created_at2017-05-08 21:56:31.327978
updated_at2024-05-10 22:29:25.686889
descriptionCargo-Tarpaulin is a tool to determine code coverage achieved via tests




Build Status Latest Version License:MIT Docker Developers Wiki Coverage Status

Tarpaulin is a code coverage reporting tool for the Cargo build system, named for a waterproof cloth used to cover cargo on a ship.

Currently, tarpaulin provides working line coverage, and while fairly reliable, may still contain minor inaccuracies in the results. A lot of work has been done to get it working on a wide range of projects, but unique combinations of packages and build features can cause issues, so please report anything you find that's wrong. Also, check out our roadmap for planned features.

On Linux, Tarpaulin's default tracing backend is still Ptrace and will only work on x86_64 processors. This can be changed to the llvm coverage instrumentation with --engine llvm. For Mac and Windows, this is the default collection method.

It can also be run in Docker, which is useful for when you don't use Linux but want to run it locally, e.g. during development. See below for how to do that.

Below is the help-text for a thorough explanation of the flags and features available:

Cargo-Tarpaulin is a tool to determine code coverage achieved via tests

Usage: cargo tarpaulin [OPTIONS] [-- <ARGS>...]

  [ARGS]...  Arguments to be passed to the test executables can be used to filter or skip certain tests

      --print-rust-flags           Print the RUSTFLAGS options that tarpaulin will compile your program with and exit
      --print-rustdoc-flags        Print the RUSTDOCFLAGS options that tarpaulin will compile any doctests with and exit
      --color <WHEN>               Coloring: auto, always, never [possible values: Auto, Always, Never]
      --debug                      Show debug output - this is used for diagnosing issues with tarpaulin
  -v, --verbose                    Show extra output
      --dump-traces                Log tracing events and save to a json file. Also, enabled when --debug is used
      --run-types <TYPE>           Type of the coverage run [possible values: Tests, Doctests, Benchmarks, Examples, Lib, Bins, AllTargets]
      --benches                    Test all benches
      --doc                        Test only this library's documentation
      --all-targets                Test all targets (excluding doctests)
      --lib                        Test only this package's library unit tests
      --bins                       Test all binaries
      --examples                   Test all examples
      --tests                      Test all tests
      --config <FILE>              Path to a toml file specifying a list of options this will override any other options set
      --ignore-config              Ignore any project config files
      --bin [<NAME>...]            Test only the specified binary
      --example [<NAME>...]        Test only the specified example
      --test [<NAME>...]           Test only the specified test target
      --bench [<NAME>...]          Test only the specified bench target
      --no-fail-fast               Run all tests regardless of failure
      --profile <NAME>             Build artefacts with the specified profile
      --ignore-tests               Ignore lines of test functions when collecting coverage (default)
      --no-dead-code               Stops tarpaulin from building projects with -Clink-dead-code
      --include-tests              Include lines of test functions when collecting coverage
      --ignore-panics              Ignore panic macros in tests
      --count                      Counts the number of hits during coverage
  -i, --ignored                    Run ignored tests as well
  -l, --line                       Line coverage
      --skip-clean                 The opposite of --force-clean
      --force-clean                Adds a clean stage to work around cargo bugs that may affect coverage results
      --fail-under <PERCENTAGE>    Sets a percentage threshold for failure ranging from 0-100, if coverage is below exit with a non-zero code
  -b, --branch                     Branch coverage: NOT IMPLEMENTED
  -f, --forward                    Forwards unexpected signals to test. This is now the default behaviour
      --coveralls <KEY>            Coveralls key, either the repo token, or if you're using travis use $TRAVIS_JOB_ID and specify travis-{ci|pro} in --ciserver
      --report-uri <URI>           URI to send report to, only used if the option --coveralls is used
      --no-default-features        Do not include default features
      --features [<FEATURES>...]   Features to be included in the target project
      --all-features               Build all available features
      --all                        Alias for --workspace (deprecated)
      --workspace                  Test all packages in the workspace
  -p, --packages [<PACKAGE>...]    Package id specifications for which package should be build. See cargo help pkgid for more info
  -e, --exclude [<PACKAGE>...]     Package id specifications to exclude from coverage. See cargo help pkgid for more info
      --exclude-files [<FILE>...]  Exclude given files from coverage results has * wildcard
  -t, --timeout <SECONDS>          Integer for the maximum time in seconds without response from test before timeout (default is 1 minute)
      --post-test-delay <SECONDS>  Delay after test to collect coverage profiles
      --follow-exec                Follow executed processes capturing coverage information if they're part of your project
      --release                    Build in release mode
      --no-run                     Compile tests but don't run coverage
      --implicit-test-threads      'Don't supply an explicit `--test-threads` argument to test executable. By default tarpaulin will infer the default rustc would pick if not ran via tarpaulin and set it
      --locked                     Do not update Cargo.lock
      --frozen                     Do not update Cargo.lock or any caches
      --target <TRIPLE>            Compilation target triple
      --target-dir <DIR>           Directory for all generated artifacts
      --offline                    Run without accessing the network
      --avoid-cfg-tarpaulin        Remove --cfg=tarpaulin from the RUSTFLAG
  -j, --jobs <N>                   Number of parallel jobs, defaults to # of CPUs
      --rustflags <FLAGS>          Rustflags to add when building project (can also be set via RUSTFLAGS env var)
      --objects [<objects>...]     Other object files to load which contain information for llvm coverage - must have been compiled with llvm coverage instrumentation (ignored for ptrace)
  -Z [<FEATURES>...]               List of unstable nightly only flags
  -o, --out [<FMT>...]             Output format of coverage report [possible values: Json, Stdout, Xml, Html, Lcov]
      --engine <ENGINE>            Coverage tracing backend to use [possible values: Auto, Ptrace, Llvm]
      --output-dir <PATH>          Specify a custom directory to write report files
      --command <CMD>              cargo subcommand to run. So far only test and build are supported [possible values: Test, Build]
  -r, --root <DIR>                 Calculates relative paths to root directory. If --manifest-path isn't specified it will look for a Cargo.toml in root
      --manifest-path <PATH>       Path to Cargo.toml
      --ciserver <SERVICE>         CI server being used, if unspecified tarpaulin may automatically infer for coveralls uploads
      --fail-immediately           Option to fail immediately after a single test fails
  -h, --help                       Print help
  -V, --version                    Print version

