Golang database/sql ORM

Connecting to a database

Bun works on top of database/sqlopen in new window so the first thing you need to do is to create a sql.DB. In this tutorial we will be using SQLite but Bun also works with PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MSSQL.

import (


sqldb, err := sql.Open(sqliteshim.ShimName, "file::memory:?cache=shared")
if err != nil {

Having a sql.DB, you can create a bun.DB using the corresponding SQLite dialect that comes with Bun:

import (

db := bun.NewDB(sqldb, sqlitedialect.New())

To see executed queries in stdout, install a query hook:

import "github.com/uptrace/bun/extra/bundebug"


Now you are ready to execute queries using database/sql API:

res, err := db.ExecContext(ctx, "SELECT 1")

var num int
err := db.QueryRowContext(ctx, "SELECT 1").Scan(&num)

Or using Bun's query builder:

res, err := db.NewSelect().ColumnExpr("1").Exec(ctx)

var num int
err := db.NewSelect().ColumnExpr("1").Scan(ctx, &num)

Using Bun with existing code

Learning all Bun capabilities may take some time, but you can start using it right away by executing manually crafted queries and allowing Bun to scan results for you:

type User struct {
	ID int64
	Name string

users := make([]User, 0)

err := bundb.NewRawQuery(
	"SELECT id, name FROM ? LIMIT ?",
	bun.Ident("users"), 100,
).Scan(ctx, &users)
SELECT id, name FROM "users" LIMIT 100

If you already have code that uses *sql.Tx or *sql.Conn, you can still use Bun query builder without rewriting the existing code:

tx, err := sqldb.Begin()
if err != nil {

if _, err := tx.Exec("...existing query..."); err != nil {

res, err := bundb.NewInsert().
	Conn(tx). // run the query using the existing transaction

Defining models

Bun uses struct-based models to construct queries and scan results. A typical Bun model looks like this:

type User struct {
    bun.BaseModel `bun:"table:users,alias:u"`

	ID	 int64  `bun:",pk,autoincrement"`
	Name string

Having a model, you can create and drop tables:

// Create users table.
res, err := db.NewCreateTable().Model((*User)(nil)).Exec(ctx)

// Drop users table.
res, err := db.NewDropTable().Model((*User)(nil)).Exec(ctx)

// Drop and create tables.
err := db.ResetModel(ctx, (*User)(nil))

Insert rows:

// Insert a single user.
user := &User{Name: "admin"}
res, err := db.NewInsert().Model(user).Exec(ctx)

// Insert multiple users (bulk-insert).
users := []User{user1, user2}
res, err := db.NewInsert().Model(&users).Exec(ctx)

Update rows:

user := &User{ID: 1, Name: "admin"}
res, err := db.NewUpdate().Model(user).Column("name").WherePK().Exec(ctx)

Delete rows:

user := &User{ID: 1}
res, err := db.NewDelete().Model(user).WherePK().Exec(ctx)

And select rows scanning the results:

// Select a user by a primary key.
user := new(User)
err := db.NewSelect().Model(user).Where("id = ?", 1).Scan(ctx)

// Select first 10 users.
var users []User
err := db.NewSelect().Model(&users).OrderExpr("id ASC").Limit(10).Scan(ctx)

Scanning query results

When it comes to scanning query results, Bun is very flexible and allows scanning into structs:

user := new(User)
err := db.NewSelect().Model(user).Limit(1).Scan(ctx)

Into scalars:

var id int64
var name string
err := db.NewSelect().Model((*User)(nil)).Column("id", "name").Limit(1).Scan(ctx, &id, &name)

Into a map[string]interface{}:

var m map[string]interface{}
err := db.NewSelect().Model((*User)(nil)).Limit(1).Scan(ctx, &m)

And into slices of the types above:

var users []User
err := db.NewSelect().Model(&users).Limit(1).Scan(ctx)

var ids []int64
var names []string
err := db.NewSelect().Model((*User)(nil)).Column("id", "name").Limit(1).Scan(ctx, &ids, &names)

var ms []map[string]interface{}
err := db.NewSelect().Model((*User)(nil)).Scan(ctx, &ms)

You can also return results from insert/update/delete queries and scan them too:

var ids []int64
res, err := db.NewDelete().Model((*User)(nil)).Returning("id").Exec(ctx, &ids)

Table relationships

Bun also recognizes common table relationships, for example, you can define a belongs-to relation:

type Story struct {
	ID       int64
	Title    string
	AuthorID int64
	Author   *User `bun:"rel:belongs-to,join:author_id=id"`

And Bun will join the story author for you:

story := new(Story)
err := db.NewSelect().
  "story"."id", "story"."title", "story"."author_id",
  "author"."id" AS "author__id",
  "author"."name" AS "author__name"
FROM "stories" AS "story"
LEFT JOIN "users" AS "author" ON ("author"."id" = "story"."author_id")

See exampleopen in new window for details.

What's next

By now, you should have basic understanding of Bun API. Next, learn how to define models and write queries.