To use defmt in a library you only need to add defmt as a dependency.

$ cargo add defmt

To use defmt in an application you need the additional steps documented below.

For applications

💡 The prefferred way to create a new defmt application is to use our app-template. Tag along if you want to add defmt to an existing application.

Linker script

The application must be linked using a custom linking process that includes the defmt.x linker script. Custom linking is usual for embedded applications and configured in the .cargo/config file.

To pass defmt.x to the linker add the -C link-arg=-Tdefmt.x flag to the rustflags section of .cargo/config.toml.

# .cargo/config.toml
rustflags = [
  # --- KEEP existing `link-arg` flags ---
  "-C", "link-arg=-Tlink.x",
  "-C", "link-arg=--nmagic",

  # --- ADD following new flag ---
  "-C", "link-arg=-Tdefmt.x",


The application must link to or define a global_logger. The global_logger specifies how logs are sent from the device running the app to the host where the logs are displayed. The application must link to exactly one global_logger. The global_logger can appear anywhere in the dependency graph and usually it will be its own crate. The following global_loggers are provided as part of the project:

  • defmt-rtt, logs over RTT. Note that this crate can not be used together with rtt-target.
  • defmt-itm, logs over ITM (Instrumentation Trace Macrocell) stimulus port 0.
  • defmt-semihosting, logs over semihosting. Meant only for testing defmt on a virtual Cortex-M device (QEMU).

Information about how to write a global_logger can be found in the #[global_logger] section.

Enabling logging

By default, only ERROR level messages are logged. To learn how to enable other logging levels and filters logs per modules read the Filtering section.

Memory use

When in a tight memory situation and logging over RTT, the buffer size (default: 1024 bytes) can be configured with the DEFMT_RTT_BUFFER_SIZE environment variable. Use a power of 2 for best performance.