Note on tests using signals

If your tests or application make use of unix signals they may not work with ptrace instrumentation in tarpaulin. This is because tarpaulin relies on the sigtrap signal to catch when the instrumentation points are hit. The --forward option results in forwarding the signals from process stops not caused by SIGSTOP, SIGSEGV or SIGILL to the test binary.

Nuances with LLVM Coverage

Despite generally being far more accurate there are some nuances with the LLVM coverage instrumentation.

  1. If a test has a non-zero exit code coverage data isn't returned
  2. Some areas of thread unsafety
  3. Unable to handle fork and similar syscalls (one process will overwrite anothers profraw file)

In these cases coverage results may differ a lot between ptrace and llvm and llvm coverage may be a worse choice. Things like doc tests with the should_panic attribute or --no-fail-fast won't report any coverage because of non-zero exit codes and if you use these and want coverage data from them you should avoid the llvm coverage backend.


Below is a list of features currently implemented. As Tarpaulin loads binary files into memory and parses the debugging information, different setups could lead to coverage not working. In this instance, please raise an issue detailing your setup and an example project and I'll attempt to fix it (please link us to a repo and the commit containing your project and paste the verbose output).

  • Line coverage
  • Full compatibility with cargo test CLI arguments
  • Uploading coverage to or
  • HTML report generation and other coverage report types
  • Coverage of tests, doctests, benchmarks and examples possible
  • Excluding irrelevant files from coverage
  • Config file for mutually exclusive coverage settings (see Config file section for details)

Issues and Contributing

Issues, feature requests and pull requests are always welcome! For a guide on how to approach bugs found in Tarpaulin and adding features please check CONTRIBUTING. If you're having any troubles also look to our TROUBLESHOOTING

Rust 1.23 introduced a regression in the compiler affecting tarpaulin's accuracy. If you see missing lines or files, check your compiler version.



Tarpaulin is a command-line program, you install it into your linux development environment with cargo install:

cargo install cargo-tarpaulin

Tarpaulin used to rely on Cargo as a dependency and then require an ssl install as well as other libraries but now it uses your system cargo simplifying the installation and massively reducing the install time on CI.

When using the Nix package manager, the nixpkgs.cargo-tarpaulin package can be used. This ensures that tarpaulin will be built with the same rust version as the rest of your packages.

