v help build and v help build-c.

Commandline Debugging

  1. compile your binary with debugging info v -g hello.v
  2. debug with lldb or GDB e.g. lldb hello

Troubleshooting (debugging) executables created with V in GDB

Visual debugging Setup:

Native Backend binaries

Currently there is no debugging support for binaries, created by the native backend (flag: -b native).

Javascript Backend

To debug the generated Javascript output you can activate source maps: v -b js -sourcemap hello.v -o hello.js

For all supported options check the latest help: v help build-js

V and C

Calling C from V


#flag -lsqlite3
#include "sqlite3.h"
// See also the example from https://www.sqlite.org/quickstart.html
struct C.sqlite3 {

struct C.sqlite3_stmt {

type FnSqlite3Callback = fn (voidptr, int, &&char, &&char) int

fn C.sqlite3_open(&char, &&C.sqlite3) int

fn C.sqlite3_close(&C.sqlite3) int

fn C.sqlite3_column_int(stmt &C.sqlite3_stmt, n int) int

// ... you can also just define the type of parameter and leave out the C. prefix

fn C.sqlite3_prepare_v2(&C.sqlite3, &char, int, &&C.sqlite3_stmt, &&char) int

fn C.sqlite3_step(&C.sqlite3_stmt)

fn C.sqlite3_finalize(&C.sqlite3_stmt)

fn C.sqlite3_exec(db &C.sqlite3, sql &char, cb FnSqlite3Callback, cb_arg voidptr, emsg &&char) int

fn C.sqlite3_free(voidptr)

fn my_callback(arg voidptr, howmany int, cvalues &&char, cnames &&char) int {
    unsafe {
        for i in 0 .. howmany {
            print('| ${cstring_to_vstring(cnames[i])}: ${cstring_to_vstring(cvalues[i]):20} ')
    return 0

fn main() {
    db := &C.sqlite3(unsafe { nil }) // this means `sqlite3* db = 0`
    // passing a string literal to a C function call results in a C string, not a V string
    C.sqlite3_open(c'users.db', &db)
    // C.sqlite3_open(db_path.str, &db)
    query := 'select count(*) from users'
    stmt := &C.sqlite3_stmt(unsafe { nil })
    // Note: You can also use the `.str` field of a V string,
    // to get its C style zero terminated representation
    C.sqlite3_prepare_v2(db, &char(query.str), -1, &stmt, 0)
    nr_users := C.sqlite3_column_int(stmt, 0)
    println('There are ${nr_users} users in the database.')
    error_msg := &char(0)
    query_all_users := 'select * from users'
    rc := C.sqlite3_exec(db, &char(query_all_users.str), my_callback, voidptr(7), &error_msg)
    if rc != C.SQLITE_OK {
        eprintln(unsafe { cstring_to_vstring(error_msg) })

Calling V from C

Since V can compile to C, calling V code from C is very easy, once you know how.

Use v -o file.c your_file.v to generate a C file, corresponding to the V code.

More details in call_v_from_c example.

Passing C compilation flags

Add #flag directives to the top of your V files to provide C compilation flags like:

You can (optionally) use different flags for different targets. Currently the linux, darwin , freebsd, and windows flags are supported.

Note Each flag must go on its own line (for now)

#flag linux -lsdl2
#flag linux -Ivig
#flag linux -DIMGUI_IMPL_API=

In the console build command, you can use:

You can define a VFLAGS environment variable in your terminal to store your -cc and -cflags settings, rather than including them in the build command each time.


Add #pkgconfig directive is used to tell the compiler which modules should be used for compiling and linking using the pkg-config files provided by the respective dependencies.

As long as backticks can't be used in #flag and spawning processes is not desirable for security and portability reasons, V uses its own pkgconfig library that is compatible with the standard freedesktop one.

If no flags are passed it will add --cflags and --libs to pkgconfig (not to V). In other words, both lines below do the same:

#pkgconfig r_core
#pkgconfig --cflags --libs r_core

The .pc files are looked up into a hardcoded list of default pkg-config paths, the user can add extra paths by using the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable. Multiple modules can be passed.

To check the existence of a pkg-config use $pkgconfig('pkg') as a compile time "if" condition to check if a pkg-config exists. If it exists the branch will be created. Use $else or $else $if to handle other cases.

