Why can't I use conn.ok() from net.go?

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I'm coming at Golang from a Python background and I am trying to wrap my head around various new concepts.

One thing I have come across is this function in net.go:

func (c *conn) ok() bool { return c != nil && c.fd != nil }

This function is called by multiple net.go methods, e.g. conn.Read:

// Read implements the Conn Read method.
func (c *conn) Read(b []byte) (int, error) {     
if !c.ok() {        
    return 0, syscall.EINVAL

I am trying to understand how the ok() method can be called on conn, despite the fact that ok() does not appear to be an interface of conn.

Certainly I do not seem to be able to call ok() from my client code:

func main() {
conn, err := net.Dial("tcp", "www.reddit.com:80")
if err != nil {


./server.go:14:22: conn.ok undefined (type net.Conn has no field or method ok)

Any pointers appreciated...

From Go document :

An identifier may be exported to permit access to it from another package. An identifier is exported if the first character of the identifier's name is a Unicode upper case letter

So , ok function is not exported and you can't access it outside of net package.

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There is no field or method like ok in net.Conn that what the error says and that is correct. when you try to read and write into the conn , you would get err and number of bytes read or write it into the connection.

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  • The interface is named Conn, which is distinct from the type conn (lowercase).