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Setting up Actix Web in a Tauri App

· 5 min read
Alexis Fraudita

Our team at MoonGuard is working on developing tools to expand the MoonGuard ecosystem. One of these tools is Krater, a desktop application for debugging websites in local development. We chose Tauri as the framework to develop Krater because it is based on Rust. Since we needed a way to connect with websites and extract data, we researched the best ways to do this and discovered Actix Web.

Actix Web provides a powerful method for handling HTTP requests. By integrating it with Tauri, we can create desktop apps with advanced web capabilities. We would like to share our knowledge by providing a basic procedure for setting up a simple Tauri app with Actix Web.

Firstly, to integrate Actix Web in our Tauri app, we need to install the Actix Web dependency by adding it to our Cargo.toml file in the following way:

tauri = { version = "1.2", features = ["shell-open"] }
serde = { version = "1.0", features = ["derive"] }
serde_json = "1.0"
actix-web = "4"

Next, we will create the folder structure for our server. Our folder can be set up within the src-tauri/src/ folder in the following manner:


The server/ file is the Rust module for our server, while the handler folder is where we can add various endpoints for our API. Let's get started on coding our server module. Navigate to server/ and create the Actix Web main method that initializes your server as follows:

mod handlers;

use std::{sync::Mutex};

use actix_web::{middleware, web, App, HttpServer};
use tauri::AppHandle;

struct TauriAppState {
app: Mutex<AppHandle>,

pub async fn init(app: AppHandle) -> std::io::Result<()> {
let tauri_app = web::Data::new(TauriAppState {
app: Mutex::new(app),

HttpServer::new(move || {
.bind(("", 4875))?

The mod handlers statement defines a submodule that includes a module named example. This module is used to handle incoming API requests. Additionally, a struct called TauriAppState is defined, which holds an instance of an AppHandle from the Tauri library. This AppHandle is used to facilitate communication between the Rust web server and the Tauri desktop application it is designed to work with.

The init function is an asynchronous function that sets up and configures the web server to handle incoming requests. It accepts an AppHandle as input, which is used to create the TauriAppState instance. The tauri_app variable is created using the web::Data struct, which can be used to store application data that can be accessed by different parts of the application. In this case, tauri_app is an instance of TauriAppState.

The HttpServer struct is then instantiated, and the new method is used to create a new instance of an Actix-web App. This App instance is configured with several middleware to handle web requests, including the Logger::default() middleware. The .service() method is called on the App instance, which includes the handlers::example::handle function as an argument. This function is the request handler that actually processes incoming web requests.

Now, to use our example module in the Actix web server, navigate to and add the following code:

use actix_web::{post};

pub async fn handle() -> actix_web::Result<String> {
let text = "hello world";


In this code snippet, we are simply printing a "Hello World" message in the terminal to verify that the endpoint is functioning properly.

The next and most critical step is to navigate to the file and add the server module that we just created, along with a new standard module called "thread". This module will play an essential role in running the server and handling incoming requests.

mod server;

use std::thread;

To prevent the interruption of our main Tauri app thread, we will use the thread module to run our server in a separate thread. This allows us to keep our server running without interfering with the functionality of our main thread. Finally, to achieve this, we will chain our main method in the following way:

fn main() {
.setup(|app| {

let handle = app.handle();
let boxed_handle = Box::new(handle);

thread::spawn(move || {
.expect("error while running tauri application");

In the main method, we uses the tauri::Builder struct to customize our configure and run the Tauri application. The setup method takes a closure that is executed before initializes the Tauri application. It creates a handle to the Tauri application using the app.handle() method, stores it in a boxed variable, and passes it to the server::init function.

Then, we create a new thread and starts the server using thread::spawnand passes a closure that initializes the Tauri server using the server::init function. The closure captures ownership of the boxed_handlevariable using the movekeyword, which moves the boxed handle into the closure. Finally, the  server::initfunction takes the boxed handle as a dereferenced pointer (using the *operator) and initializes the Tauri server using it. The unwrap method is used to panic if there is an error during server initialization. If the closure executed successfully it will returns Ok.

We have completed our demo, and to ensure it's working correctly, we will run npm run tauri dev. This command will launch our application, and we can then proceed to test it by sending a GET request to our endpoint located at /api/test. If everything is working fine, we should see the "Hello World" message displayed in our terminal as a response to the request.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it has given you some ideas for new features to add to your project. If you are interested in learning more about how we create software products like MoonGuard, we recommend checking out our book, "MoonGuard: The Software Creator’s Journey". In this book, we walk through the creation of a Laravel package from scratch, sharing our experience and insights along the way. You can also follow us on Twitter at (@moonguard_dev) for updates on our journey and to learn more about what we do. Thanks for your support!