Auto Migration

Automatically migrate your schema, to keep your schema update to date.

NOTE: AutoMigrate will create tables, missing foreign keys, constraints, columns and indexes, and will change existing column’s type if it’s size, precision, nullable changed, it WON’T delete unused columns to protect your data.


db.AutoMigrate(&User{}, &Product{}, &Order{})

// Add table suffix when creating tables
db.Set("gorm:table_options", "ENGINE=InnoDB").AutoMigrate(&User{})

NOTE AutoMigrate creates database foreign key constraints automatically, you can disable this feature during initialization, for example:

db, err := gorm.Open(sqlite.Open("gorm.db"), &gorm.Config{
DisableForeignKeyConstraintWhenMigrating: true,

Migrator Interface

GORM provides migrator interface, which contains unified API interfaces for each database that could be used to build your database-independent migrations, for example:

SQLite doesn’t support ALTER COLUMN, DROP COLUMN, GORM will create a new table as the one you are trying to change, copy all data, drop the old table, rename the new table

MySQL doesn’t support rename column, index for some versions, GORM will perform different SQL based on the MySQL version you are using

type Migrator interface {
// AutoMigrate
AutoMigrate(dst ...interface{}) error

// Database
CurrentDatabase() string
FullDataTypeOf(*schema.Field) clause.Expr

// Tables
CreateTable(dst ...interface{}) error
DropTable(dst ...interface{}) error
HasTable(dst interface{}) bool
RenameTable(oldName, newName interface{}) error

// Columns
AddColumn(dst interface{}, field string) error
DropColumn(dst interface{}, field string) error
AlterColumn(dst interface{}, field string) error
HasColumn(dst interface{}, field string) bool
RenameColumn(dst interface{}, oldName, field string) error
MigrateColumn(dst interface{}, field *schema.Field, columnType *sql.ColumnType) error
ColumnTypes(dst interface{}) ([]*sql.ColumnType, error)

// Constraints
CreateConstraint(dst interface{}, name string) error
DropConstraint(dst interface{}, name string) error
HasConstraint(dst interface{}, name string) bool

// Indexes
CreateIndex(dst interface{}, name string) error
DropIndex(dst interface{}, name string) error
HasIndex(dst interface{}, name string) bool
RenameIndex(dst interface{}, oldName, newName string) error


Returns current using database name



// Create table for `User`

// Append "ENGINE=InnoDB" to the creating table SQL for `User`
db.Set("gorm:table_options", "ENGINE=InnoDB").CreateTable(&User{})

// Check table for `User` exists or not

// Drop table if exists (will ignore or delete foreign key constraints when dropping)

// Rename old table to new table
db.Migrator().RenameTable(&User{}, &UserInfo{})
db.Migrator().RenameTable("users", "user_infos")


type User struct {
Name string

// Add name field
db.Migrator().AddColumn(&User{}, "Name")
// Drop name field
db.Migrator().DropColumn(&User{}, "Name")
// Alter name field
db.Migrator().AlterColumn(&User{}, "Name")
// Check column exists
db.Migrator().HasColumn(&User{}, "Name")

type User struct {
Name string
NewName string

// Rename column to new name
db.Migrator().RenameColumn(&User{}, "Name", "NewName")
db.Migrator().RenameColumn(&User{}, "name", "new_name")

// ColumnTypes
db.Migrator().ColumnTypes(&User{}) ([]*sql.ColumnType, error)


type UserIndex struct {
Name string `gorm:"check:name_checker,name <> 'jinzhu'"`

// Create constraint
db.Migrator().CreateConstraint(&User{}, "name_checker")

// Drop constraint
db.Migrator().DropConstraint(&User{}, "name_checker")

// Check constraint exists
db.Migrator().HasConstraint(&User{}, "name_checker")


type User struct {
Name string `gorm:"size:255;index:idx_name,unique"`

// Create index for Name field
db.Migrator().CreateIndex(&User{}, "Name")
db.Migrator().CreateIndex(&User{}, "idx_name")

// Drop index for Name field
db.Migrator().DropIndex(&User{}, "Name")
db.Migrator().DropIndex(&User{}, "idx_name")

// Check Index exists
db.Migrator().HasIndex(&User{}, "Name")
db.Migrator().HasIndex(&User{}, "idx_name")

type User struct {
Name string `gorm:"size:255;index:idx_name,unique"`
Name2 string `gorm:"size:255;index:idx_name_2,unique"`
// Rename index name
db.Migrator().RenameIndex(&User{}, "Name", "Name2")
db.Migrator().RenameIndex(&User{}, "idx_name", "idx_name_2")


GORM creates constraints when auto migrating or creating table, checkout Constraints or Database Indexes for details

Other Migration Tools

GORM’s AutoMigrate works well for most cases, but if you are looking for more serious migration tools, GORM provides a generic DB interface that might be helpful for you.

// returns `*sql.DB`

Refer Generic Interface for more details.