Skip to main content

Stylus Rust SDK overview


Stylus is currently tagged as an alpha release. The code has not been audited, and should not be used in production scenarios. This documentation is currently in public preview.

To provide feedback, click the Request an update button at the top of this document, join the Arbitrum Discord, or reach out to our team directly by completing this form.

This document provides an in-depth overview of the features provided by the Stylus Rust SDK. For information about deploying Rust smart contracts, see the cargo stylus CLI Tool. For a conceptual introduction to Stylus, see Stylus: A Gentle Introduction. To deploy your first Stylus smart contract using Rust, refer to the Quickstart.

The Stylus Rust SDK is built on top of Alloy, a collection of crates empowering the Rust Ethereum ecosystem. Because the SDK uses the same Rust primitives for Ethereum types, Stylus is compatible with existing Rust libraries.


Many of the affordances use macros. Though this document details what each does, it may be helpful to use cargo expand to see what they expand into if you’re doing advanced work in Rust.

Stylus programs should use #[no_std] to avoid including the Rust standard library and keep code small. Many crates that build without the standard library make for great dependencies to use in Stylus programs, as long as the total, compressed WASM size is within the 24Kb code size limit.

Stylus VM supports rustc's wasm32-unknown-unknown target triple. In the future we may add wasm32-wasi too, along with floating point and SIMD, which the Stylus VM does not yet support.


Rust smart contracts may use state that persists across transactions. There’s two primary ways to define storage, depending on if you want to use Rust or Solidity definitions. Both are equivalent, and are up to the developer depending on their needs.


The #[solidity_storage] macro allows a Rust struct to be used in persistent storage.

pub struct Contract {
owner: StorageAddress,
active: StorageBool,
sub_struct: SubStruct,

pub struct SubStruct {
// types implementing the `StorageType` trait.

Any type implementing the StorageType trait may be used as a field, including other structs, which will implement the trait automatically when #[solidity_storage] is applied. You can even implement StorageType yourself to define custom storage types. However, we’ve gone ahead and implemented the common ones.

StorageBoolStores a bool
StorageAddressStores an Alloy Address
StorageUintStores an Alloy Uint
StorageSignedStores an Alloy Signed
StorageFixedBytesStores an Alloy FixedBytes
StorageBytesStores a Solidity bytes
StorageStringStores a Solidity string
StorageVecStores a vector of StorageType
StorageMapStores a mapping of StorageKey to StorageType
StorageArrayStores a fixed-sized array of StorageType

Every Alloy primitive has a corresponding StorageType implementation with the word Storage before it. This includes aliases, like StorageU256 and StorageB64.


The types in #[solidity_storage] are laid out in the EVM state trie exactly as they are in Solidity. This means that the fields of a struct definition will map to the same storage slots as they would in EVM programming languages.

Because of this, it is often nice to define your types using Solidity syntax, which makes that guarantee easier to see. For example, the earlier Rust struct can re-written to:

sol_storage! {
pub struct Contract {
address owner; // becomes a StorageAddress
bool active; // becomes a StorageBool
SubStruct sub_struct,

pub struct SubStruct {
// other solidity fields, such as
mapping(address => uint) balances; // becomes a StorageMap
Delegate delegates[]; // becomes a StorageVec

The above will expand to the equivalent definitions in Rust, each structure implementing the StorageType trait. Many contracts, like our example ERC 20, do exactly this.

Because the layout is identical to Solidity’s, existing Solidity smart contracts can upgrade to Rust without fear of storage slots not lining up. You simply copy-paste your type definitions.


Existing Solidity smart contracts can upgrade to Rust if they use proxy patterns.

Consequently, the order of fields will affect the JSON ABIs produced that explorers and tooling might use. Most developers won’t need to worry about this though and can freely order their types when working on a Rust contract from scratch.

Reading and writing storage

You can access storage types via getters and setters. For example, the Contract struct from earlier might access its owner address as follows.

impl Contract {
/// Gets the owner from storage.
pub fn owner(&self) -> Address {

/// Updates the owner in storage
pub fn set_owner(&mut self, new_owner: Address) {
if msg::sender() == self.owner.get() { // we'll discuss msg::sender later

In Solidity, one has to be very careful about storage access patterns. Getting or setting the same value twice doubles costs, leading developers to avoid storage access at all costs. By contrast, the Stylus SDK employs an optimal storage-caching policy that avoids the underlying SLOAD or SSTORE operations.


