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cargo-generate

cargo, make me a project

Build status crates.io dependency status

cargo-generate is a developer tool to help you get up and running quickly with a new Rust project by leveraging a pre-existing git repository as a template.

Here's an example of using cargo-generate with this template: demo.gif

Installation

Using cargo with system's OpenSSL

cargo install cargo-generate

See the openssl-sys crate readme on how to obtain the OpenSSL library for your system. Alternatively, use the vendored-openssl flag if you do not want to install OpenSSL.

Using cargo with vendored OpenSSL

⚠️ NOTE: vendored-openssl requires the following packages to be installed:

  • libssl-dev
  • gcc
  • m4
  • ca-certificates
  • make
  • perl
cargo install cargo-generate --features vendored-openssl

Using pacman (Arch Linux)

cargo-generate can be installed from the community repository for Arch Linux:

pacman -S cargo-generate

Manual Install:

  1. Download the binary tarball for your platform from our releases page.

  2. Unpack the tarball and place the binary cargo-generate in ~/.cargo/bin/

Usage

Standard usage is to pass a --git flag to cargo generate or short cargo gen. This will prompt you to enter the name of your project.

⚠️ NOTE: cargo gen requires a cargo alias configuration

cargo generate --git https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git

You can also pass the name of your project to the tool using the --name or -n flag:

cargo generate --git https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git --name myproject

Templates in subfolders

If the git repository contains multiple templates, the specific subfolder in the git repository may be specified like this:

cargo generate --git https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git <relative-template-path>

⚠️ NOTE: The specified relative-template-path will be used as the actual template root, whether or not this is actually true!

⚠️ NOTE: When using the subfolder feature, cargo-generate will search for the cargo-generate.toml file in the subfolder first, traversing back towards the template root in case it is not found.

Generating into current dir

If the user wants to generate a template straight into the current folder, without creating a subfolder for the contents and without attempting to initialize a .git repo or similar, the --init flag can be used.

cargo generate --init --git https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git

⚠️ NOTE: cargo-generate will not allow any existing files to be overwritten and will fail to generate any files should there be any conflicts.

Generating using a local template

You can generate a project using a local template via the --path flag:

git clone https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git $HOME/mytemplate # Clone any template
cargo generate --path $HOME/mytemplate # Use it locally

⚠️ NOTE: cargo-generate will not allow to use the association --path and --git flags.

git over ssh

New in version 0.7.0 is the support for both public and private and ssh git remote urls. For example:

cargo generate --git git@github.com:rustwasm/wasm-pack-template.git --name mywasm

leads to the same result as:

cargo generate --git https://github.com/rustwasm/wasm-pack-template.git --name mywasm

as well as:

cargo generate --git rustwasm/wasm-pack-template --name mywasm

⚠️ NOTE: you can pass a custom ssh identity file with via -i | --identity like -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa_other

http(s) proxy

New in version 0.7.0 is automatic proxy usage. So, if http(s)_PROXY env variables are provided, they will be used for cloning a http(s) template repository.

Favorites

Favorite templates can be defined in a config file, that by default is placed at $CARGO_HOME/cargo-generate.toml or $CARGO_HOME/cargo-generate. To specify an alternative configuration file, use the --config <config-file> option.

⚠️ NOTE: A relative --config option, will be relative to the template root during expansion.

Each favorite template is specified in its own section, e.g.:

[favorites.demo]
description = "<optional description, visible with --list-favorites>"
git = "https://github.com/ashleygwilliams/wasm-pack-template"
branch = "<optional-branch>"
subfolder = "<optional-subfolder>"

Values may be overridden using the CLI arguments of the same names (e.g. --subfolder for the subfolder value).

When favorites are available, they can be generated simply by invoking:

cargo gen <favorite>

or slightly more involved:

cargo generate demo --branch mybranch --name expanded_demo --subfolder myfolder

⚠️ NOTE: when <favorite> is not defined in the config file, it is interpreted as a git repo like as if --git <favorite>

Templates

Templates are git repositories whose files contain placeholders. The current supported placeholders are:

  • {{authors}}

    this will be filled in by a function borrowed from Cargo's source code, that determines your information from Cargo's configuration.

  • {{project-name}}

    this is supplied by either passing the --name flag to the command or working with the interactive CLI to supply a name.

  • {{crate_name}}

    the snake_case_version of project-name

  • {{crate_type}}

    this is supplied by either passing the --bin or --lib flag to the command line, contains either bin or lib, --bin is the default

  • {{os-arch}}

    contains the current operating system and architecture ex: linux-x86_64

Additionally, all filters and tags of the liquid template language are supported. For more information, check out the Liquid Documentation on Tags and Filters.

You can use those placeholders in the file and directory names of the generated project. For example, for a project named awesome, the filename {{project_name}}/{{project_name}}.rs will be transformed to awesome/awesome.rs during generation. Only files that are not listed in the exclude settings will be templated.