You can also use cargo-binstall:

cargo binstall cargo-tarpaulin

Environment Variables

When tarpaulin runs your tests it strives to run them in the same environment as if they were ran via cargo test. In order to achieve this it sets the following environment variables when executing the test binaries:

  • RUST_BACKTRACE - When --verbose flag is used
  • CARGO_MANIFEST_DIR - Path to Cargo.toml From --root | --manifest-path or guessed from the current or parent directory
  • CARGO_PKG_NAME - From Cargo.toml
  • CARGO_PKG_AUTHORS - From Cargo.toml
  • CARGO_PKG_VERSION - From Cargo.toml
  • LLVM_PROFILE_FILE - Used for LLVM coverage

Cargo Manifest

In order for tarpaulin to construct the Cargo environment correctly, tarpaulin needs to find Cargo.toml by either:

  • Using --root or --manifest-path or
  • By invoking Cargo from the current working directory within the project holding Cargo.toml manifest or
  • By invoking Cargo from a sub-directory within the project

If Cargo does not find any Cargo.toml from using either of above methods the run will error "cargo metadata" and exit.

Several RFCs are open in rust-lang to expose more of these directly in order to avoid the issues arising out of this.

Command line

To get detailed help on available arguments when running tarpaulin call:

cargo tarpaulin --help

Currently no options are required, if no root directory is defined Tarpaulin will run in the current working directory.

Below is a Tarpaulin run utilising one of our example projects. This is a relatively simple project to test and if you check the test, you can see the output correctly reports the lines the test hits.

cargo tarpaulin
Jan 30 21:43:33.715  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::config: Creating config
Jan 30 21:43:33.908  INFO cargo_tarpaulin: Running Tarpaulin
Jan 30 21:43:33.908  INFO cargo_tarpaulin: Building project
Jan 30 21:43:33.908  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::cargo: Cleaning project
   Compiling simple_project v0.1.0 (/home/daniel/personal/tarpaulin/tests/data/simple_project)
    Finished test [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 0.51s
Jan 30 21:43:34.631  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::process_handling::linux: Launching test
Jan 30 21:43:34.631  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::process_handling: running /home/daniel/personal/tarpaulin/tests/data/simple_project/target/debug/deps/simple_project-417a21905eb8be09

running 1 test
test tests::bad_test ... ok

test result: ok. 1 passed; 0 failed; 0 ignored; 0 measured; 0 filtered out; finished in 0.02s

Jan 30 21:43:35.563  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::report: Coverage Results:
|| Uncovered Lines:
|| src/ 6
|| src/ 4-6
|| Tested/Total Lines:
|| src/ 3/4
|| src/ 0/3
42.86% coverage, 3/7 lines covered

Tarpaulin can also report the change in coverage for each file between runs. If the tests were updated in the previous example to cover all the lines we would expect the following output.

cargo tarpaulin
Jan 30 21:45:37.611  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::config: Creating config
Jan 30 21:45:37.623  INFO cargo_tarpaulin: Running Tarpaulin
Jan 30 21:45:37.623  INFO cargo_tarpaulin: Building project
Jan 30 21:45:37.623  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::cargo: Cleaning project
   Compiling simple_project v0.1.0 (/home/daniel/personal/tarpaulin/tests/data/simple_project)
    Finished test [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 0.40s
Jan 30 21:45:38.085  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::process_handling::linux: Launching test
Jan 30 21:45:38.085  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::process_handling: running /home/daniel/personal/tarpaulin/tests/data/simple_project/target/debug/deps/simple_project-417a21905eb8be09

running 2 tests
test unused::blah ... ok
test tests::bad_test ... ok

test result: ok. 2 passed; 0 failed; 0 ignored; 0 measured; 0 filtered out; finished in 0.02s

Jan 30 21:45:38.990  INFO cargo_tarpaulin::report: Coverage Results:
|| Uncovered Lines:
|| src/ 6
|| Tested/Total Lines:
|| src/ 3/4 +0.00%
|| src/ 3/3 +100.00%
85.71% coverage, 6/7 lines covered, +42.86% change in coverage

Hint: if using with travis-ci run with the options --ciserver travis-ci --coveralls $TRAVIS_JOB_ID. The repo-token is mainly designed for private repos and it won't generate a badge for the coverage results submitted (although you can still see them on the coveralls web interface). For an example of a project using Tarpaulin, you can check out my crate keygraph-rs.