Stylus uses storage caching, so multiple accesses of the same variable is virtually free.

However it must be said that storage is ultimately more expensive than memory. So if a value doesn’t need to be stored in state, you probably shouldn’t do it.


Collections like StorageVec and StorageMap are dynamic and have methods like push, insert, replace, and similar.

impl SubStruct {
pub fn add_delegate(&mut self, delegate: Address) {

pub fn track_balance(&mut self, address: Address) {
self.balances.insert(address, address.balance());

You may notice that some methods return types like StorageGuard and StorageGuardMut. This allows us to leverage the Rust borrow checker for storage mistakes, just like it does for memory. Here’s an example that will fail to compile.

fn mistake(vec: &mut StorageVec<StorageU64>) -> U64 {
let value = vec.setter(0);
let alias = vec.setter(0);
value.get() // uh, oh. what value should be returned?

Under the hood, vec.setter() returns a StorageGuardMut instead of a &mut StorageU64. Because the guard is bound to a &mut StorageVec lifetime, value and alias cannot be alive simultaneously. This causes the Rust compiler to reject the above code, saving you from entire classes of storage aliasing errors.

In this way the Stylus SDK safeguards storage access the same way Rust ensures memory safety. It should never be possible to alias Storage without unsafe Rust.


You may run into scenarios where a collection’s methods like push and insert aren’t available. This is because only primitives, which implement a special trait called SimpleStorageType, can be added to a collection by value. For nested collections, one instead uses the equivalent grow and setter.

fn nested_vec(vec: &mut StorageVec<StorageVec<StorageU8>>) {
let mut inner = vec.grow(); // adds a new element accessible via `inner`
inner.push(0.into()); // inner is a guard to a StorageVec<StorageU8>

fn nested_map(map: &mut StorageMap<u32, StorageVec<U8>>) {
let mut slot = map.setter(0);

Erase and #[derive(Erase)]

Some StorageType values implement Erase, which provides an erase() method for clearing state. We’ve implemented Erase for all primitives, and for vectors of primitives, but not maps. This is because a solidity mapping does not provide iteration, and so it’s generally impossible to know which slots to set to zero.

Structs may also be Erase if all of the fields are. #[derive(Erase)] lets you do this automatically.

sol_storage! {
pub struct Contract {
address owner; // can erase primitive
uint256[] hashes; // can erase vector of primitive

pub struct NotErase {
mapping(address => uint) balances; // can't erase a map
mapping(uint => uint)[] roots; // can't erase vector of maps

You can also implement Erase manually if desired. Note that the reason we care about Erase at all is that you get storage refunds when clearing state, lowering fees. There’s also minor implications for patterns using unsafe Rust.

The storage cache

The Stylus SDK employs an optimal storage-caching policy that avoids the underlying SLOAD or SSTORE operations needed to get and set state. For the vast majority of use cases, this happens in the background and requires no input from the user.

However, developers working with unsafe Rust implementing their own custom StorageType collections, the StorageCache type enables direct control over this data structure. Included are unsafe methods for manipulating the cache directly, as well as for bypassing it altogether.

Immutables and PhantomData

So that generics are possible in sol_interface!, core::marker::PhantomData implements StorageType and takes up zero space, ensuring that it won’t cause storage slots to change. This can be useful when writing libraries.

pub trait Erc20Params {
const NAME: &'static str;
const SYMBOL: &'static str;
const DECIMALS: u8;

sol_storage! {
pub struct Erc20<T> {
mapping(address => uint256) balances;
PhantomData<T> phantom;

The above allows consumers of Erc20 to choose immutable constants via specialization. See our WETH sample contract for a full example of this feature.

Future storage work

The Stylus SDK is currently in alpha and will improve in the coming versions. Something you may notice is that storage access patterns are often a bit verbose. This will change soon when we implement DerefMut for most types.


Just as with storage, Stylus SDK methods are Solidity ABI equivalent. This means that contracts written in different programming languages are fully interoperable. As detailed in this section, you can even automatically export your Rust contract as a Solidity interface so that others can add it to their Solidity projects.