$if $pkgconfig('mysqlclient') {
    #pkgconfig mysqlclient
} $else $if $pkgconfig('mariadb') {
    #pkgconfig mariadb

Including C code

You can also include C code directly in your V module. For example, let's say that your C code is located in a folder named 'c' inside your module folder. Then:

Module {
    name: 'mymodule',
    description: 'My nice module wraps a simple C library.',
    version: '0.0.1'
    dependencies: []
#flag -I @VMODROOT/c
#flag @VMODROOT/c/implementation.o
#include "header.h"

Note @VMODROOT will be replaced by V with the nearest parent folder, where there is a v.mod file. Any .v file beside or below the folder where the v.mod file is, can use #flag @VMODROOT/abc to refer to this folder. The @VMODROOT folder is also prepended to the module lookup path, so you can import other modules under your @VMODROOT, by just naming them.

The instructions above will make V look for an compiled .o file in your module folder/c/implementation.o. If V finds it, the .o file will get linked to the main executable, that used the module. If it does not find it, V assumes that there is a @VMODROOT/c/implementation.c file, and tries to compile it to a .o file, then will use that.

This allows you to have C code, that is contained in a V module, so that its distribution is easier. You can see a complete minimal example for using C code in a V wrapper module here: project_with_c_code. Another example, demonstrating passing structs from C to V and back again: interoperate between C to V to C.

C types

Ordinary zero terminated C strings can be converted to V strings with unsafe { &char(cstring).vstring() } or if you know their length already with unsafe { &char(cstring).vstring_with_len(len) }.

Note The .vstring() and .vstring_with_len() methods do NOT create a copy of the cstring, so you should NOT free it after calling the method .vstring(). If you need to make a copy of the C string (some libc APIs like getenv pretty much require that, since they return pointers to internal libc memory), you can use cstring_to_vstring(cstring).

On Windows, C APIs often return so called wide strings (utf16 encoding). These can be converted to V strings with string_from_wide(&u16(cwidestring)) .

V has these types for easier interoperability with C:

To cast a voidptr to a V reference, use user := &User(user_void_ptr).

voidptr can also be dereferenced into a V struct through casting: user := User(user_void_ptr).

an example of a module that calls C code from V

C Declarations

C identifiers are accessed with the C prefix similarly to how module-specific identifiers are accessed. Functions must be redeclared in V before they can be used. Any C types may be used behind the C prefix, but types must be redeclared in V in order to access type members.

To redeclare complex types, such as in the following C code:

struct SomeCStruct {
    uint8_t implTraits;
    uint16_t memPoolData;
    union {
        struct {
            void* data;
            size_t size;

        DataView view;

members of sub-data-structures may be directly declared in the containing struct as below:

struct C.SomeCStruct {
    implTraits  u8
    memPoolData u16
    // These members are part of sub data structures that can't currently be represented in V.
    // Declaring them directly like this is sufficient for access.
    // union {
    // struct {
    data voidptr
    size usize
    // }
    view C.DataView
    // }

The existence of the data members is made known to V, and they may be used without re-creating the original structure exactly.

Alternatively, you may embed the sub-data-structures to maintain a parallel code structure.

Export to shared library

By default all V functions have the following naming scheme in C: [module name]__[fn_name].

For example, fn foo() {} in module bar will result in bar__foo().

To use a custom export name, use the [export] attribute:

[export: 'my_custom_c_name']
fn foo() {

Translating C to V

V can translate your C code to human readable V code, and generating V wrappers on top of C libraries.

C2V currently uses Clang's AST to generate V, so to translate a C file to V you need to have Clang installed on your machine.

Let's create a simple program test.c first:

#include "stdio.h"

int main() {
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        printf("hello world\n");
        return 0;

Run v translate test.c, and V will generate test.v:

fn main() {
    for i := 0; i < 10; i++ {
        println('hello world')

To generate a wrapper on top of a C library use this command:

v translate wrapper c_code/libsodium/src/libsodium

This will generate a directory libsodium with a V module.

Example of a C2V generated libsodium wrapper:


When should you translate C code and when should you simply call C code from V?

If you have well-written, well-tested C code, then of course you can always simply call this C code from V.

Translating it to V gives you several advantages:

Working around C issues

In some cases, C interop can be extremely difficult. One of these such cases is when headers conflict with each other. For example, V needs to include the Windows header libraries in order for your V binaries to work seamlessly across all platforms.

However, since the Windows header libraries use extremely generic names such as Rectangle, this will cause a conflict if you wish to use C code that also has a name defined as Rectangle.

For very specific cases like this, we have #preinclude.

This will allow things to be configured before V adds in its built in libraries.

Example usage:

// This will include before built in libraries are used.
#preinclude "pre_include.h"
// This will include after built in libraries are used.
#include "include.h"

An example of what might be included in pre_include.h can be found here

This is an advanced feature, and will not be necessary outside of very specific cases with C interop, meaning it could cause more issues than it solves.

Consider it last resort!

