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gtmpl-rust – Golang Templates for Rust

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gtmpl-rust provides the Golang text/template engine for Rust. This enables seamless integration of Rust application into the world of devops tools around kubernetes, docker and whatnot.

Getting Started

Add the following dependency to your Cargo manifest…

gtmpl = "0.5.6"

and look at the docs:

It's not perfect, yet. Help and feedback is more than welcome.

Some Examples

Basic template:

extern crate gtmpl;
use gtmpl;

fn main() {
    let output = gtmpl::template("Finally! Some {{ . }} for Rust", "gtmpl");
    assert_eq!(&output.unwrap(), "Finally! Some gtmpl for Rust");

Adding custom functions:

extern crate gtmpl;
extern crate gtmpl_value;
use gtmpl_value::Function;
use gtmpl::{template, Value};

fn main() {
    fn add(a: u64, b: u64) -> Result<u64, String> {
        Ok(a + b)
    let equal = template(r#"{{ call . 1 2 }}"#, Value::Function(Function { f: add }));
    assert_eq!(&equal.unwrap(), "3");

Passing a struct as context:

extern crate gtmpl;
extern crate gtmpl_derive;
extern crate gtmpl_value;

struct Foo {
    bar: u8

fn main() {
    let foo = Foo { bar: 42 };
    let output = gtmpl::template("The answer is: {{ .bar }}", foo);
    assert_eq!(&output.unwrap(), "The answer is: 42");

Invoking a method on a context:

extern crate gtmpl;
extern crate gtmpl_derive;
extern crate gtmpl_value;

use gtmpl::{Func, Value};

fn plus_one(args: &[Value]) -> Result<Value, String> {
    if let Value::Object(ref o) = &args[0] {
        if let Some(Value::Number(ref n)) = o.get("num") {
            if let Some(i) = n.as_i64() {
                return Ok((i +1).into())
    Err(format!("integer required, got: {:?}", args))

struct AddMe {
    num: u8,
    plus_one: Func

fn main() {
    let add_me = AddMe { num: 42, plus_one };
    let output = gtmpl::template("The answer is: {{ .plus_one }}", add_me);
    assert_eq!(&output.unwrap(), "The answer is: 43");

Current Limitations

This is work in progress. Currently the following features are not supported:

  • complex numbers
  • the following functions have not been implemented:
    • html, js
  • printf is not yet fully stable, but should support all sane input


Even though it was never intended to extend the syntax of Golang text/template there might be some convenient additions:

Dynamic Template

Enable gtmpl_dynamic_template in your Cargo.toml:

version = "0.5.6"
features = ["gtmpl_dynamic_template"]

Now you can have dynamic template names for the template action.


extern crate gtmpl;
use gtmpl::{Context, Template};

fn main() {
    let mut template = Template::default();
            {{- define "tmpl1"}} some {{ end -}}
            {{- define "tmpl2"}} some other {{ end -}}
            there is {{- template (.) -}} template

    let context = Context::from("tmpl2").unwrap();

    let output = template.render(&context);
    assert_eq!(output.unwrap(), "there is some other template".to_string());

The following syntax is used:

{{template (pipeline)}}
	The template with the name evaluated from the pipeline (parenthesized) is
    executed with nil data.

{{template (pipeline) pipeline}}
	The template with the name evaluated from the first pipeline (parenthesized)
    is executed with dot set to the value of the second pipeline.


We use gtmpl_value's Value as internal data type. gtmpl_derive provides a handy derive macro to generate the From implementation for Value.


Why do we need this?

Why? Dear god, why? I can already imagine the question coming up why anyone would ever do this. I wasn't a big fan of Golang templates when i first had to write some custom formatting strings for docker. Learning a new template language usually isn't something one is looking forward to. Most people avoid it completely. However, it's really useful for automation if you're looking for something more lightweight than a full blown DSL.

The main motivation for this is to make it easier to write devops tools in Rust that feel native. docker and helm (kubernetes) use golang templates and it feels more native if tooling around them uses the same.