Stylus programs compose regardless of programming language. For example, existing Solidity DEXs can list Rust ERC-20s without modification.


This macro makes methods “external” so that other contracts can call them by implementing the Router trait.

impl Contract {
// our owner method is now callable by other contracts
pub fn owner(&self) -> Result<Address, Vec<u8>> {

impl Contract {
// our set_owner method is not
pub fn set_owner(&mut self, new_owner: Address) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {

Note that, currently, all external methods must return a Result with the error type Vec<u8>. We intend to change this very soon. In the current model, Vec<u8> becomes the program’s revert data, which we intend to both make optional and richly typed.


As in Solidity, methods may accept ETH as call value.

impl Contract {
pub fn credit(&mut self) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {
self.erc20.add_balance(msg::sender(), msg::value())

In the above, msg::value is the amount of ETH passed to the contract in wei, which may be used to pay for something depending on the contract’s business logic. Note that you have to annotate the method with #[payable], or else calls to it will revert. This is required as a safety measure to prevent users losing funds to methods that didn’t intend to accept ether.

#[pure], #[view], and #[write]

For aesthetics, these additional purity attributes exist to clarify that a method is pure, view, or write. They aren’t necessary though, since the #[external] macro can figure purity out for you based on the types of the arguments.

For example, if a method includes an &self, it’s at least view. If you’d prefer it be write, applying #[write] will make it so. Note however that the reverse is not allowed. An &mut self method cannot be made #[view], since it might mutate state.


This macro allows you to define the entrypoint, which is where Stylus execution begins. Without it, the contract will fail to pass cargo stylus check. Most commonly, the macro is used to annotate the top level storage struct.

sol_storage! {
pub struct Contract {

// only one entrypoint is allowed
pub struct SubStruct {

The above will make the external methods of Contract the first to consider during invocation. In a later section we’ll discuss inheritance, which will allow the #[external] methods of other types to be invoked as well.

Bytes-in, bytes-out programming

A less common usage of #[entrypoint] is for low-level, bytes-in bytes-out programming. When applied to a free-standing function, a different way of writing smart contracts becomes possible, where the Rust SDK’s macros and storage types are entirely optional.

fn entrypoint(calldata: Vec<u8>) -> ArbResult {
// bytes-in, bytes-out programming


If a contract calls another that then calls the first, it is said to be reentrant. By default, all Stylus programs revert when this happens. However, you can opt out of this behavior by enabling the reentrant feature flag.

stylus-sdk = { version = "0.3.0", features = ["reentrant"] }

This is dangerous, and should be done only after careful review — ideally by 3rd party auditors. Numerous exploits and hacks have in Web3 are attributable to developers misusing or not fully understanding reentrant patterns.

If enabled, the Stylus SDK will flush the storage cache in between reentrant calls, persisting values to state that might be used by inner calls. Note that preventing storage invalidation is only part of the battle in the fight against exploits. You can tell if a call is reentrant via msg::reentrant, and condition your business logic accordingly.


The #[entrypoint] macro will automatically implement the TopLevelStorage trait for the annotated struct. The single type implementing TopLevelStorage is special in that mutable access to it represents mutable access to the entire program’s state. This idea will become important when discussing calls to other programs in later sections.

Inheritance, #[inherit], and #[borrow].

Composition in Rust follows that of Solidity. Types that implement Router, the trait that #[external] provides, can be connected via inheritance.

impl Token {
pub fn mint(&mut self, amount: U256) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {

impl Erc20 {
pub fn balance_of() -> Result<U256> {

Because Token inherits Erc20 in the above, if Token has the #[entrypoint], calls to the contract will first check if the requested method exists within Token. If a matching function is not found, it will then try the Erc20. Only after trying everything Token inherits will the call revert.

Note that because methods are checked in that order, if both implement the same method, the one in Token will override the one in Erc20, which won’t be callable. This allows for patterns where the developer imports a crate implementing a standard, like the ERC 20, and then adds or overrides just the methods they want to without modifying the imported Erc20 type.

Inheritance can also be chained. #[inherit(Erc20, Erc721)] will inherit both Erc20 and Erc721, checking for methods in that order. Erc20 and Erc721 may also inherit other types themselves. Method resolution finds the first matching method by Depth First Search.

