ddbus 3.0.0-beta.2

A DBus library for D

To use this package, run the following command in your project's root directory:

Manual usage
Put the following dependency into your project's dependences section:


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A dbus library for the D programming language.

Provides fancy and convenient highly templated methods that automagically serialize and deserialize things into DBus types so that calling DBus methods is almost as easy as calling local ones.

It currently supports:

  • Calling methods
  • Creating wrapper objects for DBus interfaces
  • Seamlessly converting to and from D types
  • Handling method calls and signals (includes introspection support)


Before using, you will need to have the DBus C library installed on your computer to link with, and probably also a DBus session bus running so that you can actually do things.

ddbus is available on DUB so you can simply include it in your dub.json:

"dependencies": {
  "ddbus": "~>2.3.0"


Call Interface

The simplest way to call methods over DBus is to create a connection and then a PathIface object which wraps a destination, path and interface. You can then call methods on that object with any parameters which ddbus knows how to serialize and it will return a reply message which you can convert to the correct return type using .to!T(). You can also use the templated call method. Example:

import ddbus;
Connection conn = connectToBus();
PathIface obj = new PathIface(conn, "org.freedesktop.DBus","/org/freedesktop/DBus",
// call any method with any parameters and then convert the result to the right type.
auto name = obj.GetNameOwner("org.freedesktop.DBus").to!string();
// alternative method

Working with properties

import ddbus;
Connection conn = connectToBus();
PathIface obj = new PathIface(conn, "org.freedesktop.secrets", "/org/freedesktop/secrets/collection/login", "org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties");

// read property
string loginLabel = obj.Get("org.freedesktop.Secret.Collection", "Label").to!string();
loginLabel = "Secret"~login;
// write it back (variant type requires variant() wrapper)
obj.Set("org.freedesktop.Secret.Collection", "Label", variant(loginLabel));

Setting read only properties results in a thrown DBusException.

Server Interface

You can register a delegate into a MessageRouter and a main loop in order to handle messages. After that you can request a name so that other DBus clients can connect to your program.

You can return a Tuple!(args) to return multiple values (multiple out values in XML) or return a Variant!DBusAny to support returning any dynamic value.

import ddbus;
MessageRouter router = new MessageRouter();
// create a pattern to register a handler at a path, interface and method
MessagePattern patt = MessagePattern("/root","ca.thume.test","test");
router.setHandler!(int,int,Variant!DBusAny)(patt,(int par, Variant!DBusAny anyArgument) {
  // anyArgument can contain any type now, it must be specified as argument using Variant!DBusAny.
  writeln("Called with ", par, ", ", anyArgument);
  return par;
// handle a signal
patt = MessagePattern("/signaler","ca.thume.test","signal",true);
router.setHandler!(void,int)(patt,(int par) {
  writeln("Signalled with ", par);
// register all methods of an object
class Tester {
  int lol(int x, string s) {return 5;}
  void wat() {}
Tester o = new Tester;
registerMethods(router, "/","ca.thume.test",o);
// get a name and start the server
registerRouter(conn, router);
bool gotem = requestName(conn, "ca.thume.ddbus.test");

See the Concurrent Updates section for details how to implement this in a custom main loop.

Thin(ish) Wrapper

ddbus also includes a series of thin D struct wrappers over the DBus types.

  • Message: wraps DBusMessage and provides D methods for common functionality.
  • Connection: wraps DBusConnection and provides D methods for common functionality.
  • DBusException: used for errors produced by DBus turned into D exceptions.

Type Marshaling

ddbus includes fancy templated methods for marshaling D types in and out of DBus messages. All DBus-compatible basic types work (except file descriptors). Any forward range can be marshaled in as DBus array of that type but arrays must be taken out as dynamic arrays.

As per version 2.3.0, D struct types are fully supported by ddbus. By default all public fields of a structure are marshaled. This behavior can be changed by UDAs. Mapping DBus structures to a matching instance of std.typecons.Tuple, like earlier versions of ddbus did, is also still supported.

