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Version: 2.0.x

Automatic ZLayer Derivation

ZIO's ZLayer is a powerful tool for building modular, testable, and composable applications. With the ZLayer.derive utility, you can automatically derive simple ZLayer instances for your services, reducing boilerplate and simplifying your codebase.

Basic Use Cases

import zio._

class Database(connection: String)
object Database {
val layer: ZLayer[String, Nothing, Database] = ZLayer.derive[Database]

class UserService(db: Database)
object UserService {
val layer: ZLayer[Database, Nothing, UserService] = ZLayer.derive[UserService]

Default Values

For services that might have default values or configurations, ZLayer.derive can use implicit ZLayer.Derive.Default[A] values:

Pre-defined Default Values

There are some pre-defined ZLayer.Derive.Default[A] instances for the following types:


When a service A has a constructor parameter B and there's an implicit Config[B] instance, ZLayer.derive automatically loads B using ZIO.config.

import zio._

case class APIClientConfig(appKey: String, secretKey: Config.Secret)
object APIClientConfig {
// Because we have an implicit `Config[APIClientConfig]` in scope...
implicit val config: Config[APIClientConfig] =
(Config.string("appKey") ++ Config.secret("secretKey")).map {
case (uri, key) => APIClientConfig(uri, key)

class APIClient(config: APIClientConfig) { /* ... */ }
object APIClient {

// `APIClientConfig` is automatically loaded using `ZIO.config` by `ZLayer.derive`,
// instead of being required as a layer input.
val layer: ZLayer[Any, Config.Error, APIClient] = ZLayer.derive[APIClient]

Refer to Configuration for more about Config.

Some Concurrency Primitives

  • Promise[E, A]
  • Queue[A] (using Queue.unbounded)
  • Hub[A] (using Hub.unbounded)
  • Ref[A] (when A has a default instance)

Creating New Default Value

There are three main ways to create a ZLayer.Derive.Default:

  1. ZLayer.Derive.Default.succeed for creating default values from simple values.
  2. ZLayer.Derive.Default.fromZIO for creating default values from effects.
  3. ZLayer.Derive.Default.fromLayer for creating default values from layers.

Overriding Predefined Default Values

At times, you may want to override a default value in specific scenarios. To achieve this, you can define your own implicit value in a scope with a higher implicit priority, like a closer lexical scope.

A common scenario for this is when you want to discard a pre-defined default value and instead treat it as a dependency. Use ZLayer.Derive.Default.service for this purpose:

import zio._
import ZLayer.Derive.Default

class Wheels(number: Int)
object Wheels {
implicit val defaultWheels: Default.WithContext[Any, Nothing, Wheels] =
Default.succeed(new Wheels(4))
class Car(wheels: Wheels)

val carLayer1: ZLayer[Any, Nothing, Car] = ZLayer.derive[Car] // wheels.number == 4
val carLayer2: ZLayer[Wheels, Nothing, Car] = locally {
// The default instance is discarded
implicit val newWheels: Default.WithContext[Wheels, Nothing, Wheels] =


Caveat: Use Default.WithContext[R, E, A] instead of Default[A] for type annotation

When providing type annotations for ZLayer.derive, you must use ZLayer.Derive.Default.WithContext[R, E, A] instead of the more general ZLayer.Derive.Default[A]. Using the latter will result in a compilation error due to missing type details.

If you're uncertain about the exact type signature, a practical approach is to omit the type annotation initially. Then, use your IDE's autocomplete feature to insert the inferred type.

Attaching Scoped Resources

For services requiring resource management, ZLayer.derive offers built-in support for scoped values. When a service A implements the ZLayer.Derive.Scoped[-R, +E] trait, ZLayer.derive[A] automatically recognizes it. As a result, the scoped effect is executed during the layer's construction and finalization phases.

The 'resource' might be a background task, a lock file, or etc., that can be managed by Scope.

import zio._

trait Connection {
def healthCheck: ZIO[Any, Throwable, Unit]
// ...

class ThirdPartyService(connection: Connection) extends ZLayer.Derive.Scoped[Any, Nothing] {

// Repeats health check every 10 seconds in background during the layer's lifetime
override def scoped(implicit trace: Trace): ZIO[Scope, Nothing, Any] =

object ThirdPartyService {
// `ZLayer.Derive.Scoped` should be used with `ZLayer.derive`
val layer: ZLayer[Connection, Nothing, ThirdPartyService] = ZLayer.derive[ThirdPartyService]

If scoped fails during resource acquisition, the entire ZLayer initialization process fails.

Lifecycle Hooks

Additionally, there's the ZLayer.Derive.AcquireRelease[R, E, A] trait. This is a specialized version of ZLayer.Derive.Scoped designed for added convenience, allowing users to define initialization and finalization hooks distinctly.

import zio._

def acquireLockFile(path: String): ZIO[Any, Throwable, File] = ???
def deleteFile(file: File): ZIO[Any, Throwable, Unit] = ???

class ASingletonService(lockFilePath: String) extends ZLayer.Derive.AcquireRelease[Any, Throwable, File] {

override def acquire: ZIO[Any, Throwable, File] =

override def release(lockFile: File): ZIO[Any, Nothing, Any] =

object ASingletonService {
// Note: it's for illustrative example. In a real-world application, you will probably want to
// put the `String` in a config.
val layer: ZLayer[String, Throwable, ASingletonService] = ZLayer.derive[ASingletonService]

Caveat: Manual layers do not respect ZLayer.Derive.Scoped and ZLayer.Derive.AcquireRelease

When manually creating ZLayer instances without using ZLayer.derive, the lifecycle hooks won't be automatically invoked. Refer to Resource Management in ZIO for more details about general resource management in ZIO.