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Use enums with Diesel ORM
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diesel-derive-enum Build Status

Use Rust enums directly with diesel ORM.

Requires diesel v1.1+.

Example usage:


diesel-derive-enum = { version = "0.4", features = ["..."] } # "postgres", "mysql" or "sqlite"


// define your enum
pub enum MyEnum {
    Foo,  // All variants must be fieldless

// define your table
table! {
    use diesel::types::Integer;
    use super::MyEnumMapping;
    my_table {
        id -> Integer,
        some_enum -> MyEnumMapping, // Generated Diesel type - see below for explanation

// define a struct with which to populate/query the table
#[derive(Insertable, Queryable, Identifiable, Debug, PartialEq)]
#[table_name = "my_table"]
struct  MyRow {
    id: i32,
    some_enum: MyEnum,



-- by default the postgres ENUM values correspond to snake_cased Rust enum variant names
CREATE TYPE my_enum AS ENUM ('foo', 'bar', 'baz_quxx');

CREATE TABLE my_table (
  some_enum my_enum NOT NULL


CREATE TABLE my_table (
    my_enum enum('foo', 'bar', 'baz_quxx') NOT NULL  -- note: snake_case


CREATE TABLE my_table (
    my_enum TEXT CHECK(my_enum IN ('foo', 'bar', 'baz_quxx')) NOT NULL   -- note: snake_case

Now we can insert and retrieve MyEnum directly:

let data = vec![
    MyRow {
        id: 1,
        some_enum: MyEnum::Foo,
    MyRow {
        id: 2,
        some_enum: MyEnum::BazQuxx,
let connection = PgConnection::establish(/*...*/).unwrap();
let inserted = insert_into(my_table::table)
assert_eq!(data, inserted);

Postgres arrays work too! See this example.

Enums Explained

Enums work slightly differently in each of the three databases.

  • In Postgres, one declares an enum as a separate type within a schema, which may then be used in multiple tables. Internally, an enum value is encoded as an int (four bytes) and stored inline within a row - a much more efficient representation than a string.
  • MySQL is similar except the enum is not declared as a separate type and is 'local' to it's parent table. It is encoded as either one or two bytes.
  • sqlite does not have enums - in fact, it does not really have types; you can store any kind of data in any column. Instead we emulate static checking by adding the CHECK command, as per above. This does not give a more compact encoding but does ensure data integrity. Note that if you somehow retreive some other invalid text as an enum, diesel will error at the point of deserialization.

Type renaming

Diesel maintains a set of internal types which correspond one-to-one to the types available in various relational databases. Each internal type in turn maps to some kind of Rust native type. e.g. diesel::types::Integer maps to i32. So, when we create a new type in Postgres with CREATE TYPE ..., we must also create a corresponding type in Diesel, and then create a mapping to some native Rust type (our enum). Hence there are three types we need to be aware of.

By default, the Postgres and Diesel internal types are inferred from the name of the Rust enum. Specifically, we assume MyEnum corresponds to my_enum in Postgres and MyEnumMapping in Diesel. (The Diesel type is created by the plugin, the Postgres type must be created in SQL).

These defaults can be overridden with the attributes #[PgType = "..."] and #[DieselType = "..."]. (The PgType annotation has no effect on MySQL or sqlite).

Similarly, we assume that the possible ENUM variants are simply the Rust enum variants translated to snake_case. These can be renamed with the inline annotation #[db_rename = "..."].

See this test for an example of renaming.

print-schema and infer-schema!

The print-schema command (from diesel_cli) attempts to connect to an existing DB and generate a correct mapping of Postgres columns to Diesel internal types. If a custom ENUM exists in the database, Diesel will simply assume that the internal mapping type is the ENUM name, Title-cased (e.g. my_enum -> My_enum). Therefore the derived mapping name must also be corrected with the DieselType attribute e.g. #[DieselType = "My_enum"].

Unfortunately the infer_schema! is not compatible with this crate.


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