⚠️ NOTE: invalid characters for a filename or directory name will be sanitized after template substitution. Invalid is e.g. / or \.

⚠️ Deprecated in favor of using ignore in cargo-generate.toml

You can also add a .genignore file to your template. The files listed in the .genignore file will be removed from the local machine when cargo-generate is run on the end user's machine. The .genignore file is always ignored, so there is no need to list it in the .genignore file.

Templates by the community

It's encouraged to classify your template repository with a GitHub topic labeled cargo-generate.

So that every developer can find the template via cargo-generate topic on GitHub.

If you have a great template, please tag your repository with the topic and tweet about it by including the hashtag #cargogenerate (since twitter does not support hashtags with -).

⚠️ Note: the list of currently available templates is still available, but is now deprecated.

Example for --bin and --lib

A template could be prepared in a way to act as a binary or a library. For example the Cargo.toml might look like:

[package]
# the usual stuff

[dependencies]
{% if crate_type == "bin" %}
structopt = "0.3.21"
{% endif %}
# other general dependencies

{% if crate_type == "bin" %}
[[bin]]
path = "src/main.rs"
name = "{{crate_name}}-cli"
{% endif %}

Now a user of this template could decide weather they want the binary version by passing --bin or use only the library version by passing --lib as a command line argument.

Template defined placeholders

Sometimes templates need to make decisions. For example one might want to conditionally include some code or not. Another use case might be that the user of a template should be able to choose out of provided options in an interactive way. Also, it might be helpful to offer a reasonable default value that the user just simply can use.

Since version 0.6.0 it is possible to use placeholders in a cargo-generate.toml that is in the root folder of a template. Here an example:

[placeholders.hypervisor]
type = "string"
prompt = "What hypervisor to use?"
choices = ["uhyve", "qemu"]
default = "qemu"

[placeholders.network_enabled]
type = "bool"
prompt = "Want to enable network?"
default = true

As you can see the placeholders configuration section accepts a table of keywords that will become the placeholder name.

In this example the placeholder hypervisor and network_enabled will become template variables and can be used like this:

{% if network_enabled %}
use std::net::TcpListener;

fn main() {
    let listener = TcpListener::bind("0.0.0.0:8080").unwrap();
    loop {
        let (conn, addr) = listener.accept().unwrap();
        println!("Incoming Connection from {}", addr);
        std::io::copy(&mut &conn, &mut &conn).unwrap();
    }
}
{% else %}
fn main() {
    println!("Hello Rusty Hermit 🦀");
}
{% endif %}

💡 Tip: similar to dependencies in the Cargo.toml file you can also list them as one liners:

[placeholders]
hypervisor = { type = "string", prompt = "What hypervisor to use?", choices = ["uhyve", "qemu"], default = "qemu" }
network_enabled = { type = "bool", prompt = "Want to enable network?", default = true }

prompt property

The prompt will be used to display a question / message for this very placeholder on the interactive dialog when using the template.

🤷  What hypervisor to use? [uhyve, qemu] [default: qemu]:

type property

A placeholder can be of type string or bool. Boolean types are usually helpful for conditionally behaviour in templates.

choices property (optional)

A placeholder can come with a list of choices that the user can choose from. It's further also validated at the time when a user generates a project from a template.

choices = ["uhyve", "qemu"]

default property (optional)

A default property must mach the type (string | bool) and is optional. A default should be provided, to ease the interactive process. As usual the user could press and the default value would simply be taken, it safes time and mental load.

default = 'qemu'

regex property (optional)

A regex property is a string, that can be used to enforce a certain validation rule. The input dialog will keep repeating until the user entered something that is allowed by this regex.

Placeholder Examples

An example with a regex that allows only numbers

[placeholders]
phone_number = { type = "string", prompt = "What's your phone number?", regex = "[0-9]+" }

Default values for placeholders

For automation purposes the user of the template may provide the values for the keys in the template using one or more of the following methods.

The methods are listed by falling priority.

--define or -d flag

The user may specify variables individually using the --define flag.

cargo generate template-above -n project-name -d hypervisor=qemu -d network_enabled=true

--template_values_file flag

The user of the template may provide a file containing the values for the keys in the template by using the --template-values-file flag.

⚠️ NOTE: A relative path will be relative to current working dir, which is not inside the expanding template!

The file should be a toml file containing the following (for the example template provided above):

[values]
hypervisor = "qemu"
network_enabled = true

Individual values via environment variables

Variables may be specified using environment variables. To do so, set the env var CARGO_GENERATE_VALUE_<variable key> to the desired value.

set CARGO_GENERATE_VALUE_HYPERVISOR=qemu
set CARGO_GENERATE_VALUE_NETWORK_ENABLED=true
cargo generate template-above

⚠️ Windows does not support mixed case environment variables. Internally, cargo-generate will ensure the variable name is all lowercase. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that template authors only use lowercase variable/placeholder names.

