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Signing checksums and artifacts

Signing ensures that the artifacts have been generated by yourself, and your users can verify that by comparing the generated signature with your public signing key.

GoReleaser provides means to sign both executables and archives.


Signing works in combination with checksum files, and it is generally enough to sign the checksum files only.

The default is configured to create a detached signature for the checksum files with GnuPG, and your default key. To enable signing just add

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - artifacts: checksum

To customize the signing pipeline you can use the following options:

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - #
    # ID of the sign config, must be unique.
    # Default: 'default'
    id: foo

    # Name of the signature file.
    # Default: '${artifact}.sig'
    # Templates: allowed
    signature: "${artifact}_sig"

    # Path to the signature command
    # Default: 'gpg'
    cmd: gpg2

    # Command line arguments for the command
    # to sign with a specific key use
    # args: ["-u", "<key id, fingerprint, email, ...>", "--output", "${signature}", "--detach-sign", "${artifact}"]
    # Default: ["--output", "${signature}", "--detach-sign", "${artifact}"]
    # Templates: allowed
    args: ["--output", "${signature}", "${artifact}", "{{ .ProjectName }}"]

    # Which artifacts to sign
    # Valid options are:
    # - none        no signing
    # - all:        all artifacts
    # - checksum:   checksum files
    # - source:     source archive
    # - package:    Linux packages (deb, rpm, apk, etc)
    # - installer:  Windows MSI installers (Pro only)
    # - diskimage:  macOS DMG disk images (Pro only)
    # - archive:    archives from archive pipe
    # - binary:     binaries output from the build stage
    # - sbom:       any SBOMs generated for other artifacts
    # Default: 'none'
    artifacts: all

    # IDs of the artifacts to sign.
    # If `artifacts` is checksum or source, this fields has no effect.
      - foo
      - bar

    # Stdin data to be given to the signature command as stdin.
    # Templates: allowed
    stdin: "{{ .Env.GPG_PASSWORD }}"

    # StdinFile file to be given to the signature command as stdin.
    stdin_file: ./.password

    # Sets a certificate that your signing command should write to.
    # You can later use `${certificate}` or `.Env.certificate` in the `args` section.
    # This is particularly useful for keyless signing with cosign, and should
    # not usually be used otherwise.
    # Note that this should be a name, not a path.
    # Templates: allowed
    certificate: '{{ trimsuffix .Env.artifact ".tar.gz" }}.pem'

    # List of environment variables that will be passed to the signing command
    # as well as the templates.
      - FOO=bar
      - HONK=honkhonk

    # By default, the stdout and stderr of the signing cmd are discarded unless
    # GoReleaser is running with `--verbose` set.
    # You can set this to true if you want them to be displayed regardless.
    # Since: v1.2
    output: true

Available variable names

These environment variables might be available in the fields that accept templates:

  • ${artifact}: the path to the artifact that will be signed
  • ${artifactID}: the ID of the artifact that will be signed
  • ${certificate}: the certificate filename, if provided
  • ${signature}: the signature filename

Signing with cosign

You can sign your artifacts with cosign as well.

Assuming you have a cosign.key in the repository root and a COSIGN_PWD environment variable set, a simple usage example would look like this:

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - cmd: cosign
    stdin: "{{ .Env.COSIGN_PWD }}"
      - "sign-blob"
      - "--key=cosign.key"
      - "--output-signature=${signature}"
      - "${artifact}"
      - "--yes" # needed on cosign 2.0.0+
    artifacts: all

Your users can then verify the signature with:

cosign verify-blob -key -signature file.tar.gz.sig file.tar.gz

Signing executables

Executables can be signed after build using post hooks.

With gon


gon was discontinued by its maintainer, but it lives on in a fork, which we'll use here.

For example, you can use gon to create notarized macOS apps:

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - binary: foo
    id: foo
      - linux
      - windows
      - amd64

  # notice that we need a separated build for the MacOS binary only:
  - binary: foo
    id: foo-macos
      - darwin
      - amd64
      post: gon gon.hcl


# gon.hcl
# The path follows a pattern
source = ["./dist/foo-macos_darwin_amd64/foo"]
bundle_id = "com.mitchellh.example.terraform"

apple_id {
  username = "[email protected]"
  password = "@env:AC_PASSWORD"

sign {
  application_identity = "Developer ID Application: Mitchell Hashimoto"

Note that notarizing may take some time, and will need to be run from a macOS machine.

If you generate ZIP or DMG as part of your signing via gon you may need to ensure their file names align with desired pattern of other artifacts as GoReleaser doesn't control how these get generated beyond just executing gon with given arguments. Relatedly you may need to list these additional artifacts as extra_files in the release section to make sure they also get uploaded.

You can also check this issue for more details.

With cosign

You can also use cosign to sign the binaries directly, but you'll need to manually add the .sig files to the release and/or archive:

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - hooks:
        - sh -c "COSIGN_PASSWORD=$COSIGN_PWD cosign sign-blob --key cosign.key --output-signature dist/{{ .ProjectName }}_{{ .Version }}_{{ .Target }}.sig {{ .Path }}"

# add to the release directly:
    - glob: dist/*.sig

# or just to the archives:
  - files:
      - dist/*.sig

While this works, I would recommend using the signing pipe directly.

Signing Docker images and manifests

Please refer to Docker Images Signing.


You can sign with any command that either outputs a file or modify the file being signed.

If you want to sign with something that writes to STDOUT instead of a file, you can wrap the command inside a sh -c execution, for instance:

# .goreleaser.yaml
  - cmd: sh
      - "-c"
      - 'echo "${artifact} is signed and I can prove it" | tee ${signature}'
    artifacts: all

And it will work just fine. Just make sure to always use the ${signature} template variable as the result file name and ${artifact} as the origin file.