Ignoring code in files

Before tarpaulin 0.13.4 you could ignore code in blocks with #[cfg_attr(tarpaulin, skip)] this has changed with 0.13.4 and onwards and the new instructions are described below. If you get compiler errors mentioning unknown attribute skip use the --avoid-cfg-tarpaulin flag, this affects a small number of users as it wasn't a largely adopted feature so also look to updating your code or seeing if any of your dependencies are out of date.

Tarpaulin allows you to ignore modules or functions using attributes. Below is an example of ignoring the main function in a project:

fn main() {
    println!("I won't be included in results");

// Also supports the rustc `no_coverage` attribute.
fn not_included() {


However, the skip attribute only allows you to exclude code from coverage it doesn't change the code present in the binaries or what tests are ran. Because of this, --cfg=tarpaulin is used when building your project for Tarpaulin allowing you to also conditionally include/exclude code from compilation entirely. For example to have a test that isn't included in the test binaries when built with tarpaulin and cannot be ran just do:

fn big_test_not_for_tarpaulin() {
    // Something that would be very slow in tarpaulin or not work

If you still want the test included in the binary just ignored by default you can use:

#[cfg_attr(tarpaulin, ignore)]
fn ignored_by_tarpaulin() {


There is also nightly support for using tool attributes with tarpaulin for skip. For example:


fn main() {
    println!("I won't be in coverage stats");


As Tarpaulin changes the RUSTFLAGS when building tests sometimes rebuilds of test binaries can't be avoided. There is also a --clean and --skip-clean argument, the default has been changed at times to avoid issues with incremental compilation when changing RUSTFLAGS. If you aim to reduce the amount of unnecessary recompilation attempting to add the --skip-clean flag should be the first step. After that you can either:

  1. Use cargo tarpaulin --print-rust-flags and use those flags for dev and coverage
  2. Use --target-dir when running tarpaulin and have a coverage build and dev build

Continuous Integration Services

Tarpaulin aims to be easy to add to your CI workflow. With well tested support for Travis-CI it also supports sending CI specific meta-data to for Circle, Semaphore, Jenkins and Codeship (though only Jenkins has been tested).

You can also use Tarpaulin on Azure, check out crate-ci/azure-pipelines for an example config.

Travis-ci and Coverage Sites

The expected most common usecase is launching coverage via a CI service to upload to a site like codecov or coveralls. Given the built in support and ubiquity of travis-ci it seems prudent to document the required steps here for new users. To follow these steps you'll first need a travis-ci and a project setup for your coverage reporting site of choice.

We recommend taking the minimal rust .travis.yml, installing the libssl-dev dependency tarpaulin has and then running Tarpaulin with the version of rustc you require. Tarpaulin is installed in before_cache to allow it to be cached and prevent having to reinstall every Travis run. You can also replace cargo test with a verbose run of tarpaulin to see the test results as well as coverage output.

Tarpaulin is ran after success as there are still some unstable features which could cause coverage runs to fail. If you don't rely on any of these features you can alternatively replace cargo test with a call to cargo tarpaulin.

For you'll need to export CODECOV_TOKEN are instructions on this in the settings of your codecov project.

language: rust
# tarpaulin has only been tested on bionic and trusty other distros may have issues
dist: bionic
            - libssl-dev
cache: cargo
  - stable
  - beta
  - nightly
    - rust: nightly

before_script: |
  if [[ "$TRAVIS_RUST_VERSION" == stable ]]; then
    cargo install cargo-tarpaulin

- cargo clean
- cargo build
- cargo test

after_success: |
  if [[ "$TRAVIS_RUST_VERSION" == stable ]]; then
    # Uncomment the following line for
    # cargo tarpaulin --ciserver travis-ci --coveralls $TRAVIS_JOB_ID

    # Uncomment the following two lines create and upload a report for
    # cargo tarpaulin --out xml
    # bash <(curl -s

If you rely on certain nightly features you may need to change the before_script to before_cache to force tarpaulin to reinstall each time. However, if it can be avoided it will speed up your CI runs.

Alternatively, there are the prebuilt docker images or you can use cargo-binstall.

The prebuilt binary is built using github actions ubuntu:latest image, because of this it doesn't work on xenial or trusty, but it works on bionic. You should still keep the rest of the recommended travis settings.