Template values file via environment variable

The user may use the environment variable CARGO_GENERATE_TEMPLATE_VALUES to specify a file with default values.

For the file format, see above

Default values

Default values may be specified in the config file (specified with the --config flag, or in the default config file $CARGO_HOME/cargo-generate)

Example config file:

[values]
placeholder1 = "default value"

[favorites.my_favorite]
git = "https://github.com/githubusername/mytemplate.git"

[favorites.my_favorite.values]
placeholder1 = "default value overriding the default"
placeholder2 = "default value for favorite"

Include / Exclude

Templates support a cargo-generate.toml, with a "template" section that allows you to configure the files that will be processed by cargo-generate. The behavior mirrors Cargo's Include / Exclude functionality, which is documented here. If you are using placeholders in a file name, and also wish to use placeholders in the contents of that file, you should setup your globs to match on the pre-rename filename.

[template]
include = ["Cargo.toml"]
# include and exclude are exclusive, if both appear we will use include
exclude = ["*.c"]

⚠️ NOTE: exclude only makes cargo-generate ignore any liquid tags in the file. In order to exclude a file from being copied to the final dir, see ignoring files.

The cargo-generate.toml file should be placed in the root of the template. If using the subfolder feature, the root is the subfolder inside the repository, though cargo-generate will look for the file in all parent folders until it reaches the repository root.

Ignoring files

The template author may choose to ignore files completely, by including an ignore list in the cargo-generate.toml file.

Example:

[template]
ignore = [ 
  "file",
  "or folder",
  "to be ignored" 
]

Both files and folders may be ignored using this method, but currently wildcards are not supported.

Require cargo-generate version from template

Available since version 0.9.0

Using the supported cargo-generate.toml file, the template author may setup version requirements towards cargo-generate.

[template]
cargo_generate_version = ">=0.9.0"

The format for the version requirement is documented here.

Conditional template settings.

Using cargo-generate.toml, values and some Rhai syntax, the template author can make certain conditional decisions before expansion of the template.

include, exclude, ignore and placeholders can all be used in sections that are only used based upon the value of one or more values, possibly input by the user using the interactive prompt (if the values in question are defined as placeholders in the non-conditional section).

Using the following example, cargo-generate will ask for the license, and depending on the --lib | --bin flags it'll as for the hypervisor and network_enabled values. It will then continue to expand the template, ignoring the src/main.rs file (and thus excluding it from the output) in case --lib was specified.

The example is broken up in order to explain each section.

[template]
cargo_generate_version = ">=0.10.0"
# ignore = [ "..." ]
# include = [ "..." ]
# exclude = [ "..." ]
...

This first part declares that the template requires cargo-generate version 0.10 or higher. In this same section the template auther may also specify the following 3 lists:

  • ignore Files/folders on this list will be ignored entirely and are not included in the final output.
  • include These files will be processed for Liquid syntax by the template engine.
  • exclude These files will not be processed for any liquid syntax. The files will be in the final output.
...
[placeholders]
license = { type = "string", prompt = "What license to use?", choices = ["MIT", "Unrestricted"], default = "MIT" }
...

This is the section for the default placeholders. These are variable definitions that cargo-generate knows about and will query for if they are not provided e.g. on the commandline (see [Default-values-for-placeholders]).

The section should contain at least all variables used for any conditions (unless it's an automatic variable such as crate_type). All variables that are not specific to a condition are recommended to go here as well.

Here we simply define a variable license for selecting the desired license type.

...
[conditional.'crate_type == "lib"']
ignore = [ "src/main.rs" ]
# include = [ "..." ]
# exclude = [ "..." ]
...

This is a conditional block.

Here it has been choosen that the src/main.rs file must be ignored when the crate_type variable is equal to the string "lib".

...
[conditional.'crate_type != "lib"'.placeholders]
hypervisor = { type = "string", prompt = "What hypervisor to use?", choices = ["uhyve", "qemu"], default = "qemu" }
network_enabled = { type = "bool", prompt = "Want to enable network?", default = true }
...

This block uses the same condition as the last, but it defines some extra placeholders - that is, is defines the variables hypervisor and network_enabled, so that cargo-generate may ask for their values.

⚠️ cargo-generate will ask for values using the placeholders defined in [placeholders] before evaluating the conditional sections.

Placeholder values defined in conditional sections cannot be used to enable/disable further conditional sections, they can however still be used in the actual template!

...
[conditional.'license == "MIT"']
ignore = [ "LICENSE-UNRESTRICTED.txt" ]
# include = [ "..." ]
# exclude = [ "..." ]

[conditional.'license == "Unrestricted"']
ignore = [ "LICENSE-MIT.txt" ]
# include = [ "..." ]
# exclude = [ "..." ]

This last conditional block is simply to ignore the unneeded license files, based upon the users choice for the license variable.

