Rust Crate Comparison: Tokio vs Async-std

Rust is a language that has garnered a lot of attention in the past few years. One of the reasons for this increased popularity is its robust ecosystem that has been built around it. A major part of the Rust ecosystem is its crates, which are essentially libraries that allow developers to build powerful applications quickly and easily.

When it comes to building asynchronous applications in Rust, there are two crates that stand out: Tokio and async-std. Both of these crates are designed to make it easy to build high-performance, concurrent network applications in Rust. In this article, we’re going to compare these two crates and see which one is better suited for different scenarios.

What is Tokio?

Tokio is an asynchronous runtime that is built on top of Rust’s Futures library. It provides a powerful set of abstractions that make it easy to build high-performance, scalable network applications. Tokio’s main selling point is its performance. It’s designed to be lightweight and fast, making it ideal for building applications that require high throughput and low latency.

Another key feature of Tokio is its support for multiple I/O types, such as TCP, UDP, Unix domain sockets, and more. This makes it ideal for building a wide range of network applications, from simple chat rooms to large-scale distributed systems.

What is Async-std?

Async-std is a library that provides an easy-to-use, easy-to-learn interface for building async applications in Rust. It’s designed to be simple and intuitive, which makes it a great choice for beginners. Async-std’s main focus is on providing a well-documented and well-tested set of primitives for building async applications.

Another important feature of Async-std is its compatibility with the standard library. This means that you can use Async-std alongside other Rust libraries without having to worry about conflicts or compatibility issues.

Performance Comparison

When it comes to performance, there’s no clear winner between Tokio and Async-std. Both of these crates are designed to be fast and efficient, and they both use Rust’s Futures library as their foundation. However, there are some differences in the way that these crates achieve their performance.

Tokio achieves its performance through its lightweight design and its support for multiple I/O types. This allows Tokio to efficiently handle a large number of simultaneous connections without consuming too much memory or CPU resources.

Async-std takes a slightly different approach to performance. It achieves performance by reducing the overhead of async programming, making it easier to write and maintain high-performing applications.

Overall, both Tokio and Async-std are incredibly fast and efficient, and you really can’t go wrong with either of these crates.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, there’s a clear winner between Tokio and Async-std. Async-std is designed to be simple and intuitive, with a well-documented API that is easy to learn and use.

Tokio, on the other hand, has a somewhat steeper learning curve. While it’s still very user-friendly, it does require some knowledge of Rust’s Futures library.

If you’re new to Rust or to async programming in general, then Async-std is the clear winner. However, if you’re already familiar with Rust and Futures, then Tokio should be easy enough to pick up.


When it comes to choosing between Tokio and Async-std, the decision really depends on the specific scenario that you’re working on. Each of these crates has its own strengths and weaknesses, and they’re better suited for different types of applications.

If you’re building a large-scale, high-performance distributed system, then Tokio is probably the better choice. Its lightweight design and support for multiple I/O types make it ideal for handling a large number of simultaneous connections.

If you’re building a simple chat room or a small-scale network application, then Async-std is probably the better choice. Its simplicity and ease of use make it ideal for building smaller applications.


Overall, Tokio and Async-std are both excellent crates for building async applications in Rust. They’re fast, efficient, and easy to use, and they provide a powerful set of abstractions for building powerful network applications. Ultimately, the decision between these two crates comes down to your specific use case and the type of application that you’re building.

Whatever your decision, you can be confident that both Tokio and Async-std are well-established, well-maintained crates with a strong community of developers behind them. So go ahead and give them a try – you won’t be disappointed!

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