GitHub Actions

File .github/workflows/coverage.yml Example how to run coverage within docker with seccomp in GitHub Actions and push the result to <>.

name: coverage

on: [push]
    name: coverage
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      image: xd009642/tarpaulin:develop-nightly
      options: --security-opt seccomp=unconfined
      - name: Checkout repository
        uses: actions/checkout@v2

      - name: Generate code coverage
        run: |
          cargo +nightly tarpaulin --verbose --all-features --workspace --timeout 120 --out xml

      - name: Upload to
        uses: codecov/codecov-action@v2
          # token: ${{secrets.CODECOV_TOKEN}} # not required for public repos
          fail_ci_if_error: true


To run tarpaulin on CircleCI you need to run tarpaulin in docker and set the machine flag to true as shown below:

    machine: true
      - checkout
      - run:
          name: Coverage with docker
          command: docker run --security-opt seccomp=unconfined -v "${PWD}:/volume" xd009642/tarpaulin

Gitlab Pipelines

To get the coverage results showing up in your Gitlab pipelines add the following regex to the Test coverage section in the gitlab job definition in .gitlab-ci.yml:

job: ...
  coverage: '/^\d+.\d+% coverage/'

Gitlab can show coverage information in the diff of a merge request. For that, use

job: ...
        coverage_format: cobertura
        path: cobertura.xml

and generate a cobertura.xml as described under Pycobertura.

For installation add cargo install cargo-tarpaulin -f to the script section.


Tarpaulin has builds deployed to docker-hub, to run Tarpaulin on any system that has Docker, run this in your project directory:

docker run --security-opt seccomp=unconfined -v "${PWD}:/volume" xd009642/tarpaulin

This builds your project inside Docker and runs Tarpaulin without any arguments. There are also tags available for the latest version on the develop branch in stable or nightly. And versions after 0.5.6 will have the latest release built with the rust stable and nightly compilers. To get the latest development version built with rustc-nightly run the following:

docker run --security-opt seccomp=unconfined -v "${PWD}:/volume" xd009642/tarpaulin:develop-nightly

Note that the build might fail if the Docker image doesn't contain any necessary dependencies. In that case, you can install dependencies before, like this:

docker run --security-opt seccomp=unconfined -v "${PWD}:/volume" xd009642/tarpaulin sh -c "apt-get install xxx && cargo tarpaulin"

Alternatively, taking the seccomp json and setting all seccomp actions for the personality syscall to SCMP_ACT_ALLOW to avoid removing all the seccomp policies for Docker.

Config file

Tarpaulin has a config file setting where multiple coverage setups can be encoded in a toml file. This can be provided by an argument or if a .tarpaulin.toml or tarpaulin.toml is present in the same directory as the projects manifest or in the root directory that will be used unless --ignore-config is passed. Below is an example file:

features = "feature_a"

features = "feature_a feature_b"
release = true

coveralls = "coveralls_key"
out = ["Html", "Xml"]

Here we'd create three configurations, one would run your tests with feature_a enabled, and the other with the tests built in release and both feature_a and feature_b enabled. The last configuration uses a reserved configuration name report and this doesn't result in a coverage run but affects the report output. This is a reserved feature name and any non-reporting based options chosen will have no effect on the output of tarpaulin.

For reference on available keys and their types refer to the CLI help text at the start of the readme or src/config/ for the concrete types if anything is unclear. For arguments to be passed into the test binary that follow -- in tarpaulin use args in the toml file.

Setting the field config will have no effect on the run as it won't be parsed for additional configuration.

For the flags --lib, --examples, --benches, --tests, --all-targets, --doc, --bins use the run-types entry in the config file.

Extending Tarpaulin

There are some tools available which can extend tarpaulin functionality for other potential user needs.

Procedural Macros

Normally, Tarpaulin can't report on code coverage within the code for a procedural macro. You'll need to add a test that expands the macro at run-time in order to get those stats. The runtime-macros crate was made for this purpose, and its documentation describes how to use it with Tarpaulin.


pycobertura is a python library for working with cobertura reports. It offers a report diffing tool as well as its own report implementations.

To generate a cobertura.xml simply run the following tarpaulin command:

cargo tarpaulin --out xml

Then install pycobertura with pip and execute the desired command.

As tarpaulin doesn't allow you to change the name of the generated cobertura report be mindful of this if diffing reports between multiple commits.


  • Branch coverage for tests
  • Condition coverage for tests
  • MCDC coverage reports
  • LLVM coverage support
  • Support for embedded targets
  • OSX support
  • Windows support


Tarpaulin is currently licensed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0). See LICENSE-MIT and LICENSE-APACHE for more details.

Commit count: 2220

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