#unix-socket #tcp-socket #sockets #binding #unix #systemd


Automates parsing and binding to TCP, Unix sockets and Windows Named Pipes

8 releases (3 stable)

2.0.0 Mar 24, 2024
1.1.0 Nov 9, 2022
1.0.1 Sep 8, 2022
0.3.1 May 23, 2022
0.1.1 Apr 22, 2022

#185 in Network programming

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Used in 3 crates (2 directly)


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Provides a way for servers and clients to describe their service bindings and client endpoints in a structured format.

This crate automates parsing and binding to TCP sockets, Unix sockets and Windows Named Pipes.

By design this crate has no dependencies other than what is in std.

Supported schemes

Currently the crate supports parsing strings of the following formats:

  • tcp://ip:port (e.g. tcp:// - TCP sockets,
  • unix://path (e.g. unix:///run/user/1000/test.sock) - Unix domain sockets,
  • fd:// - systemd Socket Activation protocol (returns a Unix domain socket),
  • \\path (e.g. \\.\pipe\test) for Windows Named Pipes.


Simple parsing

use service_binding::{Binding, Listener};

let host = "tcp://"; // or "unix:///tmp/socket"

let binding: Binding = host.parse().unwrap();

match binding.try_into().unwrap() {
    Listener::Unix(listener) => {
        // bind to a unix domain socket
    Listener::Tcp(listener) => {
        // bind to a TCP socket
    Listener::NamedPipe(pipe) => {
        // bind to a Windows Named Pipe

Web server

The following example uses clap and actix-web and makes it possible to run the server using any combination of Unix domain sockets (including systemd socket activation) and regular TCP socket bound to a TCP port:

use actix_web::{web, App, HttpServer, Responder};
use clap::Parser;
use service_binding::{Binding, Listener};

#[derive(Parser, Debug)]
struct Args {
        env = "HOST",
        short = 'H',
        default_value = "tcp://"
    host: Binding,

async fn greet() -> impl Responder {

async fn main() -> std::io::Result<()> {
    let server = HttpServer::new(move || {
        App::new().route("/", web::get().to(greet))

    match Args::parse().host.try_into()? {
        Listener::Unix(listener) => server.listen_uds(listener),
        Listener::Tcp(listener) => server.listen(listener),
        _ => Err(std::io::Error::other("Unsupported listener type")),

systemd Socket Activation

This crate also supports systemd's Socket Activation. If the argument to be parsed is fd:// the Listener object returned will be a Unix variant containing the listener provided by systemd.

For example the following file defines a socket unit: ~/.config/systemd/user/app.socket:



When enabled it will create a new socket file in $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR directory. When this socket is connected to systemd will start the service; fd:// reads the correct systemd environment variable and returns the Unix domain socket.

The service unit file ~/.config/systemd/user/app.service:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/app -H fd://


This project is licensed under either of:

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in this crate by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.

No runtime deps