[][src]Module snafu::guide::the_macro

Details about the output of the Snafu macro

This procedural macro:

  • produces the corresponding context selectors
  • implements the Error trait
  • implements the Display trait
  • implements the ErrorCompat trait

Detailed example

use snafu::{Backtrace, Snafu};
use std::path::PathBuf;

#[derive(Debug, Snafu)]
enum Error {
    #[snafu(display("Could not open config at {}: {}", filename.display(), source))]
    OpenConfig {
        filename: PathBuf,
        source: std::io::Error,
    #[snafu(display("Could not open config: {}", "source"))]
    SaveConfig { source: std::io::Error },
    #[snafu(display("The user id {} is invalid", user_id))]
    UserIdInvalid { user_id: i32, backtrace: Backtrace },

Generated code

Note — The actual generated code may differ in exact names and details. This section is only intended to provide general guidance.

Context selectors

This will generate three additional types called context selectors:

This example is not tested
struct OpenConfig<P> { filename: P }
struct SaveConfig<P>;
struct UserIdInvalid<I> { user_id: I }


  1. One context selector is created for each enum variant.
  2. The name of the selector is the same as the enum variant's name.
  3. The source and backtrace fields have been removed; the library will automatically handle this for you.
  4. Each remaining field's type has been replaced with a generic type.
  5. If there are no fields remaining for the user to specify, the selector will not require curly braces.

If the original variant had a source field, its context selector will have an implementation of IntoError:

This example is not tested
impl<P> IntoError<Error> for OpenConfig<P>
    P: Into<PathBuf>,

Otherwise, the context selector will have an inherent method fail and can be used with the ensure macro:

This example is not tested
impl<I> UserIdInvalid<I>
    I: Into<i32>,
    fn fail<T>(self) -> Result<T, Error> { /* ... */ }

If the original variant had a backtrace field, the backtrace will be automatically constructed when either IntoError or fail are called.


Error::source will return the underlying error, if there is one:

This example is not tested
impl std::error::Error for Error {
    fn source(&self) -> Option<&(dyn Error + 'static)> {
        match self {
            Error::OpenConfig { source, .. } => Some(source),
            Error::SaveConfig { source, .. } => Some(source),
            Error::UserIdInvalid { .. } => None,

Error::cause will return the same as source. As Error::description is soft-deprecated, it will return a string matching the name of the variant.


Every field of the enum variant is made available to the format string, even if they are not used:

This example is not tested
impl std::fmt::Display for Error {
    fn fmt(&self, f: &mut fmt::Formatter ) -> fmt::Result {
        match self {
            Error::OpenConfig { filename, source } =>
                write!(f, "Could not open config at {}: {}", filename.display(), source),
            Error::SaveConfig { source } =>
                write!(f, "Could not open config: {}", source),
            Error::UserIdInvalid { user_id, backtrace } =>
                write!(f, "The user id {} is invalid", user_id),

If no display format is specified, the variant's name will be used by default. If the field is an underlying error, that error's Display implementation will also be included.


Every variant that carries a backtrace will return a reference to that backtrace.

This example is not tested
impl snafu::ErrorCompat for Error {
    fn backtrace(&self) -> Option<&Backtrace> {
        match self {
            Error::OpenConfig { .. } => None,
            Error::SaveConfig { .. } => None,
            Error::UserIdInvalid { backtrace, .. } => Some(backtrace),