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Documentation | Getting Started | Example

Build Status Hex.pm package version Crates.io package version Last Updated

Rustler is a library for writing Erlang NIFs in safe Rust code. That means there should be no ways to crash the BEAM (Erlang VM). The library provides facilities for generating the boilerplate for interacting with the BEAM, handles encoding and decoding of Erlang terms, and catches rust panics before they unwind into C.

The library provides functionality for both Erlang and Elixir, however Elixir is favored as of now.


Safety : The code you write in a Rust NIF should never be able to crash the BEAM.

Interop : Decoding and encoding rust values into Erlang terms is as easy as a function : call.

Type composition : Making a Rust struct encodable and decodable to Erlang or Elixir can be done : with a single attribute.

Resource objects : Enables you to safely pass a reference to a Rust struct into Erlang code. The : struct will be automatically dropped when it's no longer referenced.

Getting started

The easiest way of getting started is the rustler Elixir library.

  • Add the rustler Elixir library as a dependency of your project.
  • Run mix rustler.new to generate a new NIF in your project. Follow the instructions.
  • If you are already using serde and/or have been using serde_rustler before, please enable the serde feature in your NIF crate's Cargo.toml on the rustler dependency.

What it looks like

This is the code for a minimal NIF that adds two numbers and returns the result.

fn add(a: i64, b: i64) -> i64 {
    a + b


Minimal Supported Rust Version (MSRV)

Rustler currently has a minimal supported Rust version (MSRV) of 1.56.1. This is the configured version in .clippy.toml.

Supported OTP and Elixir Versions

Rustler aims to support the newest three major OTP versions as well as newest three minor Elixir versions.

Supported NIF version

The minimal supported NIF version for a library should be defined via Cargo features. The default is currently 2.15 (Erlang/OTP 21). To use features from NIF version 2.16 (Erlang/OTP 24) or 2.17 (Erlang/OTP 26), the respective feature flag has to be enabled on the dependency:

rustler = { version = "...", features = ["nif_version_2_16"] }


You can find us in the #rustler:matrix.org channel on Matrix or in the #rustler channel in the Elixir lang Slack.


Licensed under either of

at your option.


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.


Low level Rust bindings to the Erlang NIF API.