Other V Features

Inline assembly

a := 100
b := 20
mut c := 0
asm amd64 {
    mov eax, a
    add eax, b
    mov c, eax
    ; =r (c) as c // output
    ; r (a) as a // input
      r (b) as b
println('a: ${a}') // 100
println('b: ${b}') // 20
println('c: ${c}') // 120

For more examples, see vlib/v/slow_tests/assembly/asm_test.amd64.v

Hot code reloading

module main

import time

fn print_message() {
    println('Hello! Modify this message while the program is running.')

fn main() {
    for {
        time.sleep(500 * time.millisecond)

Build this example with v -live message.v.

You can also run this example with v -live run message.v. Make sure that in command you use a path to a V's file, not a path to a folder (like v -live run .) - in that case you need to modify content of a folder (add new file, for example), because changes in message.v will have no effect.

Functions that you want to be reloaded must have [live] attribute before their definition.

Right now it's not possible to modify types while the program is running.

More examples, including a graphical application: github.com/vlang/v/tree/master/examples/hot_reload.

Cross-platform shell scripts in V

V can be used as an alternative to Bash to write deployment scripts, build scripts, etc.

The advantage of using V for this, is the simplicity and predictability of the language, and cross-platform support. "V scripts" run on Unix-like systems, as well as on Windows.

To use V's script mode, save your source file with the .vsh file extension. It will make all functions in the os module global (so that you can use mkdir() instead of os.mkdir(), for example).

V also knows to compile & run .vsh files immediately, so you do not need a separate step to compile them. V will also recompile an executable, produced by a .vsh file, only when it is older than the .vsh source file, i.e. runs after the first one, will be faster, since there is no need for a re-compilation of a script, that has not been changed.

An example deploy.vsh:

#!/usr/bin/env -S v

// Note: The shebang line above, associates the .vsh file to V on Unix-like systems,
// so it can be run just by specifying the path to the .vsh file, once it's made
// executable, using `chmod +x deploy.vsh`, i.e. after that chmod command, you can
// run the .vsh script, by just typing its name/path like this: `./deploy.vsh`

// print command then execute it
fn sh(cmd string) {
    println('❯ ${cmd}')

// Remove if build/ exits, ignore any errors if it doesn't
rmdir_all('build') or {}

// Create build/, never fails as build/ does not exist

// Move *.v files to build/
result := execute('mv *.v build/')
if result.exit_code != 0 {


// Similar to:
// files := ls('.')!
// mut count := 0
// if files.len > 0 {
//     for file in files {
//         if file.ends_with('.v') {
//              mv(file, 'build/') or {
//                  println('err: ${err}')
//                  return
//              }
//         }
//         count++
//     }
// }
// if count == 0 {
//     println('No files')
// }

Now you can either compile this like a normal V program and get an executable you can deploy and run anywhere: v deploy.vsh && ./deploy

Or just run it more like a traditional Bash script: v run deploy.vsh

On Unix-like platforms, the file can be run directly after making it executable using chmod +x: ./deploy.vsh

Vsh scripts with no extension

Whilst V does normally not allow vsh scripts without the designated file extension, there is a way to circumvent this rule and have a file with a fully custom name and shebang. Whilst this feature exists it is only recommended for specific usecases like scripts that will be put in the path and should not be used for things like build or deploy scripts. To access this feature start the file with #!/usr/bin/env -S v -raw-vsh-tmp-prefix tmp where tmp is the prefix for the built executable. This will run in crun mode so it will only rebuild if changes to the script were made and keep the binary as tmp.<scriptfilename>. Caution: if this filename already exists the file will be overridden. If you want to rebuild each time and not keep this binary instead use #!/usr/bin/env -S v -raw-vsh-tmp-prefix tmp run.


Appendix I: Keywords

V has 44 reserved keywords (3 are literals):


See also V Types.

Appendix II: Operators

This lists operators for primitive types only.

+    sum                    integers, floats, strings
-    difference             integers, floats
*    product                integers, floats
/    quotient               integers, floats
%    remainder              integers

~    bitwise NOT            integers
&    bitwise AND            integers
|    bitwise OR             integers
^    bitwise XOR            integers

!    logical NOT            bools
&&   logical AND            bools
||   logical OR             bools
!=   logical XOR            bools

<<   left shift             integer << unsigned integer
>>   right shift            integer >> unsigned integer
>>>  unsigned right shift   integer >> unsigned integer

Precedence    Operator
    5            *  /  %  <> >>> &
    4            +  -  |  ^
    3            ==  !=    >=
    2            &&
    1            ||

Assignment Operators
+=   -=   *=   /=   %=
&=   |=   ^=
>>=  <<=  >>>=