Crate binread[][src]

Expand description

A Rust crate for helping parse binary data using ✨macro magic✨.


#[br(magic = b"DOG", assert(name.len() != 0))]
struct Dog {
    bone_pile_count: u8,

    #[br(big, count = bone_pile_count)]
    bone_piles: Vec<u16>,

    #[br(align_before = 0xA)]
    name: NullString

let mut reader = Cursor::new(b"DOG\x02\x00\x01\x00\x12\0\0Rudy\0");
let dog: Dog = reader.read_ne().unwrap();
assert_eq!(dog.bone_piles, &[0x1, 0x12]);
assert_eq!(, "Rudy")

The Basics

At the core of binread is the BinRead trait. It defines how to read a type from bytes and is already implemented for most primitives and simple collections.

use binread::{BinRead, io::Cursor};

let mut reader = Cursor::new(b"\0\0\0\x01");
let val = u32::read(&mut reader).unwrap();

However, read is intentionally simple and, as a result, doesn’t even allow you to configure the byte order. For that you need read_options which, while more powerful, isn’t exactly ergonomics.

So, as a balance between ergonomics and configurability you have the BinReaderExt trait. It is an extension for readers to allow for you to directly read any BinRead types from any reader.


use binread::{BinReaderExt, io::Cursor};

let mut reader = Cursor::new(b"\x00\x0A");
let val: u16 = reader.read_be().unwrap();
assert_eq!(val, 10);

It even works for tuples and arrays of BinRead types for up to size 32.

Derive Macro

The most significant feature of binread is its ability to use the Derive macro to implement BinRead for your own types. This allows you to replace repetitive imperative code with declarative struct definitions for your binary data parsing.

Basic Derive Example

struct MyType {
    first: u32,
    second: u32

// Also works with tuple types!
struct MyType2(u32, u32);


The BinRead derive macro uses attributes in order to allow for more complicated parsers. For example you can use big or little at either the struct-level or the field-level in order to override the byte order of values.

struct MyType (
    #[br(big)] u32, // will be big endian
    u32, // will be little endian

The order of precedence is: (from highest to lowest)

  1. Field-level
  2. Variant-level (for enums)
  3. Top-level
  4. Configured (i.e. what endianess was passed in)
  5. Native endianess

For a list of attributes see the attribute module


The BinRead derive macro also allows for generic parsing. That way you can build up higher-level parsers that can have their type swapped out to allow greater reuse of code.

struct U32CountVec<T: BinRead<Args=()>> {
    count: u32,
    #[br(count = count)]
    data: Vec<T>,

In order to parse generically, we have to (in some way) bound Args. The easiest way to do this is to bound <T as BinRead>::Args to () (no arguments), however it is also possible to either accept a specific set of arguments or be generic over the given arguments.


  • const_generics - Change array BinRead implementation to use const generics
  • std - Disable this feature to enable no_std support, on by default


A documentation-only module for the possible directives used in #[br] and #[binread] attributes.

An enum to represent what endianness to read as

Error types and internal error handling functions

A wrapper type for representing a layer of indirection within a file.

A swappable version of std::io that works in no_std + alloc environments. If the feature flag std is enabled (as it is by default), this will just re-export types from std::io.

The collection of traits and types you’ll likely need when working with binread and are unlikely to cause name conflicts.

A module for Punctuated<T, P>, a series of items to parse of type T separated by punction of type P.


A wrapper type for representing a layer of indirection within a file.

A null terminated UTF-8 string designed to make reading any null-terminated data easier.

A null terminated UTF-16 string designed to make reading any 16 bit wide null-terminated data easier.

A wrapper where the position it was read from is stored alongside the value

Runtime-configured options for reading the type using BinRead


An enum to represent what endianness to read as

An error while parsing a BinRead type


A BinRead trait allows reading a structure from anything that implements io::Read and io::Seek BinRead is implemented on the type to be read out of the given reader

An extension trait for io::Read to provide methods for reading a value directly


A helper equivelant to #[br(count = N)] which can be used with any collection.

Read items until a condition is met. The final item will be included.

Read items until the end of the file is hit.

Read items until a condition is met. The last item will not be named.

Type Definitions

A Result for any binread function that can return an error

Type alias for 8-bit pointers

Type alias for 16-bit pointers

Type alias for 32-bit pointers

Type alias for 64-bit pointers

Type alias for 128-bit pointers

Attribute Macros

Equivalent to derive(BinRead) but allows for temporary variables.

Derive Macros

Derive macro for BinRead. Usage here.