golang test assert the nil return from function is failing


I am trying to assert a function that returns a nil, but i’m trying to assert nil but the following assertion doesn’t make sense.
I am using the github.com/stretchr/testify/assert framework to assert

passes: assert.Equal(t, meta == nil, true)

fails: assert.Equal(t, meta, nil)

I am not sure why this makes any sense. could someone help please.

Method being tested:

type Metadata struct {
    UserId          string

func GetAndValidateMetadata(metadata map[string]string) (*Metadata, error) {
    userId _ := metadata["userId"]
    if userId == "" {
        return nil, errors.New("userId is undefined")
    meta := Metadata{
        UserId:          userId,
    return &meta, nil


func TestValidation(t *testing.T) {
    metadata := map[string]string{
        "fakeUserId": "testUserId",
    meta, err := GetAndValidateMetadata(metadata)

 assert.Equal(t, meta == nil, true) <--- passes
 assert.Equal(t, meta, nil) <--- fails


Interface values in Go store a type and a value of that type.

The equal method takes interface{} arguments, so in the second assertion you are comparing an interface value containing type information (*Metadata) and a nil value to an interface without type information and a nil value.

You can force the second interface to also contain a type like so:

assert.Equal(t, meta, (*Metadata)(nil))

See also "Why is my nil error value not equal to nil?" in the FAQ.

Answered By – Peter

Answer Checked By – Mary Flores (GoLangFix Volunteer)

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