How do I convert a usize to a u32 using TryFrom?

Since this answer was created, it was decided to have the implementation of TryFrom<usize> always allow for the possibility of failure, regardless of the current platform. The original code now compiles successfully in Rust 1.34.

Original answer

having TryFrom<usize> for u32 is dependent on having From<usize> for u32, which seems somewhat strange to me

This is because there’s a blanket implementation of TryFrom for anything that implements From:

impl<T, U> TryFrom<U> for T
    T: From<U>,
    type Error = !;

As you mentioned, since Rust supports platforms where the native integer length is 16, 32, or 64 bits, having such an implementation of From / Into would not be lossless on some of these platforms.

This error occurs because there’s no direct implementation of TryFrom / TryInto for these types. This is because users of these traits prefer that the implementations be infallible when platform-appropriate (The type Error = !).

There is a separate tracking issue 49415 specifically for deciding this issue.

I think that I can write my own function that does the conversion

Yes, that is what you should do. Something like this untested piece of code:

use std::u32;

struct SomeError;

// usize is a u16 or u32, which always fits in a u32
#[cfg(any(target_pointer_width = "16", target_pointer_width = "32"))]
fn my_thing(a: usize) -> Result<u32, SomeError> {
    Ok(a as u32)

// usize is a u64, which might be too big
#[cfg(target_pointer_width = "64")]
fn my_thing(a: usize) -> Result<u32, SomeError> {
    if a > u32::MAX as usize {
    } else {
        Ok(a as u32)

I would be surprised if Rust doesn’t have some idiomatic way to do this conversion. usize and u32 are two basic types, after all.

The problem is that usize isn’t really a “basic” type because it changes size depending on the target platform. Getting this correct, performant and ergonomic is not easy.

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