Note that for the above to work, Token must implement Borrow<Erc20>. You can implement this yourself, but for simplicity, #[solidity_storage] and sol_storage! provide a #[borrow] annotation.

sol_storage! {
pub struct Token {
Erc20 erc20;

pub struct Erc20 {

In the future we plan to simplify the SDK so that Borrow isn’t needed and so that Router composition is more configurable. The motivation for this becomes clearer in complex cases of multi-level inheritance, which we intend to improve.

Exporting a Solidity interface

Recall that Stylus contracts are fully interoperable across all languages, including Solidity. The Stylus SDK provides tools for exporting a Solidity interface for your contract so that others can call it. This is usually done with the cargo stylus CLI tool, but we’ll detail how to do it manually here.

The SDK does this automatically for you via a feature flag called export-abi that causes the #[external] and #[entrypoint] macros to generate a main function that prints the Solidity ABI to the console.

cargo run --features export-abi --target <triple>

Note that because the above actually generates a main function that you need to run, the target can’t be wasm32-unknown-unknown like normal. Instead you’ll need to pass in your target triple, which cargo stylus figures out for you. This main function is also why the following commonly appears in the file of Stylus contracts.

#![cfg_attr(not(feature = "export-abi"), no_main)]

Here’s an example output. Observe that the method names change from Rust’s snake_case to Solidity’s camelCase. For compatibility reasons, onchain method selectors are always camelCase. We’ll provide the ability to customize selectors very soon. Note too that you can use argument names like address without fear. The SDK will prepend an _ when necessary.

interface Erc20 {
function name() external pure returns (string memory);

function balanceOf(address _address) external view returns (uint256);

interface Weth is Erc20 {
function mint() external payable;

function burn(uint256 amount) external;


Just as with storage and methods, Stylus SDK calls are Solidity ABI equivalent. This means you never have to know the implementation details of other contracts to invoke them. You simply import the Solidity interface of the target contract, which can be auto-generated via the cargo stylus CLI tool.


You can call contracts in any programming language with the Stylus SDK.


This macro defines a struct for each of the Solidity interfaces provided.

sol_interface! {
interface IService {
function makePayment(address user) payable returns (string);
function getConstant() pure returns (bytes32)

interface ITree {
// other interface methods

The above will define IService and ITree for calling the methods of the two contracts.

For example, IService will have a make_payment method that accepts an Address and returns a B256.

pub fn do_call(&mut self, account: IService, user: Address) -> Result<String, Error> {
account.make_payment(self, user) // note the snake case

Observe the casing change. sol_interface! computes the selector based on the exact name passed in, which should almost always be CamelCase. For aesthetics, the rust functions will instead use snake_case.

Configuring gas and value with Call

Call lets you configure a call via optional configuration methods. This is similar to how one would configure opening a File in Rust.

pub fn do_call(account: IService, user: Address) -> Result<String, Error> {
let config = Call::new()
.gas(evm::gas_left() / 2) // limit to half the gas left
.value(msg::value()); // set the callvalue

account.make_payment(config, user)

By default Call supplies all gas remaining and zero value, which often means Call::new() may be passed to the method directly. Additional configuration options are available in cases of reentrancy.

Reentrant calls

Contracts that opt into reentrancy via the reentrant feature flag require extra care. When the storage-cache feature is enabled, cross-contract calls must flush or clear the StorageCache to safeguard state. This happens automatically via the type system.

sol_interface! {
interface IMethods {
function pureFoo() pure;
function viewFoo() view;
function writeFoo();
function payableFoo() payable;

impl Contract {
pub fn call_pure(&self, methods: IMethods) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {
Ok(methods.pure_foo(self)?) // `pure` methods might lie about not being `view`

pub fn call_view(&self, methods: IMethods) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {

pub fn call_write(&mut self, methods: IMethods) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {
methods.view_foo(self)?; // allows `pure` and `view` methods too

pub fn call_payable(&mut self, methods: IMethods) -> Result<(), Vec<u8>> {
methods.write_foo(Call::new_in(self))?; // these are the same
Ok(methods.payable_foo(self)?) // ------------------

In the above, we’re able to pass &self and &mut self because Contract implements TopLevelStorage, which means that a reference to it entails access to the entirety of the contract’s state. This is the reason it is sound to make a call, since it ensures all cached values are invalidated and/or persisted to state at the right time.

