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A light HTTP framework for Rust, with REST-like features. The main purpose of Rustful is to create a simple, modular and non-intrusive foundation for HTTP applications. It has a mainly stateless structure, which naturally allows it to run both as one single server and as multiple instances in a cluster.

Some of the features are:

  • Generic response handlers. Just use a function or implement the Handler trait.
  • Some handy macros reduces the risk for typos and makes life easier.
  • Variables in routes, that can capture parts of the requested path.
  • Pluggable request and response filtering.

Online documentation.

Getting Started

Cargo.toml Entries

Add the following lines to your Cargo.toml file:

rustful = "0.9"

Cargo Features

Some parts of Rustful can be toggled using Cargo features:

  • rustc_json_body - Parse the request body as JSON. Enabled by default.
  • ssl - Enable SSL, and thereby HTTPS. Enabled by default.
  • multipart - Enable parsing of multipart/form-data requests. Enabled by default.

Using SSL

Rustful support SSL (HTTPS), but does not provide the actual SSL connection. It's however compatible with anything that's made for the same Hyper version, so all you have to do is find the one that suits your needs and plug it into the server:

let server_result = Server {
    handlers: router,
    host: 8080.into(),

Write Your Server

Here is a simple example of what a simple project could look like. Visit http://localhost:8080 or http://localhost:8080/Olivia (if your name is Olivia) to try it.

//Include macros to be able to use `insert_routes!`.
extern crate log;
extern crate env_logger;

extern crate rustful;

use std::error::Error;

use rustful::{Server, Context, Response, DefaultRouter};

fn say_hello(context: Context, response: Response) {
    //Get the value of the path variable `:person`, from below.
    let person = match context.variables.get("person") {
        Some(name) => name,
        None => "stranger".into()

    //Use the name from the path variable to say hello.
    response.send(format!("Hello, {}!", person));

fn main() {

    //Create a DefaultRouter and fill it with handlers.
    let mut router = DefaultRouter::<fn(Context, Response)>::new();|mut node| {
        //Handle requests for root...

        //...and one level below.
        //`:person` is a path variable and it will be accessible in the handler.

    //Build and run the server.
    let server_result = Server {
        handlers: router,

        //Turn a port number into an IPV4 host address ( in this case).
        host: 8080.into(),

        //Use default values for everything else.

    match server_result {
        Ok(_server) => {},
        Err(e) => error!("could not start server: {}", e.description())


Contributions are always welcome, even if it's a small typo fix (or maybe I should say "especially typo fixes"). You can fork the project and open a pull request with your changes, or create an issue if you just want to report or request something. Are you not sure about how to implement your change? Is it still a work in progress? Don't worry. You can still open a pull request where we can discuss it and do it step by step.

New features are as welcome as fixes, so pull requests and proposals with enhancements are very much appreciated, but please explain your feature and give a good motivation to why it should be included. It makes things much easier, both for reviewing the feature and for those who are not as familiar with how things work. You can always open an issue where we can discuss the feature and see if it should be included. Asking is better than assuming!


Rustful is tested on Linux, using Travis, and on Windows, using AppVeyor and a pull request will not be approved unless it passes these tests. It is therefore a good idea to run tests locally, before pushing your changes, so here is a small list of useful commands:

  • cargo test - Basic unit, documentation and compile tests.
  • cargo build --no-default-features - Check if the most minimal version of Rustful builds.
  • cargo build --no-default-features --features "feature1 feature2" - Check if Rustful with only feature1 and feature2 enabled builds.
  • cargo run --example example_name - check if the example example_name behaves as expected (see the example directory).

Travis and AppVeyor will run the tests with the strict feature enabled. This turns warnings and missing documentation into compile errors, which may be harsh, but it's for the sake of the user. Everything should have a description and it's not nice to see warnings from your dependencies when you are compiling your project, right? It's therefore recommend that you run your own tests with the strict feature enabled before pushing, just to see if you missed something.

Automatic Feature Testing

User facing Cargo features are automatically gathered from Cargo.toml and tested one at the time, using scripts/ The lack of public and private features forces us to use a special annotation to differ between internal and user facing feature. Here is an simple example snippet of how the Cargo.toml is expected to look:


default = ["feature_a", "feature_b"]
feature_a = ["feature_c"]
feature_b = []

feature_c = []



Features that are supposed to be available to the user has to be declared before the #internal comment. This will tell the test script that these are supposed to be tested.

Dependency libraries can also be features, so we have to annotate these as well. Each dependency that is supposed to work as a user facing feature will need a #feature comment somewhere within its declaration. This will only work with features that are declared using the above form, and not the feature_lib = { ... } form.


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.