Skip to content

Contributing to Ratatui

Check out the CONTRIBUTING GUIDE for more information.

Contribution guidelines

First off, thank you for considering contributing to Ratatui.

If your contribution is not straightforward, please first discuss the change you wish to make by creating a new issue before making the change, or starting a discussion on discord.

Reporting issues

Before reporting an issue on the issue tracker, please check that it has not already been reported by searching for some related keywords. Please also check tui-rs issues and link any related issues found.

Pull requests

All contributions are obviously welcome. Please include as many details as possible in your PR description to help the reviewer (follow the provided template). Make sure to highlight changes which may need additional attention or you are uncertain about. Any idea with a large scale impact on the crate or its users should ideally be discussed in a “Feature Request” issue beforehand.

Keep PRs small, intentional and focused

Try to do one pull request per change. The time taken to review a PR grows exponential with the size of the change. Small focused PRs will generally be much more faster to review. PRs that include both refactoring (or reformatting) with actual changes are more difficult to review as every line of the change becomes a place where a bug may have been introduced. Consider splitting refactoring / reformatting changes into a separate PR from those that make a behavioral change, as the tests help guarantee that the behavior is unchanged.

Code formatting

Run cargo make format before committing to ensure that code is consistently formatted with rustfmt. Configuration is in rustfmt.toml.

Search tui-rs for similar work

The original fork of Ratatui, tui-rs, has a large amount of history of the project. Please search, read, link, and summarize any relevant issues, discussions and pull requests.

Use conventional commits

We use conventional commits and check for them as a lint build step. To help adhere to the format, we recommend to install Commitizen. By using this tool you automatically follow the configuration defined in .cz.toml. Your commit messages should have enough information to help someone reading the CHANGELOG understand what is new just from the title. The summary helps expand on that to provide information that helps provide more context, describes the nature of the problem that the commit is solving and any unintuitive effects of the change. It’s rare that code changes can easily communicate intent, so make sure this is clearly documented.

Clean up your commits

The final version of your PR that will be committed to the repository should be rebased and tested against main. Every commit will end up as a line in the changelog, so please squash commits that are only formatting or incremental fixes to things brought up as part of the PR review. Aim for a single commit (unless there is a strong reason to stack the commits). See Git Best Practices - On Sausage Making for more on this.

Run CI tests before pushing a PR

We’re using cargo-husky to automatically run git hooks, which will run cargo make ci before each push. To initialize the hook run cargo test. If cargo-make is not installed, it will provide instructions to install it for you. This will ensure that your code is formatted, compiles and passes all tests before you push. If you need to skip this check, you can use git push --no-verify.

Sign your commits

We use commit signature verification, which will block commits from being merged via the UI unless they are signed. To set up your machine to sign commits, see managing commit signature verification in GitHub docs.

Implementation Guidelines


Clone the repo and build it using cargo-make

Ratatui is an ordinary Rust project where common tasks are managed with cargo-make. It wraps common cargo commands with sane defaults depending on your platform of choice. Building the project should be as easy as running cargo make build.

Terminal window
git clone
cd ratatui
cargo make build


The test coverage of the crate is reasonably good, but this can always be improved. Focus on keeping the tests simple and obvious and write unit tests for all new or modified code. Beside the usual doc and unit tests, one of the most valuable test you can write for Ratatui is a test against the TestBackend. It allows you to assert the content of the output buffer that would have been flushed to the terminal after a given draw call. See widgets_block_renders in tests/ for an example.

When writing tests, generally prefer to write unit tests and doc tests directly in the code file being tested rather than integration tests in the tests/ folder.

If an area that you’re making a change in is not tested, write tests to characterize the existing behavior before changing it. This helps ensure that we don’t introduce bugs to existing software using Ratatui (and helps make it easy to migrate apps still using tui-rs).

For coverage, we have two bacon jobs (one for all tests, and one for unit tests, keyboard shortcuts v and u respectively) that run cargo-llvm-cov to report the coverage. Several plugins exist to show coverage directly in your editor. E.g.:


Here are some guidelines for writing documentation in Ratatui. Every public API must be documented.

Keep in mind that Ratatui tends to attract beginner Rust users that may not be familiar with Rust concepts.


The main doc comment should talk about the general features that the widget supports and introduce the concepts pointing to the various methods. Focus on interaction with various features and giving enough information that helps understand why you might want something.

Examples should help users understand a particular usage, not test a feature. They should be as simple as possible. Prefer hiding imports and using wildcards to keep things concise. Some imports may still be shown to demonstrate a particular non-obvious import (e.g. Stylize trait to use style methods). Speaking of Stylize, you should use it over the more verbose style setters:

let style = Style::new().red().bold();
// not
let style = Style::default().fg(Color::Red).add_modifier(Modifiers::BOLD);


  • First line is summary, second is blank, third onward is more detail
/// Summary
/// A detailed description
/// with examples.
fn foo() {}
/// doc comment
struct Foo {}
  • Code items should be between backticks i.e. [`Block`], NOT [Block]

Deprecation notice

We generally want to wait at least two versions before removing deprecated items so users have time to update. However, if a deprecation is blocking for us to implement a new feature we may consider removing it in a one version notice.

Use of unsafe for optimization purposes

We don’t currently use any unsafe code in Ratatui, and would like to keep it that way. However there may be specific cases that this becomes necessary in order to avoid slowness. Please see this discussion for more about the decision.

Continuous Integration

We use Github Actions for the CI where we perform the following checks:

  • The code should compile on stable and the Minimum Supported Rust Version (MSRV).
  • The tests (docs, lib, tests and examples) should pass.
  • The code should conform to the default format enforced by rustfmt.
  • The code should not contain common style issues clippy.

You can also check most of those things yourself locally using cargo make ci which will offer you a shorter feedback loop than pushing to github.

Relationship with tui-rs

This project was forked from tui-rs in February 2023, with the blessing of the original author, Florian Dehau (@fdehau).

The original repository contains all the issues, PRs and discussion that were raised originally, and it is useful to refer to when contributing code, documentation, or issues with Ratatui.

We imported all the PRs from the original repository and implemented many of the smaller ones and made notes on the leftovers. These are marked as draft PRs and labelled as imported from tui. We have documented the current state of those PRs, and anyone is welcome to pick them up and continue the work on them.

We have not imported all issues opened on the previous repository. For that reason, anyone wanting to work on or discuss an issue will have to follow the following workflow:

  • Recreate the issue
  • Start by referencing the original issue: Referencing issue #[<issue number>](<original issue link>)
  • Then, paste the original issues opening text

You can then resume the conversation by replying to this new issue you have created.