#graceful-shutdown #shutdown #tokio #subsystem #perform #error #service


Utilities to perform a graceful shutdown on a Tokio based service

1 unstable release

0.6.0 Mar 20, 2022

#721 in Asynchronous


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This crate provides utility functions to perform a graceful shutdown on tokio-rs based services.

Specifically, it provides:

  • Listening for shutdown requests from within subsystems
  • Manual shutdown initiation from within subsystems
  • Automatic shutdown on
    • Subsystem failure
    • Subsystem panic
  • Clean shutdown procedure with timeout and error propagation
  • Subsystem nesting
  • Partial shutdown of a selected subsystem tree

Usage Example

async fn subsys1(subsys: SubsystemHandle) -> Result<()>
    log::info!("Subsystem1 started.");
    log::info!("Subsystem1 stopped.");

This shows a very basic asynchronous subsystem that simply starts, waits for the program shutdown to be triggered, and then stops itself.

This subsystem can now be executed like this:

async fn main() -> Result<()> {
        .start("Subsys1", subsys1)

The Toplevel object is the root object of the subsystem tree. Subsystems can then be started using the start() functionality of the toplevel object.

The catch_signals() method signals the Toplevel object to listen for SIGINT/SIGTERM/Ctrl+C and initiate a shutdown thereafter.

handle_shutdown_requests() is the final and most important method of Toplevel. It idles until the program enters the shutdown mode. Then, it collects all the return values of the subsystems and determines the global error state, and makes sure shutdown completes within the given timeout. Lastly, it returns an error value that can be directly used as a return code for main().

Further examples can be seen in the examples folder.


To use this library in your project, add the following to the [dependencies] section of Cargo.toml:

tokio-graceful-shutdown = "0.5"

To run one of the examples (here 01_normal_shutdown.rs), simply enter the repository folder and execute:

cargo run --example 01_normal_shutdown


Performing a graceful shutdown on an asynchronous program is a non-trivial problem. There are several solutions, but they all have their drawbacks:

  • Global cancellation by forking with tokio::select. This is a wide-spread solution, but has the drawback that the cancelled tasks cannot react to it, so it's impossible for them to shut down gracefully.

  • Forking with tokio::spawn and signalling the desire to shutdown running tasks with mechanisms like tokio::CancellationToken. This allows tasks to shut down gracefully, but requires a lot of boilerplate code, like

    • Passing the tokens to the tasks
    • Waiting for the tasks to finish
    • Implementing a timeout mechanism to prevent hangs
    • Collecting subsystem return values
    • Making sure that subsystem errors get handled correctly

    If then further functionality is required, as listening for signals like SIGINT or SIGTERM, the boilerplate code becomes quite messy.

And this is exactly what this crate aims to provide: clean abstractions to all this boilerplate code.


Contributions are welcome!

I primarily wrote this crate for my own convenience, so any ideas for improvements are greatly appreciated.


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