tree: b59dbacc469bb0e3ed145ebe654bb375b19cff0f [path history] [tgz]
  1. src/
  2. Cargo.toml

Rust Language Bindings for Thrift

Getting Started

  1. Get the Thrift compiler.

  2. Add the following crates to your Cargo.toml.

thrift = "x.y.z" # x.y.z is the version of the thrift compiler
ordered_float = "0.3.0"
try_from = "0.2.0"
  1. Add the same crates to your or
extern crate ordered_float;
extern crate thrift;
extern crate try_from;
  1. Generate Rust sources for your IDL (for example, Tutorial.thrift).
thrift -out my_rust_program/src --gen rs -r Tutorial.thrift
  1. Use the generated source in your code.
// add extern crates here, or in your
extern crate ordered_float;
extern crate thrift;
extern crate try_from;

// generated Rust module
use tutorial;

use thrift::protocol::{TCompactInputProtocol, TCompactOutputProtocol};
use thrift::protocol::{TInputProtocol, TOutputProtocol};
use thrift::transport::{TFramedReadTransport, TFramedWriteTransport};
use thrift::transport::{TIoChannel, TTcpChannel};
use tutorial::{CalculatorSyncClient, TCalculatorSyncClient};
use tutorial::{Operation, Work};

fn main() {
    match run() {
        Ok(()) => println!("client ran successfully"),
        Err(e) => {
            println!("client failed with {:?}", e);

fn run() -> thrift::Result<()> {
    // build client

    println!("connect to server on");
    let mut c = TTcpTransport::new();"")?;

    let (i_chan, o_chan) = c.split()?;
    let i_prot = TCompactInputProtocol::new(
    let o_prot = TCompactOutputProtocol::new(

    let client = CalculatorSyncClient::new(i_prot, o_prot);

    // alright! - let's make some calls

    // two-way, void return;

    // two-way with some return
    let res = client.calculate(
        Work::new(7, 8, Operation::MULTIPLY, None)
    println!("multiplied 7 and 8, got {}", res);

    // two-way and returns a Thrift-defined exception
    let res = client.calculate(
        Work::new(2, 0, Operation::DIVIDE, None)
    match res {
        Ok(v) => panic!("shouldn't have succeeded with result {}", v),
        Err(e) => println!("divide by zero failed with {:?}", e),

    // one-way;

    // done!

Code Generation

Thrift Files and Generated Modules

The Thrift code generator takes each Thrift file and generates a Rust module with the same name snake-cased. For example, running the compiler on ThriftTest.thrift creates To use these generated files add mod ... and use ... declarations to your or - one for each generated file.

Results and Errors

The Thrift runtime library defines a thrift::Result and a thrift::Error type, both of which are used throught the runtime library and in all generated code. Conversions are defined from std::io::Error, str and String into thrift::Error.

Thrift Type and their Rust Equivalents

Thrift defines a number of types, each of which is translated into its Rust equivalent by the code generator.

  • Primitives (bool, i8, i16, i32, i64, double, string, binary)
  • Typedefs
  • Enums
  • Containers
  • Structs
  • Unions
  • Exceptions
  • Services
  • Constants (primitives, containers, structs)

In addition, unless otherwise noted, thrift includes are translated into use ... statements in the generated code, and all declarations, parameters, traits and types in the generated code are namespaced appropriately.

The following subsections cover each type and their generated Rust equivalent.


Thrift primitives have straightforward Rust equivalents.

  • bool: bool
  • i8: i8
  • i16: i16
  • i32: i32
  • i64: i64
  • double: OrderedFloat<f64>
  • string: String
  • binary: Vec<u8>


A typedef is translated to a pub type declaration.

typedef i64 UserId

typedef map<string, UserId> MapType
pub type UserId = i64;

pub type MapType = BTreeMap<String, Bonk>;


A Thrift enum is represented as a Rust enum, and each variant is transcribed 1:1.

enum Numberz
    ONE = 1,
    FIVE = 5,
    EIGHT = 8
#[derive(Copy, Clone, Debug, Eq, Ord, PartialEq, PartialOrd)]
pub enum Numberz {
    ONE = 1,
    TWO = 2,
    THREE = 3,
    FIVE = 5,
    SIX = 6,
    EIGHT = 8,

impl TryFrom<i32> for Numberz {
    // ...


Thrift has three container types: list, set and map. They are translated into Rust Vec, BTreeSet and BTreeMap respectively. Any Thrift type (this includes structs, enums and typedefs) can be a list/set element or a map key/value.


list <i32> numbers
numbers: Vec<i32>


set <i32> numbers
numbers: BTreeSet<i32>


map <string, i32> numbers
numbers: BTreeMap<String, i32>


A Thrift struct is represented as a Rust struct, and each field transcribed 1:1.

struct CrazyNesting {
    1: string string_field,
    2: optional set<Insanity> set_field,
    3: required list<
         map<set<i32>, map<i32,set<list<map<Insanity,string>>>>>
    4: binary binary_field
#[derive(Clone, Debug, Eq, Ord, PartialEq, PartialOrd)]
pub struct CrazyNesting {
    pub string_field: Option<String>,
    pub set_field: Option<BTreeSet<Insanity>>,
    pub list_field: Vec<
            BTreeMap<i32, BTreeSet<Vec<BTreeMap<Insanity, String>>>>
    pub binary_field: Option<Vec<u8>>,

impl CrazyNesting {
    pub fn read_from_in_protocol(i_prot: &mut TInputProtocol)
    thrift::Result<CrazyNesting> {
        // ...
    pub fn write_to_out_protocol(&self, o_prot: &mut TOutputProtocol)
    thrift::Result<()> {
        // ...


Thrift has 3 “optionality” types:

  1. Required
  2. Optional
  3. Default

The Rust code generator encodes Required fields as the bare type itself, while Optional and Default fields are encoded as Option<TypeName>.

struct Foo {
    1: required string bar  // 1. required
    2: optional string baz  // 2. optional
    3: string qux           // 3. default
pub struct Foo {
    bar: String,            // 1. required
    baz: Option<String>,    // 2. optional
    qux: Option<String>,    // 3. default

Known Issues

  • Struct constants are not supported
  • Map, list and set constants require a const holder struct