Setting Up a Kafka Stream in Go (Consumer)

What is a Kafka Consumer?

A Kafka Consumer is a vital component of Apache Kafka, a popular distributed streaming platform. It reads and processes messages from Kafka topics, enabling applications to handle streaming data efficiently.

Kafka Consumers are essential in systems that need to process large volumes of data in real-time. They offer scalable and reliable data consumption from Kafka, a platform designed for high-throughput and low-latency data streaming.

Use Cases:

  • Real-Time Data Processing: Consuming streams for immediate processing, such as in monitoring systems or real-time analytics.
  • Microservices Communication: As a reliable transport mechanism in a microservices architecture.
  • Log Aggregation: Collecting and processing logs from distributed systems for centralized analysis.

Setting Up a Kafka Consumer in Go


  • Go (version 1.13 or higher)
  • Apache Kafka (Installation guide: Apache Kafka Quickstart)
  • Kafka Go client library (such as confluent-kafka-go or sarama)

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Install Kafka Go Client

Install a Kafka client library for Go. Here, we use confluent-kafka-go as an example:

go get -u

Step 2: Create Kafka Consumer Configuration

Write a Go program and set up the Kafka consumer configuration:

package main

import (

func main() {
    config := &kafka.ConfigMap{
        "bootstrap.servers": "localhost:9092",
        "":          "myGroup",
        "auto.offset.reset": "earliest",

    consumer, err := kafka.NewConsumer(config)
    if err != nil {
    defer consumer.Close()

Step 3: Subscribe to Topics and Consume Messages

Subscribe to a topic and start consuming messages:

func main() {
    // ... (previous code)

    consumer.SubscribeTopics([]string{"myTopic"}, nil)

    for {
        msg, err := consumer.ReadMessage(-1)
        if err == nil {
            fmt.Printf("Message on %s: %s\n", msg.TopicPartition, string(msg.Value))
        } else {
            // The client will automatically try to recover from all errors.
            fmt.Printf("Consumer error: %v (%v)\n", err, msg)

Step 4: Run Your Go Application

Execute your Go application to start consuming messages from Kafka:

go run your-consumer-app.go


Setting up a Kafka Consumer in Go allows you to efficiently process data from Kafka. This guide helps you integrate Kafka into your Go applications, enabling real-time data processing and streaming capabilities.

For more advanced consumer configurations and handling, such as managing consumer offsets or handling consumer groups, refer to the documentation of your chosen Kafka Go client library. This guide offers a straightforward approach to start with Kafka Consumers in Go.