Rust Crate Review: Serde vs Bincode

Are you looking for a Rust crate that can help you serialize and deserialize your data with high performance and low overhead? Serde and Bincode are two popular options that you should definitely consider.

In this Rust crate review, we'll compare Serde and Bincode in terms of functionality, performance, ease of use, and community support. By the end of this review, you'll have a clear understanding of which crate is better suited for your project.

What is Serde?

Serde is a Rust crate that provides a framework for easily and efficiently serializing and deserializing Rust data structures. It supports JSON, binary, and other formats, and offers a wealth of customization options to help you fine-tune your serialization and deserialization process.

Serde is one of the most popular crates in the Rust ecosystem, thanks to its comprehensive documentation, active development, and broad community support. It's used by many popular Rust projects, including rocket, tokio, and Rust's own standard libraries.

What is Bincode?

Bincode is another Rust crate that offers serialization and deserialization capabilities, but with a focus on binary formats. It's designed to be as fast and efficient as possible, with minimal overhead and high performance.

Bincode is optimized for serializing simple data structures, such as integers, floats, and structs with plain fields. It supports checksums and versioning, making it easy to detect and handle data corruption and backwards compatibility issues.


Both Serde and Bincode offer similar functionality, but with some differences in their approach and scope.

Serde is a more generalized serialization and deserialization framework, with support for JSON, BSON, MessagePack, and many other formats. It offers advanced features such as macros, attributes, and adapters, allowing you to customize almost every aspect of your serialization and deserialization process.

Bincode, on the other hand, is focused on binary serialization and deserialization, with a simple and straightforward API. It doesn't have as many customization options as Serde, but it offers fast and efficient serialization and deserialization for basic data types and structs with plain fields.


Performance is a critical factor for serialization and deserialization, especially in high-throughput applications or systems with strict latency requirements.

In terms of performance, Bincode is generally faster than Serde, thanks to its optimized binary format and minimal overhead. Bincode can serialize and deserialize basic data types and small structs with plain fields almost instantaneously, making it ideal for simple data serialization tasks.

Serde, however, offers more advanced features and flexibility at the cost of some overhead. Although Serde is still quite fast, it's generally slower than Bincode in most use cases.

Ease of Use

In terms of ease of use, both Serde and Bincode are relatively easy to work with, especially if you're familiar with Rust's syntax and idioms.

Serde offers a more complex and feature-rich API, with many customization options and syntax sugar to help you serialize and deserialize your data structures. However, this also means that there's a steeper learning curve and more potential for errors or confusion.

Bincode, on the other hand, offers a simpler and more straightforward API, with fewer customization options and less syntax sugar. This makes it easier to get started with Bincode, but also limits your ability to fine-tune your serialization and deserialization process.

Community Support

Finally, community support is an important factor to consider when choosing a Rust crate, especially if you're planning to use it in a production environment.

Both Serde and Bincode have active and supportive communities, with many contributors, maintainers, and users. Serde has been around longer and has a larger user base, which means that it has more community resources, examples, and documentation available. Bincode, however, is also well-supported and actively maintained, with a growing community of users and contributors.


So, which Rust crate is better for serialization and deserialization, Serde or Bincode? The answer, as always, depends on your specific needs and use case.

If you're dealing with binary data and need maximum performance and efficiency, Bincode is the clear winner. It's optimized for fast and lightweight serialization and deserialization of basic data types and small structs, with support for checksums and versioning.

On the other hand, if you're dealing with complex data structures or multiple serialization formats, Serde is the way to go. It offers a wealth of customization options, advanced features, and community support, making it a powerful and flexible serialization and deserialization framework.

Ultimately, both Serde and Bincode are excellent Rust crates that you can rely on for your serialization and deserialization needs. Whether you choose Serde, Bincode, or another crate, we hope this review has been helpful in your decision-making process.


This article was written by an OpenAI GPT-3 model. Nonetheless, the content might or might not be unique, insightful, and/or coherent. We recommend the reader be skeptical of any writing generated by AI, and try to double-check with a human proofreader before relying on it as true journalism or professional advice.

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD ( Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed