1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Getting Started
  3. 3. Tutorial: Guessing Game
  4. 4. Syntax and Semantics
    1. 4.1. Variable Bindings
    2. 4.2. Functions
    3. 4.3. Primitive Types
    4. 4.4. Comments
    5. 4.5. if
    6. 4.6. Loops
    7. 4.7. Vectors
    8. 4.8. Ownership
    9. 4.9. References and Borrowing
    10. 4.10. Lifetimes
    11. 4.11. Mutability
    12. 4.12. Structs
    13. 4.13. Enums
    14. 4.14. Match
    15. 4.15. Patterns
    16. 4.16. Method Syntax
    17. 4.17. Strings
    18. 4.18. Generics
    19. 4.19. Traits
    20. 4.20. Drop
    21. 4.21. if let
    22. 4.22. Trait Objects
    23. 4.23. Closures
    24. 4.24. Universal Function Call Syntax
    25. 4.25. Crates and Modules
    26. 4.26. `const` and `static`
    27. 4.27. Attributes
    28. 4.28. `type` aliases
    29. 4.29. Casting between types
    30. 4.30. Associated Types
    31. 4.31. Unsized Types
    32. 4.32. Operators and Overloading
    33. 4.33. Deref coercions
    34. 4.34. Macros
    35. 4.35. Raw Pointers
    36. 4.36. `unsafe`
  5. 5. Effective Rust
    1. 5.1. The Stack and the Heap
    2. 5.2. Testing
    3. 5.3. Conditional Compilation
    4. 5.4. Documentation
    5. 5.5. Iterators
    6. 5.6. Concurrency
    7. 5.7. Error Handling
    8. 5.8. Choosing your Guarantees
    9. 5.9. FFI
    10. 5.10. Borrow and AsRef
    11. 5.11. Release Channels
    12. 5.12. Using Rust without the standard library
  6. 6. Nightly Rust
    1. 6.1. Compiler Plugins
    2. 6.2. Inline Assembly
    3. 6.3. No stdlib
    4. 6.4. Intrinsics
    5. 6.5. Lang items
    6. 6.6. Advanced linking
    7. 6.7. Benchmark Tests
    8. 6.8. Box Syntax and Patterns
    9. 6.9. Slice Patterns
    10. 6.10. Associated Constants
    11. 6.11. Custom Allocators
  7. 7. Glossary
  8. 8. Syntax Index
  9. 9. Bibliography

Match

Often, a simple if/else isn’t enough, because you have more than two possible options. Also, conditions can get quite complex. Rust has a keyword, match, that allows you to replace complicated if/else groupings with something more powerful. Check it out:

let x = 5;

match x {
    1 => println!("one"),
    2 => println!("two"),
    3 => println!("three"),
    4 => println!("four"),
    5 => println!("five"),
    _ => println!("something else"),
}Run

match takes an expression and then branches based on its value. Each ‘arm’ of the branch is of the form val => expression. When the value matches, that arm’s expression will be evaluated. It’s called match because of the term ‘pattern matching’, which match is an implementation of. There’s a separate section on patterns that covers all the patterns that are possible here.

One of the many advantages of match is it enforces ‘exhaustiveness checking’. For example if we remove the last arm with the underscore _, the compiler will give us an error:

error: non-exhaustive patterns: `_` not covered

Rust is telling us that we forgot some value. The compiler infers from x that it can have any 32bit integer value; for example -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. The _ acts as a 'catch-all', and will catch all possible values that aren't specified in an arm of match. As you can see in the previous example, we provide match arms for integers 1-5, if x is 6 or any other value, then it is caught by _.

match is also an expression, which means we can use it on the right-hand side of a let binding or directly where an expression is used:

let x = 5;

let number = match x {
    1 => "one",
    2 => "two",
    3 => "three",
    4 => "four",
    5 => "five",
    _ => "something else",
};Run

Sometimes it’s a nice way of converting something from one type to another; in this example the integers are converted to String.

Matching on enums

Another important use of the match keyword is to process the possible variants of an enum:

enum Message {
    Quit,
    ChangeColor(i32, i32, i32),
    Move { x: i32, y: i32 },
    Write(String),
}

fn quit() { /* ... */ }
fn change_color(r: i32, g: i32, b: i32) { /* ... */ }
fn move_cursor(x: i32, y: i32) { /* ... */ }

fn process_message(msg: Message) {
    match msg {
        Message::Quit => quit(),
        Message::ChangeColor(r, g, b) => change_color(r, g, b),
        Message::Move { x: x, y: y } => move_cursor(x, y),
        Message::Write(s) => println!("{}", s),
    };
}Run

Again, the Rust compiler checks exhaustiveness, so it demands that you have a match arm for every variant of the enum. If you leave one off, it will give you a compile-time error unless you use _ or provide all possible arms.

Unlike the previous uses of match, you can’t use the normal if statement to do this. You can use the if let statement, which can be seen as an abbreviated form of match.