Crate chacha20

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Implementation of the ChaCha family of stream ciphers.

Cipher functionality is accessed using traits from re-exported cipher crate.

ChaCha stream ciphers are lightweight and amenable to fast, constant-time implementations in software. It improves upon the previous Salsa design, providing increased per-round diffusion with no cost to performance.

This crate contains the following variants of the ChaCha20 core algorithm:

  • ChaCha20: standard IETF variant with 96-bit nonce
  • ChaCha8 / ChaCha12: reduced round variants of ChaCha20
  • XChaCha20: 192-bit extended nonce variant
  • XChaCha8 / XChaCha12: reduced round variants of XChaCha20
  • ChaCha20Legacy: “djb” variant with 64-bit nonce. WARNING: This implementation internally uses 32-bit counter, while the original implementation uses 64-bit counter. In other words, it does not allow encryption of more than 256 GiB of data.

⚠️ Security Warning: Hazmat!

This crate does not ensure ciphertexts are authentic, which can lead to serious vulnerabilities if used incorrectly!

If in doubt, use the chacha20poly1305 crate instead, which provides an authenticated mode on top of ChaCha20.



This diagram illustrates the ChaCha quarter round function. Each round consists of four quarter-rounds:


  • ⊞ add
  • ‹‹‹ rotate
  • ⊕ xor


use chacha20::ChaCha20;
// Import relevant traits
use chacha20::cipher::{KeyIvInit, StreamCipher, StreamCipherSeek};
use hex_literal::hex;

let key = [0x42; 32];
let nonce = [0x24; 12];
let plaintext = hex!("00010203 04050607 08090A0B 0C0D0E0F");
let ciphertext = hex!("e405626e 4f1236b3 670ee428 332ea20e");

// Key and IV must be references to the `GenericArray` type.
// Here we use the `Into` trait to convert arrays into it.
let mut cipher = ChaCha20::new(&key.into(), &nonce.into());

let mut buffer = plaintext.clone();

// apply keystream (encrypt)
cipher.apply_keystream(&mut buffer);
assert_eq!(buffer, ciphertext);

let ciphertext = buffer.clone();

// ChaCha ciphers support seeking;

// decrypt ciphertext by applying keystream again
cipher.apply_keystream(&mut buffer);
assert_eq!(buffer, plaintext);

// stream ciphers can be used with streaming messages;
for chunk in buffer.chunks_mut(3) {
assert_eq!(buffer, ciphertext);

Configuration Flags

You can modify crate using the following configuration flags:

  • chacha20_force_avx2: force AVX2 backend on x86/x86_64 targets. Requires enabled AVX2 target feature. Ignored on non-x86(-64) targets.
  • chacha20_force_neon: force NEON backend on ARM targets. Requires enabled NEON target feature. Ignored on non-ARM targets. Nightly-only.
  • chacha20_force_soft: force software backend.
  • chacha20_force_sse2: force SSE2 backend on x86/x86_64 targets. Requires enabled SSE2 target feature. Ignored on non-x86(-64) targets.

The flags can be enabled using RUSTFLAGS environmental variable (e.g. RUSTFLAGS="--cfg chacha20_force_avx2") or by modifying .cargo/config.

You SHOULD NOT enable several force flags simultaneously.




  • The HChaCha function: adapts the ChaCha core function in the same manner that HSalsa adapts the Salsa function.

Type Definitions

  • ChaCha8 stream cipher (reduced-round variant of ChaCha20 with 8 rounds)
  • ChaCha12 stream cipher (reduced-round variant of ChaCha20 with 12 rounds)
  • ChaCha20 stream cipher (RFC 8439 version with 96-bit nonce)
  • The ChaCha20 stream cipher (legacy “djb” construction with 64-bit nonce).
  • Key type used by all ChaCha variants.
  • Nonce type used by ChaCha20Legacy.
  • Nonce type used by ChaCha variants.
  • XChaCha8 stream cipher (reduced-round variant of XChaCha20 with 8 rounds)
  • XChaCha12 stream cipher (reduced-round variant of XChaCha20 with 12 rounds)
  • XChaCha is a ChaCha20 variant with an extended 192-bit (24-byte) nonce.
  • Nonce type used by XChaCha variants.