Code Formatting

bindgen uses rustfmt to format the emitted bindings. This section describes how to adjust the rustfmt behavior when being used from bindgen.

Passing a rustfmt.toml configuration file

rustfmt should automatically use any rustfmt.toml file that is present in the directory from where bindgen will be run. If you want to use a configuration file that has a different name or that is in a different directory you can use the --rustfmt-configuration-file flag or the Builder::rustfmt_configuration_file method.

Using a nightly release of rustfmt

If the rustfmt command does not correspond to a nightly release of rustfmt but you have rustup available, you can use nightly by following these steps:

When using bindgen as a CLI application

Use rustup run to run bindgen:

$ rustup run nightly bindgen [ARGS]

When using bindgen as a library

Take the output of the following command:

$ rustup which rustfmt --toolchain=nightly

and pass it to Builder::with_rustfmt:

use bindgen::Builder;
use std::process::Command;

fn main() {
    let output = Command::new("rustup")
        .args(["which", "rustfmt", "--toolchain", "nightly"])
        .expect("Could not spawn `rustup` command");

        "Unsuccessful status code when running `rustup`: {:?}",

    let rustfmt_path =
        String::from_utf8(output.stdout).expect("The `rustfmt` path is not valid `utf-8`");

    let bindings = Builder::default()
        .expect("Could not generate bindings");

        .expect("Could not write bindings");

These two methods also apply to any other toolchain available in your system.

Using prettyplease

The prettyplease crate is a minimal formatter for generated code. To format bindings using prettyplease you have to invoke bindgen with either the --formatter=prettyplease flag or the bindgen::Builder::formatter(bindgen::Formatter::Prettyplease). One of its advantages is that prettyplease can be used in minimal environments where the Rust toolchain is not installed.

How can I normalize #[doc] attributes?

bindgen emits all the documentation using #[doc] attributes by default. If you want to use the more user-friendly /// syntax, you have two options:

Use rustfmt

rustfmt can be configured to normalize documentation. To do so, you have to create a rustfmt.toml file with the following contents:

normalize_doc_attributes = true

Then, you have set up bindgen so it passes this file to rustfmt. Given that the normalize_doc_attributes option is unstable, you also have to set up bindgen to use a nightly release of rustfmt.

Use prettyplease

prettyplease normalizes documentation without any additional configuration. Then you just have to tell bindgen to use prettyplease as the code formatter.