⚠️ Note that include and exclude are still mutually exclusive even if they are in different, but included, conditional sections.

Pre/Post scripts

cargo-generate is able to use scripts written in Rhai.

These scripts may be executed as either pre or post:

  1. pre: executed before template expansion
  2. post: executed after template expansion, but before copying to the destination.

💬 TIP for VSCode users: A Rhai language extension is available for download.

Use of scripts

In cargo-generate.toml write a [hooks] section, example:

[template]
cargo_generate_version = "0.10.0"

[hooks]
pre = ["pre-script.rhai"]
#post = [...]

[placeholders]
license = { type = "string", prompt = "What license to use?", choices = ["APACHE", "MIT"], default = "MIT" }

Now, write the script in Rhai, utilizing the cargo-generate provided extensions:

// we can see existing variables.
// note that template and Rhai variables are separate!
let crate_type = variable::get("crate_type")
debug(`crate_type: ${crate_type}`);

let license = variable::get("license").to_upper();
while switch license {
  "APACHE" => {
    file::delete("LICENSE-MIT");
    file::rename("LICENSE-APACHE", "LICENSE");
    false
  }
  "MIT" => {
    file::delete("LICENSE-APACHE");
    file::rename("LICENSE-MIT", "LICENSE");
    false
  }
  _ => true,
} {
  license = variable::prompt("Select license?", "MIT", [
    "APACHE",
    "MIT",
  ]);
}
variable::set("license", license);

Rhai extensions

Besides the basic Rhai features, these are the modules/behaviors defined:

Variables

get/set
  • variable::is_set(name: &str) -> bool
    Returns true if the variable/placeholder has been set for the template
  • variable::get(name: &str) -> value
    Gets any defined variable in the Liquid template object
  • variable::set(name: &str, value: (&str|bool))
    Set new or overwrite existing variables. Do not allow to change types.
Prompt
  • variable::prompt(text: &str, default_value: bool) -> value
    Prompt the user for a boolean value
  • variable::prompt(text: &str) -> value
    Prompt the user for a string value
  • variable::prompt(text: &str, default_value: &str) -> value
    Prompt the user for a string value, with a default already in place
  • variable::prompt(text: &str, default_value: &str, regex: &str) -> value
    Prompt the user for a string value, validated with a regex
  • variable::prompt(text: &str, default_value: &str, choices: Array) -> value
    Prompt the user for a choice value

Files

  • file::rename(from: &str, to: &str)
    Rename one of the files in the template folder
  • file::delete(path: &str)
    Delete a file or folder inside the template folder
  • file::write(file: &str, content: &str)
    Create/overwrite a file inside the template folder
  • file::write(file: &str, content: Array)
    Create/overwrite a file inside the template folder, each entry in the array on a new line

Other

  • abort(reason: &str): Aborts cargo-generate with a script error.

Useful for template authors

Available since version 0.9.0

As a template author you're probably concerned about successful builds of your template?

Imagine a couple of months after your first template release, some new versions of any dependencies would break your template, and you would not even be aware of it?

The answer to this question is a vital build pipeline for your template project. This challenge got now much simpler to solve with the new official GitHub Action cargo-generate.

Here an example:

tree .github
.github
└── workflows
    └── build.yml

The content of build.yml as a paste template:

name: Build Template
on:
  # https://docs.github.com/en/actions/reference/events-that-trigger-workflows#workflow_dispatch
  workflow_dispatch:
  schedule:
    - cron: '0 18 * * 5'
  push:
    branches: [ '*' ]
    paths-ignore:
      - "**/docs/**"
      - "**.md"

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    env:
      PROJECT_NAME: mytemplate
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: cargo-generate/cargo-generate-action@v0.9.0
        with:
          name: ${{ env.PROJECT_NAME }}
      - uses: actions-rs/toolchain@v1
        with:
          toolchain: stable
      # we need to move the generated project to a temp folder, away from the template project
      # otherwise `cargo` runs would fail 
      # see https://github.com/rust-lang/cargo/issues/9922
      - run: |
          mv $PROJECT_NAME ${{ runner.temp }}/
          cd ${{ runner.temp }}/$PROJECT_NAME
          cargo build --release

So here you got a very simple little pipeline that builds scheduled (weekly) and on push. It processes your template repo and runs a cargo build --release as the final step. That's it, a good start to build on.

Cargo gen - alias

cargo gen requires a cargo alias to be configured in your $HOME/.cargo/config like this:

[alias]
gen = "generate"

License

Licensed under either of

at your option.

Contribution

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions. If you want to contribute to cargo-generate, please read our CONTRIBUTING notes.

Dependencies

~22MB
~499K SLoC