Defining models

For each table you need to define a corresponding Go struct (model). Bun maps the exported struct fields to the table columns and ignores the unexported fields.

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

    ID    int64  `bun:"id,pk,autoincrement"`
    Name  string `bun:"name,notnull"`
    email string // unexported fields are ignored

Struct tags

Bun uses sensible defaults to generate names and deduct types, but you can use the following struct tags to override the defaults.

bun.BaseModel `bun:"table:table_name"`Override default table name.
bun.BaseModel `bun:"alias:table_alias"`Override default table alias.
bun.BaseModel `bun:"select:view_name"`Override table name for SELECT queries.
bun:"-"Ignore the field.
bun:"column_name"Override default column name.
bun:"alt:alt_name"Alternative column name. Useful during migrations.
bun:",pk"Mark column as a primary key. Multiple primary keys are supported.
bun:",nopk"Not a primary key. Useful for columns like id and uuid if they are not primary keys.
bun:"type:uuid"Override default SQL type.
bun:"default:gen_random_uuid()"Tell CreateTable to set DEFAULT expression.
bun:",notnull"Tell CreateTable to add NOT NULL constraint.
bun:",unique"Tell CreateTable to add an unique constraint.
bun:",unique:group_name"Unique constraint for a group of columns.
bun:",nullzero"Marshal Go zero values as SQL NULL.
bun:",allowzero"Use on primary keys to undo the effect of nullzero.
bun:",scanonly"Only use this field to scan query results, not for inserts or updates.
bun:",array"Use PostgreSQL array.
bun:",json_use_number"Use json.Decoder.UseNumber to decode JSON.
bun:",msgpack"Encode/decode data using MessagePack.
DeletedAt time.Time `bun:",soft_delete"`Enable soft deletes on the model.

Table names

Bun generates table names and aliases from struct names by underscoring them. It also pluralizes table names, for example, struct ArticleCategory gets table name article_categories and alias article_category.

To override the generated name and the alias:

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

To specify a different table name for SELECT queries:

type Genre struct {
	bun.BaseModel `bun:"select:users_view,alias:u"`

Column names

Bun generates column names from struct field names by underscoring them. For example, struct field UserID gets column name user_id.

To override the generated column name:

type User struct {
	Name string `bun:"myname"`

SQL naming convention

Use snake_caseopen in new window identifiers for table and column names. If you get spurious SQL parser errors, try to quote the identifier with double quotes (backticks for MySQL) to check if the problem goes away.


Don't use SQL keywordsopen in new window (for example order, user) as identifiers.


Don't use case-sensitive names because such names are folded to lower case, for example, UserOrders becomes userorders.

Column types

Bun generates column types from struct field types. For example, Go type string is translated to SQL type varchar.

To override the generated column type:

type User struct {
    ID int64 `bun:"type:integer"`


To represent SQL NULL, you can use pointers or sql.Null* types:

type Item struct {
    Active *bool
    // or
    Active sql.NullBool

For example:

  • (*bool)(nil) and sql.NullBool{} represent NULL.
  • (*bool)(false) and sql.NullBool{Valid: true} represent FALSE.
  • (*bool)(true) and sql.NullBool{Valid: true, Value: true} represent TRUE.

Go zero values and NULL

To marshal a zero Go value as NULL, use nullzero tag:

type User struct {
	Name string `bun:",nullzero"`

Sometimes it can be useful to allow zero values on primary keys:

type User struct {
	ID int64 `bun:",allowzero"`


To specify a default SQL expression, use the combination of nullzero, notnull, and default tags:

type User struct {
	Name string `bun:",nullzero,notnull,default:'unknown'"`

err := db.NewCreateTable().Model((*User)(nil)).Exec(ctx)
  name text NOT NULL DEFAULT 'unknown'

Automatic timestamps

Use the following code to automatically set creation and update time on INSERT:

type User struct {
	CreatedAt time.Time `bun:",nullzero,notnull,default:current_timestamp"`
	UpdatedAt time.Time `bun:",nullzero,notnull,default:current_timestamp"`

If you don't want to set update time, use bun.NullTime:

type User struct {
	CreatedAt time.Time `bun:",nullzero,notnull,default:current_timestamp"`
	UpdatedAt bun.NullTime

You can also use hooks to set struct fields:

var _ bun.BeforeAppendModelHook = (*User)(nil)

func (u *User) BeforeAppendModel(ctx context.Context, query bun.Query) error {
	switch query.(type) {
	case *bun.InsertQuery:
		u.CreatedAt = time.Now()
	case *bun.UpdateQuery:
		u.UpdatedAt = time.Now()
	return nil
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