Appendix VIII. Debugging Rust

Debugging Rust code can be seen on three different levels:

  1. Write Rustic code, making full use of the language and its expressive type system;
  2. Have good logging and metrics in place for your production infrastructure;
  3. Know your way around a debugger.

Underappreciated is point (1). Ensuring that impossible state and behavior is in fact impossible at compile team and thus guaranteed by the compiler is a big class of errors that you simply can no longer make and thus never have to debug. Using maker types and enums can help you a lot here.

Rust is also a typed language so ensuring to use the proper types and use them consistently, will also help avoid a big category of bugs. Similarly, you probably do not really ever want to unwrap/expect any of your library code and only do so at the very top level, as to avoid nasty edge cases at runtime.

That being said, sometimes things do go wrong. And debugging in production is not always fun. In fact, trying to reproduce rare scenarios locally is even less fun. For that you really want to ensure you know the right tools and crates to help you deal with point (2).

  • If you use Tokio then the tracing crate and its mini ecosystem will be your friend, to help you define logs, metrics and more.
    • The more data you have for your production infrastructure the easier it should be to spot potential issues that you didn't foresee but that you do clearly see in your logs and/or metrics;
    • If you really want to dive deep and also learn about its macros, a blog article like might help you get into that;
    • A blog article like might help you get started with Tracing in Rust, and introduce you to "Open Telemetry" in general.
  • If you do not use Tokio, then a crate like log is your best bet, and it will ensure that no matter what application makes use of your crate, will be able to consume your logs the way they want :)

A detailed overview of logging libraries that are available can be found in

Benchmarking can also be seen as part of debugging. Difference is that you are trying to solve performance issues rather than business logic ones. Divan is a framework that can help with this and which was originally announced at

Finally when shit really hits the fan, and you do not see what's wrong from metrics and logs (alone), you might need to grab a debugger. The book might be able to give you a good starting point. Articles such as might help you get started on debugging in case you are using VSCode for Rust, which is what plenty of people seem to use these days. There's also a Gist about it for VSCode at