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Conditional Compilation

Conditionally compiled source code is source code that may or may not be considered a part of the source code depending on certain conditions. Source code can be conditionally compiled using the cfg attribute. These conditions are based on the target environment of the compiled package and a few other miscellaneous things further described below in detail.

Configuration options are names and key-value pairs that are either set or unset. Names are written as a single identifier such as, for example, test. Key-value pairs are written as a named function argument: an identifier, :, and then a short string. For example, target: 'starknet-contract' is a configuration option.

Keys are not unique in the set of key-value configuration options. For example, both opt: 'x' and opt: 'y' can be set at the same time.

Forms of conditional compilation

The cfg attribute

The cfg attribute conditionally includes the thing it is attached to based on a configuration predicate. It is written as #[cfg(configuration predicate)]. If the predicate is true, the item is rewritten to not have the cfg attribute on it. If the predicate is false, the item is removed from the source code.

For example, this attribute can be used to provide different implementations of a function depending on current Scarb target:

#[cfg(target: 'lib')]
fn example() -> felt252 {

#[cfg(target: 'starknet-contract')]
fn example() -> felt252 {

Set configuration options

Which configuration options are set is determined statically during the compilation of the compilation unit of the compiled package. It is not possible to set a configuration option from within the source code of the package being compiled.


Key-value option set once with the current compilation unit's target.

Example values:

  • 'lib'
  • 'starknet-contract'


Features in Scarb provide a way to conditionally compile specific parts of the code during the build process.

[features] section

A package defines a set of named features in the [features] section of Scarb.toml file. Each defined feature can list other features that should be enabled with it.

For example, a package supporting various hash functions might define features like this:

poseidon = []
pedersen = []
keccak = []

With these features set, conditional compilation (cfg) attributes can be used to selectively include code to support requested features during compile time. For instance:

// Conditionally include a module
#[cfg(feature: 'poseidon')]
mod poseidon;

// Conditionally define a function
#[cfg(feature: 'pedersen')]
fn hash_pedersen(value: felt252) -> felt252 {
  // ...

To enable specific features, use the --features flag followed by a comma-separated list of features. For example, to build with only the poseidon and pedersen features enabled:

scarb build --features poseidon,pedersen

Enabling all features can be done with the --all-features flag.

default features

By default, all features are disabled unless explicitly enabled. However, this behaviour can be changed by specifying a default feature in the [features] section, like so:

default = ["poseidon", "pedersen"]
poseidon = []
pedersen = []
keccak = []

When the package is built, the default feature is enabled which in turn enables the listed features.

To disable the default feature, use the --no-default-features flag.

For example, in the provided scenario:

  • Running scarb build would enable poseidon and pedersen features.
  • scarb build --features keccak would enable poseidon, pedersen, and keccak features.
  • scarb build --no-default-features --features keccak would enable only the keccak feature.