Code navigation

Quickly navigate your code with high precision.

Code navigation helps you quickly explore code, dependencies, and symbols within the Sourcegraph file view. Code navigation consists of a number of features that make it easier to move through your codebase without getting lost:

  • Jump to definition
  • Find references
  • Find implementations
  • Browse symbols defined in current document or folder
  • Navigate dependencies
  • See docstrings in hover tooltips

Code navigation has two different implementations which complement one another:

  • Search-based code navigation works out of the box with all of the most popular programming languages, powered by Sourcegraph's code search. Our default search-based code navigation uses syntactic-level heuristics (no language-level semantic information) for fast, performant searches across large code bases.
  • Precise code navigation uses compile-time information to provide users with an extremely precise and accurate cross-repository[^1] experience. This means you'll get an accurate view of all symbols and where they are used across your code base.

Sourcegraph automatically uses precise code navigation whenever available, and search-based code navigation is used as a fallback when precise navigation is not available.

Precise code navigation requires language-specific indexes to be generated and uploaded to your Sourcegraph instance. We currently have precise code navigation support for the languages below. See the indexers page for a detailed breakdown of each indexer's status.

Language Indexer Status
Go lsif-go 🟢 Generally available
TypeScript, JavaScript scip-typescript 🟢 Generally available
C, C++ scip-clang 🟡 Partially available
Java, Kotlin, Scala scip-java 🟢 Generally available
Rust rust-analyzer 🟢 Generally available
Python scip-python 🟢 Generally available
Ruby scip-ruby 🟢 Generally available
C#, Visual Basic scip-dotnet 🟡 Partially available

The easiest way to configure precise code navigation is with auto-indexing. This feature uses Sourcegraph executors to automatically create indexes for the code, keeping precise code navigation available and up-to-date.

Setting up code navigation for your codebase

Sourcegraph provides search-based code navigation out-of-the-box. There are several options for setting up precise code navigation:

  1. Manual indexing. Index a repository and upload it to your Sourcegraph instance:

  2. Automate indexing via CI: Add indexing and uploading to your CI setup.

  3. Auto-indexing: Sourcegraph will automatically index your repositories and enable precise code navigation for them.

  4. Set up auto-dependency indexing to navigate and search through the dependencies your code uses:


How-to guides


[^1]: Supported for any language with a SCIP indexer.