This program, dist, is the bootstrapping tool for the Go distribution. As of Go 1.5, dist and other parts of the compiler toolchain are written in Go, making bootstrapping a little more involved than in the past. The approach is to build the current release of Go with an earlier one. The process to install Go 1.x, for x ≥ 5, is: 1. Build cmd/dist with Go 1.4. 2. Using dist, build Go 1.x compiler toolchain with Go 1.4. 3. Using dist, rebuild Go 1.x compiler toolchain with itself. 4. Using dist, build Go 1.x cmd/go (as go_bootstrap) with Go 1.x compiler toolchain. 5. Using go_bootstrap, build the remaining Go 1.x standard library and commands. NOTE: During the transition from the old C-based toolchain to the Go-based one, step 2 also builds the parts of the toolchain written in C, and step 3 does not recompile those. Because of backward compatibility, although the steps above say Go 1.4, in practice any release ≥ Go 1.4 but < Go 1.x will work as the bootstrap base. See golang.org/s/go15bootstrap for more details. Compared to Go 1.4 and earlier, dist will also take over much of what used to be done by make.bash/make.bat/make.rc and all of what used to be done by run.bash/run.bat/run.rc, because it is nicer to implement that logic in Go than in three different scripting languages simultaneously.
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