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Goad is an AWS Lambda powered, highly distributed, load testing tool built in Go for the 2016 Gopher Gala.

Go + Load  Goad

Goad allows you to load test your websites from all over the world whilst costing you the tiniest fractions of a penny by using AWS Lambda in multiple regions simultaneously.

You can run Goad from your machine using your own AWS credentials. Goad will automatically create the AWS resources you need and execute your test, and display the results broken down by region. This way, you can see how fast your website is from the major regions of the world.

If you just want to try Goad out, visit the website and enter the address of the site you want to test.

goad CLI interface



The easiest way is to download a pre-built binary from or from the GitHub Releases page.

From source

To build the Goad CLI from scratch, make sure you have a working Go 1.5 workspace (instructions), then:

  1. Fetch the project with go get:
go get
  1. Install Go bindata:
go get -u
  1. Run make to build for all supported platforms

Alternatively, run append osx, linux, or windows to just build for one platform, for example:

make osx
  1. You'll find your goad binary in the build folder


AWS credentials

Goad will read your credentials from ~/.aws/credentials or from the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables (more info).


# Get help:
$ goad --help
usage: goad [<flags>] [<url>]

An AWS Lambda powered load testing tool

  -h, --help                     Display usage information (this message)
  -n, --requests=2000            Number of requests to perform. Set to 0 in combination with a specified timelimit allows for unlimited requests for the specified time.
  -c, --concurrency=10           Number of multiple requests to make at a time
  -t, --timelimit=3600           Seconds to max. to spend on benchmarking
  -s, --timeout=15               Seconds to max. wait for each response
  -H, --header=HEADER ...        Add Arbitrary header line, eg. 'Accept-Encoding: gzip' (repeatable)
  -m, --method="GET"             HTTP method
      --body=BODY                HTTP request body
      --json-output=JSON-OUTPUT  Optional path to file for JSON result storage
      --region=us-east-1 ...     AWS regions to run in. Repeat flag to run in more then one region. (repeatable)
      --run-docker               execute in docker container instead of aws lambda
      --create-ini-template      create sample configuration file "goad.ini" in current working directory
  -V, --version                  Show application version.

  [<url>]  [http[s]://]hostname[:port]/path optional if defined in goad.ini

# For example:
$ goad -n 1000 -c 5

Note that sites such as that employ redirects cannot be tested correctly at this time.


Goad supports to load settings stored in an ini file. It looks for a goad.ini file in the current working directory. Flags set on the command-line will be overwrite these settings.

#url =
timeout = 3600
concurrency = 10
requests = 1000
timelimit = 15
json-output = test-result.json
method = GET
body = Hello world

us-east-1 ;N.Virginia
#us-east-2 ;Ohio
#us-west-1 ;N.California
#us-west-2 ;Oregon
eu-west-1 ;Ireland
#eu-central-1 ;Frankfurt
#ap-southeast-1 ;Singapore
#ap-southeast-2 ;Sydney
#ap-northeast-1 ;Tokyo
#ap-northeast-2 ;Seoul
#sa-east-1 ;Sao Paulo

cache-control: no-cache


Goad can also be run as a Docker container which exposes the web API:

docker build -t goad .
docker run --rm -p 8080:8080 -e AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<your key ID> -e AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<your key> goad

You can then execute a load test using WebSocket:


How it works

Goad takes full advantage of the power of Amazon Lambdas and Go's concurrency for distributed load testing. You can use Goad to launch HTTP loads from up to four AWS regions at once. Each lambda can handle hundreds of concurrent connections, we estimate that Goad should be able to achieve peak loads of up to 100,000 concurrent requests.

Goad diagram

Running Goad will create the following AWS resources:

  • An IAM Role for the lambda function.
  • An IAM Role Policy that allows the lambda function to send messages to SQS, to publish logs and to spawn new lambda in case an individual lambda times out on a long running test.
  • A lambda function.
  • An SQS queue for the test.

A new SQS queue is created for each test run, and automatically deleted after the test is completed. The other AWS resources are reused in subsequent tests.

How it was built

Go CLI and server

Goad executable

Written in pure Go, Goad takes care of instantiating all the AWS resources, collecting results and displaying them. Interestingly, it contains the executable of the Lambda worker, which is also written in Go.

There is also a webapi version, which can be used to serve Goad as a web service. This streams the results using WebSockets.

Lambda workers

AWS Lambda instances are bootstrapped using node.js but the actual work on the Lambda instances is performed by a Go process. The HTTP requests are distributed among multiple Lambda instances each running multiple concurrent goroutines, in order to achieve the desired concurrency level with high throughput.

License & Copyright

MIT License.
Copyright 2016 Joao Cardoso, Matias Korhonen, Rasmus Sten, and Stephen Sykes.
Copyright 2016 Guido Serra OLX, a Naspers company.
Copyright 2017 Walter Marta, Clemens Wltken Edrans/OLX.

See the LICENSE file for more details.

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