4 releases (1 stable)

Uses old Rust 2015

1.3.1 Feb 19, 2021
1.3.0 Jul 22, 2019
1.2.0 Jul 7, 2018
1.1.0 Jun 16, 2018
0.1.1 Apr 29, 2018

#181 in Memory management

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A Rust library providing a stack-like memory allocator with double-ended allocation support.

Latest Version Released API docs MIT/Apache-2.0 licensed Rustc Version 1.25+ Build Status

Note: scratchpad is currently in maintenance mode. I've been considering doing a major cleanup for some time to get rid of extraneous functionality and reduce the surface area of unsafe code, but there is currently no timeline for this. I'll still apply fixes as needed, but development has otherwise stalled.

Scratchpad provides a method for quick and safe dynamic allocations of arbitrary types without relying on the global heap (e.g. using Box or Vec). Allocations are made from a fixed-size region of memory in a stack-like fashion using two separate stacks (one for each end of the allocation buffer) to allow different types of allocations with independent lifecycles to be made from each end.

Such allocators are commonly used in game development, but are also useful in general for short-lived allocations or groups of allocations that share a common lifetime. While not quite as flexible as heap allocations, allocations from a stack allocator are usually much faster and are isolated from the rest of the heap, reducing memory fragmentation.

Features include:

  • User-defined backing storage of data (static arrays, boxed slices, or mutable slice references).
  • Allocation of any data type from any scratchpad instance.
  • Ability to combine allocations that are adjacent in memory or add to the most recently created allocation.
  • Double-ended allocation support (allocations from the "front" are separate from the "back", but share the same memory pool).
  • Use of lifetimes to prevent dangling references to allocated data.
  • Low runtime overhead.
  • Support for no_std usage.


Add this to your Cargo.toml:

scratchpad = "1.3"

For Rust 2015 code, also add this to your crate root:

extern crate scratchpad;

Rust Version Support

The minimum supported Rust version is 1.25 due to use of NonNull<T> and the repr(align) attribute.

no_std Support

scratchpad doesn't require the Rust standard library, although it makes use of it by default (via the std crate feature) to provide support for use of Box and Vec in various places. For no_std support, the std feature must be disabled in your Cargo.toml:

scratchpad = { version = "1.3", default-features = false }

Box and Vec support is still available for no_std builds by enabling the alloc feature, which uses the alloc crate directly:

scratchpad = { version = "1.3", default-features = false, features = ["alloc"] }

The alloc feature requires Rust 1.36.0 or later. Older versions of the nightly toolchain can still use Box and Vec in no_std code via the unstable feature.

Unstable Features

The unstable crate feature provides some additional functionality when using a nightly toolchain:

  • Declaration of the function Scratchpad::new() as const.
  • Support for various features that were still unstable with legacy Rust releases:
    • Box and Vec support for no_std code (enabled without the unstable feature when using Rust 1.36.0 or later with the alloc feature enabled).
    • ByteData trait implementations for u128 and i128 (enabled without the unstable feature when using Rust 1.26.0 or later).
    • ByteData trait implementation for all std::mem::MaybeUninit types wrapping other ByteData types (enabled without the unstable feature when using Rust 1.36.0 or later).

Simply add the unstable feature to your Cargo.toml dependency:

scratchpad = { version = "1.3", features = ["unstable"] }


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.