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# grpc

[gRPC]( is an excellent, modern IDL and transport for
microservices. If you're starting a greenfield project, go-kit strongly
recommends gRPC as your default transport.

One important note is that while gRPC supports streaming requests and replies,
go-kit does not. You can still use streams in your service, but their
implementation will not be able to take advantage of many go-kit features like middleware.

Using gRPC and go-kit together is very simple.

First, define your service using protobuf3. This is explained
[in gRPC documentation](
for an example. Make sure the proto definition matches your service's go-kit
(interface) definition.

Next, get the protoc compiler.

You can download pre-compiled binaries from the
[protobuf release page](
You will unzip a folder called `protoc3` with a subdirectory `bin` containing
an executable. Move that executable somewhere in your `$PATH` and you're good
to go!

It can also be built from source.

brew install autoconf automake libtool
git clone
cd protobuf
./ ; ./configure ; make ; make install

Then, compile your service definition, from .proto to .go.

protoc add.proto --go_out=plugins=grpc:.

Finally, write a tiny binding from your service definition to the gRPC
definition. It's a simple conversion from one domain to another.
for an example.

That's it!
The gRPC binding can be bound to a listener and serve normal gRPC requests.
And within your service, you can use standard go-kit components and idioms.
See [addsvc]( for
a complete working example with gRPC support. And remember: go-kit services
can support multiple transports simultaneously.