#websocket #tokio #stream #async #futures


Provide AsyncRead/AsyncWrite over Tungstenite WebSockets

7 releases

✓ Uses Rust 2018 edition

0.2.0 Jun 9, 2020
0.1.0 Mar 21, 2020
0.1.0-alpha.5 Nov 14, 2019
0.1.0-alpha.4 Oct 7, 2019
0.1.0-alpha.2 Sep 17, 2019

#99 in Asynchronous

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standard-readme compliant Build Status Docs crates.io

Provide an AsyncRead/Write/AsyncBufRead over websockets that can be framed with a codec.

This crate provides AsyncRead/AsyncWrite/AsyncBufRead over async-tungstenite websockets. It mainly enables working with rust wasm code and communicating over a framed stream of bytes. This crate provides the functionality for non-WASM targets (eg. server side). There is a WASM version available here for the client side.

There are currently 2 versions of the AsyncRead/Write traits. The futures-rs version and the tokio version. You need to enable the features tokio_io if you want the tokio version of the traits implemented.

You might wonder, why not just serialize your struct and send it in websocket messages. First of all, on wasm there wasn't a convenient websocket rust crate before I released ws_stream_wasm, even without AsyncRead/AsyncWrite. Next, this allows you to keep your code generic by just taking AsyncRead/AsyncWrite instead of adapting it to a specific protocol like websockets, which is especially useful in library crates. Furthermore you don't need to deal with the quirks of a websocket protocol and library. This just works almost like any other async byte stream (exception: closing the connection). There is a little bit of extra overhead due to this indirection, but it should be small.

ws_stream_tungstenite works on top of async-tungstenite, so you will have to use the API from async-tungstenite to setup your connection and pass the WebSocketStream to [WsStream].

Table of Contents


With cargo add: cargo add ws_stream_tungstenite

With cargo yaml:


  ws_stream_tungstenite: ^0.2

With raw Cargo.toml


   ws_stream_tungstenite = "0.2"


Please check out the changelog when upgrading.


This crate has few dependencies. Cargo will automatically handle it's dependencies for you.


This crate uses #![ forbid( unsafe_code ) ], but our dependencies don't.

Make sure your codecs have a max message size.


The tokio_io features enables implementing the AsyncRead and AsyncWrite traits from tokio.


Please have a look in the examples directory of the repository.

The integration tests are also useful.


This is the most basic idea (for client code):

   ws_stream_tungstenite :: { *                                    } ,
   futures               :: { StreamExt                            } ,
   log                   :: { *                                    } ,
   async_tungstenite     :: { accept_async                         } ,
   futures_codec         :: { LinesCodec, Framed                   } ,
   async_std             :: { net::TcpListener                     } ,

#[ async_std::main ]
async fn main() -> Result<(), std::io::Error>
   let     socket      = TcpListener::bind( "" ).await?;
   let mut connections = socket.incoming();

   let tcp = connections.next().await.expect( "1 connection" ).expect( "tcp connect" );
   let s   = accept_async( tcp ).await.expect( "ws handshake" );
   let ws  = WsStream::new( s );

   // ws here is observable with pharos to detect non fatal errors and ping/close events, which cannot
   // be represented in the AsyncRead/Write API. See the events example in the repository.

   let (_sink, mut stream) = Framed::new( ws, LinesCodec {} ).split();

   while let Some( msg ) = stream.next().await
      let msg = match msg
         Err(e) =>
            error!( "Error on server stream: {:?}", e );

            // Errors returned directly through the AsyncRead/Write API are fatal, generally an error on the underlying
            // transport.

         Ok(m) => m,

      info!( "server received: {}", msg.trim() );

      // ... do something useful

   // safe to drop the TCP connection


How to close a connection

The websocket RFC specifies the close handshake, summarized as follows:

  • when an endpoint wants to close the connection, it sends a close frame and after that it sends no more data. Since the other endpoint might still be sending data, it's best to continue processing incoming data, until:
  • the remote sends an acknowledgment of the close frame.
  • after an endpoint has both sent and received a close frame, the connection is considered closed and the server is to close the underlying TCP connection. The client can chose to close it if the server doesn't in a timely manner.

Properly closing the connection with ws_stream_tungstenite is pretty simple. If the remote endpoint initiates the close, just polling the stream will make sure the connection is kept until the handshake is finished. When the stream returns None, you're good to drop it.

If you want to initiate the close, call close on the sink. From then on, the situation is identical to above. Just poll the stream until it returns None and you're good to go.

Tungstenite will return None on the client only when the server closes the underlying connection, so it will make sure you respect the websocket protocol.

If you initiate the close handshake, you might want to race a timeout and drop the connection if the remote endpoint doesn't finish the close handshake in a timely manner. See the close.rs example in examples directory of the repository for how to do that.

Error handling

ws_stream_tungstenite is about AsyncRead/AsyncWrite, so we only accept binary messages. If we receive a websocket text message, that's considered a protocol error.

For detailed instructions, please have a look at the API docs for [WsStream]. Especially at the impls for AsyncRead/AsyncWrite, which detail all possible errors you can get.

Since AsyncRead/AsyncWrite only allow std::io::Error to be returned and on the stream some errors might not be fatal, but codecs will often consider any error to be fatal, errors are returned out of band through pharos. You should observe the WsStream and in the very least log any errors that are reported.


  • No API is provided to send out Ping messages. Solving this would imply making a WsMeta type like ws_stream_wasm.
  • Received text messages are considered an error. Another option we could consider is to return these to client code out of band rather than including them in the data for AsyncRead/AsyncWrite. This is also inconsistent with ws_stream_wasm which calls to_bytes on them and includes the bytes in the bytestream.


Api documentation can be found on docs.rs.


The reference documents for understanding websockets and how the browser handles them are:


Please check out the contribution guidelines.


cargo test --all-features

Code of conduct

Any of the behaviors described in point 4 "Unacceptable Behavior" of the Citizens Code of Conduct are not welcome here and might get you banned. If anyone including maintainers and moderators of the project fail to respect these/your limits, you are entitled to call them out.




~121K SLoC