[][src]Module async_std::stream

Composable asynchronous iteration.

This module is an async version of std::iter.

If you've found yourself with an asynchronous collection of some kind, and needed to perform an operation on the elements of said collection, you'll quickly run into 'streams'. Streams are heavily used in idiomatic asynchronous Rust code, so it's worth becoming familiar with them.

Before explaining more, let's talk about how this module is structured:


This module is largely organized by type:

  • Traits are the core portion: these traits define what kind of streams exist and what you can do with them. The methods of these traits are worth putting some extra study time into.
  • Functions provide some helpful ways to create some basic streams.
  • Structs are often the return types of the various methods on this module's traits. You'll usually want to look at the method that creates the struct, rather than the struct itself. For more detail about why, see 'Implementing Stream'.

That's it! Let's dig into streams.


The heart and soul of this module is the Stream trait. The core of Stream looks like this:

trait Stream {
    type Item;
    fn poll_next(self: Pin<&mut Self>, cx: &mut Context<'_>) -> Poll<Option<Self::Item>>;

A stream has a method, next, which when called, returns an Poll<Option<Item>>. next will return Ready(Some(Item)) as long as there are elements, and once they've all been exhausted, will return None to indicate that iteration is finished. If we're waiting on something asynchronous to resolve Pending is returned.

Individual streams may choose to resume iteration, and so calling next again may or may not eventually start returning Ready(Some(Item)) again at some point.

Stream's full definition includes a number of other methods as well, but they are default methods, built on top of next, and so you get them for free.

Streams are also composable, and it's common to chain them together to do more complex forms of processing. See the Adapters section below for more details.

The three forms of streaming

There are three common methods which can create streams from a collection:

  • stream(), which iterates over &T.
  • stream_mut(), which iterates over &mut T.
  • into_stream(), which iterates over T.

Various things in async-std may implement one or more of the three, where appropriate.

Implementing Stream

Creating a stream of your own involves two steps: creating a struct to hold the stream's state, and then implementing Stream for that struct. This is why there are so many structs in this module: there is one for each stream and iterator adapter.

Let's make a stream named Counter which counts from 1 to 5:

// First, the struct:

/// A stream which counts from one to five
struct Counter {
    count: usize,

// we want our count to start at one, so let's add a new() method to help.
// This isn't strictly necessary, but is convenient. Note that we start
// `count` at zero, we'll see why in `next()`'s implementation below.
impl Counter {
    fn new() -> Counter {
        Counter { count: 0 }

// Then, we implement `Stream` for our `Counter`:

impl Stream for Counter {
    // we will be counting with usize
    type Item = usize;

    // poll_next() is the only required method
    fn poll_next(mut self: Pin<&mut Self>, cx: &mut Context<'_>) -> Poll<Option<Self::Item>> {
        // Increment our count. This is why we started at zero.
        self.count += 1;

        // Check to see if we've finished counting or not.
        if self.count < 6 {
        } else {

// And now we can use it!
let mut counter = Counter::new();

let x = counter.next().await.unwrap();
println!("{}", x);

let x = counter.next().await.unwrap();
println!("{}", x);

let x = counter.next().await.unwrap();
println!("{}", x);

let x = counter.next().await.unwrap();
println!("{}", x);

let x = counter.next().await.unwrap();
println!("{}", x);

This will print 1 through 5, each on their own line.

Calling next().await this way gets repetitive. Rust has a construct which can call next() on your stream, until it reaches None. Let's go over that next.

while let Loops and IntoStream

Rust's while let loop syntax is an idiomatic way to iterate over streams. Here's a basic example of while let:

let mut values = stream::repeat(1u8).take(5);

while let Some(x) = values.next().await {
    println!("{}", x);

This will print the numbers one through five, each on their own line. But you'll notice something here: we never called anything on our vector to produce a stream. What gives?

There's a trait in the standard library for converting something into an stream: IntoStream. This trait has one method, into_stream, which converts the thing implementing IntoStream into a stream.