Example using the lower level interface, the simple interfaces use these behind the scenes:

Message msg = Message("org.example.wow","/wut","org.test.iface","meth");

struct S {
  double a;
  int b;
  string[][] c;
  bool[] d;

auto s = S(6.2, 4, [["lol"]], []);
auto args = tuple(5, true, "wow", [6, 5], s);

Basic types

These are the basic types supported by ddbus: bool, ubyte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, double, string, ObjectPath, InterfaceName, BusName

ObjectPath, InterfaceName and BusName are typesafe wrappers or aliases around strings which should be used to ensure type-safety. They do not allow implicit casts to each other but can be manually converted to strings either by casting to string.

Overview of mappings of other types:

D typeDBus typeComments
any enumenum base typeOnly the exact values present in the definition of the enum type will be allowed.
std.typecons.BitFlagsenum base typeAllows usage of OR'ed values of a flags enum.
dynamic array T[]array
associative array V[K]array of key-value pairsDBus has a special type for key-value pairs, which can be used as the element type of an array only.
Tuple!(T...)structureThe DBus structure will map all of the Tuple's values in sequence.
any structstructureThe DBus structure will map all public fields of the struct type in order of definition, unless otherwise specified using UDAs.
ddbus style variant Variant!TvariantVariant!T is in fact just a wrapper type to force representation as a variant in DBus, use Variant!DBusAny for actual dynamic typing.
Phobos style variants std.variant.VariantNvariantOnly supported if set of allowed types is limited to types that can be marshaled by ddbus, so std.variant.Variant is not supported, but std.variant.Algebraic may be, depending on allowed types

Customizing marshaling of struct types

Marshaling behavior can be changed for a struct type by adding the @dbusMarshaling UDA with the appropriate flag. The following flags are supported:

  • includePrivateFields enables marshaling of private fields
  • manualOnly disables marshaling of all fields

Marshaling of individual fields can be enabled or disabled by setting the DBusMarshal flag as an UDA. I.e. @Yes.DBusMarshal or @No.DBusMarshal.

Note: symbols Yes and No are defined in std.typecons.

After converting a DBus structure to a D struct, any fields that are not marshaled will appear freshly initialized. This is true even when just converting a struct to DBusAny and back.

import ddbus.attributes;
import std.typecons;

struct WeirdThing {
  int a;                 // marshaled (default behavior not overridden)
  @No.DBusMarshal int b; // explicitly not marshaled
  private int c;         // marshaled, because of includePrivateFields


  • attributes: defines some UDAs (and related templates) that can be used to customize struct marshaling.
  • bus: bus functionality like requesting names and event loops.
  • conv: low level type marshaling methods.
  • exception: exception classes
  • router: message and signal routing based on MessagePattern structs.
  • simple: simpler wrappers around other functionality.
  • thin: thin wrapper types
  • util: templates for working with D type marshaling like canDBus!T.
  • c_lib: a D translation of the DBus C headers (you generally should not need to use these directly).

Importing ddbus will publicly import the thin, router, bus, simple and attributes modules. These provide most of the functionality you probably want, you can import the others if you want lower level control.

Nothing is hidden so if ddbus doesn't provide something, you can always import c_lib and use the pointers contained in the thin wrapper structs to do it yourself.

Concurrent Updates

If you want to use the DBus connection concurrently with some other features or library like a GUI or vibe.d you can do so by placing this code in the update/main loop:

// initialize Connection conn; somewhere
// on update:
if (!conn.tick)

Or in vibe.d:

  import vibe.core.core : yield;

  while (conn.tick)
    yield(); // Or sleep(1.msecs);

It would be better to watch a file descriptor asynchronously in the event loop instead of checking on a timer, but that hasn't been implemented yet, see Todo.


ddbus should be complete for everyday use but is missing some fanciness that it easily could and should have:

  • Support for adding file descriptors to event loops like vibe.d so that it only wakes up when messages arrive and not on a timer.
  • Marshaling of file descriptor objects
  • Better efficiency in some places, particularly the object wrapping allocates tons of delegates for every method.

Pull requests are welcome, the codebase is pretty small and other than the template metaprogramming for type marshaling is fairly straightforward.

  • Tristan Hume
3.0.0-beta.2 2021-Jun-21
3.0.0-beta.1 2019-Mar-31
2.3.0 2018-Jan-05
2.2.0 2017-Jun-27
2.1.0 2017-Apr-23
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