Crate libffi[][src]

Expand description

Rust bindings for libffi.

The C libffi library provides two main facilities: assembling calls to functions dynamically, and creating closures that can be called as ordinary C functions. In Rust, the latter means that we can turn a Rust lambda (or any object implementing Fn/FnMut) into an ordinary C function pointer that we can pass as a callback to C.

The easiest way to use this library is via the high layer module, but more flexibility (and less checking) is provided by the middle and low layers.


Building libffi will build lifbffi-sys, which will in turn build the libffi C library from github, which requires that you have a working make, C compiler, automake, and autoconf first. It’s on, so you can add

libffi = "2.0.0"

This crate depends on the libffi-sys crate, which by default attempts to build its own version of the C libffi library. In order to use your system’s C libffi instead, enable this crate’s system feature in your Cargo.toml:

libffi = { version = "2.0.0", features = ["system"] }

See the libffi-sys documentation for more information about how it finds C libffi.

This crate supports Rust version 1.36 and later.


This library is organized in four layers, each of which attempts to provide more safety and a simpler interface than the next layer down. From top to bottom:

  • The high layer provides safe(?) and automatic marshalling of Rust closures into C function pointers.
  • The middle layer provides memory-managed abstractions for assembling calls and closures, but is unsafe because it doesn’t check argument types.
  • The low layer makes no attempts at safety, but provides a more idiomatically “Rusty” API than the underlying C library.
  • The raw layer is a re-export of the libffi-sys crate, a direct mapping of the C libffi library into Rust, generated by bindgen.

It should be possible to use any layer without dipping into lower layers (and it will be considered a bug to the extent that it isn’t).


In this example, we convert a Rust lambda containing a free variable into an ordinary C code pointer. The type of fun below is extern "C" fn(u64, u64) -> u64.

use libffi::high::Closure2;

let x = 5u64;
let f = |y: u64, z: u64| x + y + z;

let closure = Closure2::new(&f);
let fun     = closure.code_ptr();

assert_eq!(18,, 7));


High layer providing automatic marshalling of Rust closures as C function pointers.

A low-level wrapping of libffi, this layer makes no attempts at safety, but tries to provide a somewhat more idiomatic interface.

Middle layer providing a somewhat safer (but still quite unsafe) API.

Raw definitions imported from the C library (via bindgen).


Performs a dynamic call to a C function.