Unlike std::iter::IntoIterator, IntoStream does not have compiler support yet. This means that automatic conversions like with for loops doesn't occur yet, and into_stream will always have to be called manually.


Functions which take an Stream and return another Stream are often called 'stream adapters', as they are a form of the 'adapter pattern'.

Common stream adapters include map, take, and filter. For more, see their documentation.


Streams (and stream adapters) are lazy. This means that just creating a stream doesn't do a whole lot. Nothing really happens until you call next. This is sometimes a source of confusion when creating a stream solely for its side effects. For example, the map method calls a closure on each element it iterates over:

let v = stream::repeat(1u8).take(5);
v.map(|x| println!("{}", x));

This will not print any values, as we only created a stream, rather than using it. The compiler will warn us about this kind of behavior:

warning: unused result that must be used: streams are lazy and
do nothing unless consumed

The idiomatic way to write a map for its side effects is to use a while let loop instead:

let mut v = stream::repeat(1u8).take(5);

while let Some(x) = &v.next().await {
    println!("{}", x);

The two most common ways to evaluate a stream are to use a while let loop like this, or using the collect method to produce a new collection.


Streams do not have to be finite. As an example, an repeat stream is an infinite stream:

let numbers = stream::repeat(1u8);

It is common to use the take stream adapter to turn an infinite stream into a finite one:

let numbers = stream::repeat(1u8);
let mut five_numbers = numbers.take(5);

while let Some(number) = five_numbers.next().await {
    println!("{}", number);

This will print the numbers 0 through 4, each on their own line.

Bear in mind that methods on infinite streams, even those for which a result can be determined mathematically in finite time, may not terminate. Specifically, methods such as min, which in the general case require traversing every element in the stream, are likely not to return successfully for any infinite streams.

This example is not tested
let ones = async_std::stream::repeat(1);
let least = ones.min().await.unwrap(); // Oh no! An infinite loop!
// `ones.min()` causes an infinite loop, so we won't reach this point!
println!("The smallest number one is {}.", least);



A stream that chains two streams one after another.


A stream that clones the elements of an underlying stream.


A stream that copies the elements of an underlying stream.


A stream that doesn't yield any items.


A stream to filter elements of another stream with a predicate.


A stream that maps each element to a stream, and yields the elements of the produced streams.


A stream that flattens one level of nesting in an stream of things that can be turned into streams.


A stream that yields elements by calling a closure.


A stream that was created from iterator.


A stream that yields None forever after the underlying stream yields None once.


A stream that does something with each element of another stream.


A stream representing notifications at fixed interval


A stream that maps value of another stream with a function.


A stream that merges two other streams into a single stream.


A stream that yields a single item.


A stream that never returns any items.


A stream that yields the same item repeatedly.


A stream that repeats elements of type T endlessly by applying a provided closure.


A stream to maintain state while polling another stream.


A stream to skip first n elements of another stream.


A stream to skip elements of another stream based on a predicate.


A stream that steps a given amount of elements of another stream.


A stream that yields elements by calling an async closure with the previous value as an argument


A stream that yields the first n items of another stream.


A stream that yields elements based on a predicate.


A stream with timeout time set


An error returned when a stream times out.


A stream that takes items from two other streams simultaneously.



A stream able to yield elements from both ends.


A stream that knows its exact length.


Extends a collection with the contents of a stream.


Conversion from a Stream.


A stream that always continues to yield None when exhausted.


Conversion into a Stream.


Trait to represent types that can be created by multiplying the elements of a stream.


An asynchronous stream of values.


Extension methods for Stream.


Trait to represent types that can be created by summing up a stream.



Creates a stream that doesn't yield any items.


Extends a collection with the contents of a stream.


Creates a new stream where to produce each new element a provided closure is called.


Converts an iterator into a stream.


Creates a new stream that yields at a set interval.


Creates a stream that yields a single item.


Creates a stream that never returns any items.


Creates a stream that yields the same item repeatedly.


Creates a new stream that repeats elements of type A endlessly by applying the provided closure.


Creates a new stream where to produce each new element a closure is called with the previous value.