When writing Stylus libraries, a type might not be TopLevelStorage and therefore &self or &mut self won’t work. Building a Call from a generic parameter via new_in is the usual solution.

pub fn do_call(
storage: &mut impl TopLevelStorage, // can be generic, but often just &mut self
account: IService, // serializes as an Address
user: Address,
) -> Result<String, Error> {

let config = Call::new_in(storage) // take exclusive access to all contract storage
.gas(evm::gas_left() / 2) // limit to half the gas left
.value(msg::value()); // set the callvalue

account.make_payment(config, user) // note the snake case

Note that in the context of an #[external] call, the &mut impl argument will correctly distinguish the method as being write or payable. This means you can write library code that will work regardless of whether the reentrant feature flag is enabled.

Note too that Call::new_in should be used instead of Call::new since the former provides access to storage. Code that previously compiled with reentrancy disabled may require modification in order to type-check. This is done to ensure storage changes are persisted and that the storage cache is properly managed before calls.

call, static_call, and delegate_call

Though sol_interface! and Call form the most common idiom to invoke other contracts, their underlying call and static_call are exposed for direct access.

let return_data = call(Call::new(), contract, call_data)?;

In each case the calldata is supplied as a Vec<u8>. The return result is either the raw return data on success, or a call Error on failure.

delegate_call is also available, though it's unsafe and doesn't have a richly-typed equivalent. This is because a delegate call must trust the other contract to uphold safety requirements. Though this function clears any cached values, the other contract may arbitrarily change storage, spend ether, and do other things one should never blindly allow other contracts to do.


This method provides a convenient shorthand for transferring ether.

Note that this method invokes the other contract, which may in turn call others. All gas is supplied, which the recipient may burn. If this is not desired, the call function may be used instead.

transfer_eth(recipient, value)?;                 // these two are equivalent

call(Call::new().value(value), recipient, &[])?; // these two are equivalent

RawCall and unsafe calls

Occasionally, an untyped call to another contract is necessary. RawCall lets you configure an unsafe call by calling optional configuration methods. This is similar to how one would configure opening a File in Rust.

let data = RawCall::new_delegate()   // configure a delegate call
.gas(2100) // supply 2100 gas
.limit_return_data(0, 32) // only read the first 32 bytes back
.flush_storage_cache() // flush the storage cache before the call
.call(contract, calldata)?; // do the call

Note that the call method is unsafe when reentrancy is enabled. See flush_storage_cache and clear_storage_cache for more information.

RawDeploy and unsafe deployments

Right now the only way to deploy a contract from inside Rust is to use RawDeploy, similar to RawCall. As with RawCall, this mechanism is inherently unsafe due to reentrancy concerns, and requires manual management of the StorageCache.

Note that the EVM allows init code to make calls to other contracts, which provides a vector for reentrancy. This means that this technique may enable storage aliasing if used in the middle of a storage reference's lifetime and if reentrancy is allowed.

When configured with a salt, RawDeploy will use CREATE2 instead of the default CREATE, facilitating address determinism.


Emitting Solidity-style events is supported out-of-the-box with the Rust SDK. They can be defined in Solidity syntax using Alloy’s sol! macro, and then used as input arguments to evm::log. The function accepts any type that implements Alloy’s SolEvent trait.

sol! {
event Transfer(address indexed from, address indexed to, uint256 value);
event Approval(address indexed owner, address indexed spender, uint256 value);

fn foo() {
evm::log(Transfer {
from: Address::ZERO,
to: address,

The SDK also exposes a low-level, evm::raw_log that takes in raw bytes and topics:

/// Emits an evm log from combined topics and data. The topics come first.
fn emit_log(bytes: &[u8], topics: usize)

EVM affordances

The SDK contains several modules for interacting with the EVM, which can be imported like so.

use stylus_sdk::{block, contract, crypto, evm, msg, tx};

let callvalue = msg::value();
Rust SDK ModuleDescription
blockblock info for the number, timestamp, etc.
contractcontract info, such as its address, balance
cryptoVM accelerated cryptography
evmink / memory access functions
msgsender, value, and reentrancy detection
txgas price, ink price, origin, and other tx-level info